Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing - Testing Viral Wine Activity

Yum

I don't want to say it's tragic that Halloween falls on a Saturday the one year that we all cannot take advantage of the holiday, since the reason WHY it's a lame Halloween has resulted in so many more tragedies than missing out on a party, but it definitely is bumming me out.

So, what to do when you're stuck inside on Halloween?

Drink, of course.

And don't just drink, make use of all that Halloween candy hanging around and do a fancy wine pairing!

https://www.coravin.com/

I did this last year and it was pretty fun. I was super surprised at how the (cheap) candy and (cheap) wine enhanced each other's flavors and made it all feel super fancy.

Despite my current budget of not buying wine over $15, this was still a pretty expensive endeavor. If you have the wine and candy on hand, it's a fun activity, but otherwise it's probably not worth the cost. 

As a reminder, here is how you taste wine:
See - Look at the wine, notice the color and transparency.
Swirl - This is how you see the texture and density of the wine. Watch how the liquid sticks to and flows down the glass (this is called the legs).
Smell - After swirling, stick your nose into the glass. Breathe in deeply. Smell is 75% of taste, so you're actually getting a bit of flavor in with the fragrance. Make note of what you smell. Fruits? Leather? Smoke? This will give you a sense of what flavors you'll be looking for when you taste.
Sip - Take a sip! Let it sit on your mouth a bit. Then...
Savor - Open your mouth and breathe in a bit, letting the air make bubbles in the wine. This opens up the flavors a bit more and makes them easier to detect.
(Spit) - Optional step but, why would you do this...?

To pair wine with food: Take a bite of the food, hold a bit of it in your mouth, and take a sip of wine. Notice the flavors that are expanded or muted with the wine. Swallow.




Here were my takeaways:

Whoppers - Pinot Noir: Started off amazingly! I loved how the chocolate was enhanced by the wine, and then once you hit the malted middle you had a whole new flavor experience! Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines, and while Whoppers are not my favorite candy, it certainly made them taste better. Win!

Skittles - Sauvignon Blanc: And the second was kind of a dud. The Sauvignon Blanc wasn't very sweet, and the Skittles tasted too sugary and intense as a result. I feel like the rule is to not have wine that is sweeter than your dessert (rendering this whole experiment pointless if that's a hard and fast rule?) and it certainly was in play here.

Snickers - Shiraz: I prefer Milky Way, but the Shiraz enhanced the peanut flavor in the Snickers to an insane level. They tasted roasty, toasty, and perfectly paired with the smooth Shiraz. Again, a higher quality chocolate would have helped, but it still worked!

Sour Patch Kids - Pinot Grigio: My surprise favorite! The bold colors in SPKs would trick nobody but the tiniest child into thinking they're real fruit flavors, but as soon as the Pinot hit my tongue I was tasting crazy intense flavors. The red tasted like fresh raspberry! The yellow was a tart lemon! Literally every flavor was amplified and made better. I was so surprised, and this candy was the one that went quickest.

Candy Corn - Chardonnay: I was dreading this one. I hate Chardonnay. I am meh about candy corn. In my opinion, neither did the other any favors. I understand why the pairing exists, as Chard is a buttery wine and candy corn is a somewhat buttery candy. But the waxy coating of the candy corn kept the wine from really hitting my palate, and made the bitterness of the wine even worse. Not a fan.

Raisinets - Merlot: This one worked! Not as well as the Whoppers, but enough to appreciate. The chocolate had a similar affect, and the tart raisin complimented the wine well. A higher quality chocolate would be even better, but it was still enjoyable.


Have you tried pairing wine with Halloween candy?