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Candy + Wine Pairing Guide

06-10-2016

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Halloween is coming! You’re likely to wind up with an influx of candy in your home as a result. No matter if it's candy you’ve stolen from your children’s trick or treat stash- or just bargains that you picked up at the grocery store on a whim for yourself, we’ve got the perfect idea for how to Halloween candy like an adult. How about pairing it with different wines for a fun tasting experiment?

Believe it or not, wine lends itself to candy nicely -- and we’re not just talking about chocolate. Candy and wine go together in a variety of ways. Tangy, crunchy candies, chewy gummies, and even spicy tamales have a place in this grab bag. Let’s break it down by wine type.

White Wines

What candy goes with white wines? Well, it all depends on what white you’re partial to drinking.

Pinot Grigio- Known for being a sweet, yet feisty, wine, it comes as no surprise that Pinot Grigio pairs well with Sour Patch Kids. Specifically the yellow kids! This combination of zesty sweet plays nicely on your tongue.

Sauvignon Blanc-Taste the rainbow by diving into the sweet and fruity explosion of flavors in this classic candy. You’ll find they balance the green acidic tones of the wine beautifully.

Rose- Pink meets pinker when you pair Rose with Strawberry Starburst. It’s a sweet treat that is beautiful, delicate, and so much fun.

Chardonnay- Oaked Chardonnay is known for its buttery flavor. Carmel Twix is renowned for the same buttery goodness. Only makes sense to pair them together, right? Added bonus? When you pair these two, the result is a candy apple flavor in your mouth. Yum!

Riesling- Hot Tamales are bursting with spice and heat! That’s what makes them the perfect candy for the sweetness or a Riesling.

 

Red Wines

Ready for some red? These big, robust flavors can pair nicely with candy, particularly if you love chocolate.

Pinot Noir- Such a versatile little wine, isn’t she? Lots of candies play nicely with Pinot Noir and pairing it all depends on where the wine was produced. If you’re pouring Pinot from California, grab for some Twizzlers. You could be surprised to find that the wine has strong strawberry influence hidden in the bouquet! Other Pinot Noirs will do best with chocolate treats; think Milky Way bars or Peanut M&Ms. You’ll find that the sweetness balances the tannins in the wine as well as putting sweet and spicy into perfect harmony.

Zinfandel- All American and easily paired. Any Hersheys at all (but specifically the plain milk chocolate bars) will pair nicely with a sweet, subtle Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon- Sweet, salty, smooth, and rich. There just aren’t enough adjectives to explain why this is such a perfect match. Peanut butter, chocolate, and wine. This combination is an easy winner!

Merlot- Peanuts and caramel work together to highlight cherry undertones in Merlot. It can be a surprising flavor explosion in the mouth that will leave you coming back for more!

Red Blend- Red blend? How about a candy blend? We like the 100 Grand bar, which is a blended chocolate and caramel, for this wine!

 

Sparkling Wines

Are bubbles your weakness? The trick here can be balancing the sweet nature of sparkling wines with the sugar rush from candy. Here’s what we like for sparkling wines.

Brut- We’re thinking crisp when it comes to dry Brut sparkling wine. If your bottle is a California variety, then grab for those chocolate wafers found in Kit Kat bars. The sweetness of the chocolate paired with that crunch is the perfect way to enjoy Brut. But, if your bottle hails from the north coast, we think you should swim on over to Swedish fish. These blends often feature strawberry flavors, and the gentle sweetness of the candy will highlight these undertones nicely.

Sparkling Rose- Nerds. The candy, not the people. We like this choice because the pop and tang of the nerds, complete with the underlying strawberry and watermelon flavors, will complement the fruit tones in the wine while highlighting those tiny bubbles.

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