Santa Cruz Mountains Alpine Vineyard 2009 – could not have been a better marriage!It’s not only for sugar-ravenous youths and bored customers in line at the drugstore. Halloween candy tempts serious food and wine lovers this time of year as well. Here, three sommeliers share expert wine pairings for their favorite brands.Baby Ruth with PX Sherry: “Sweet sherry pairs well with nutty, gooey chocolate because it’s nutty and gooey,” says June Rodil of Qui Austin. “The signature chocolate nougat in the Baby Ruth brings out the maple and brown sugar tones in the sherry, while the nuts go perfectly with the oxidative, candied walnut notes of the wine.” Rodil recommends having this intensely rich pairing while screening The Goonies.
Bottle to Try: NV El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez ($16)
Almond Joy with Red Rioja: “Many Riojas are aged in American oak, which adds flavors of coconut,” says Laura Maniec, co-founder of New York’s Corkbuzz Wine Studio. Choosing a modern, fruity Rioja will ensure that it works with the chocolate as well.
Bottle to Try: 2007 Senorio de P. Pecina Rioja Crianza ($22)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with a Juicy Red Blend: This trick-or-treating king is best with a big, not-too-tannic red, says Gillian Ballance, wine director at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, CA. “The wine’s rich fruit accentuates the salty, savory peanut butter, and soft tannins cut gently through the creaminess of the chocolate,” she says. Unfortunately, Ballance hasn’t found a match for her other favorite candy: “I love wax fangs too,” she says, “but some things just can’t be paired with wine.”
Bottle to Try: 2012 Flagstone Dragon Tree Red ($25)