How great is it to have a holiday centered around passing out candy or if you are young enough, even better, receiving it? I trust everyone reading this has passed the trick-or-treating stage. So, if you are like me, you either hope for leftovers after all the trick-or-treaters have passed for the night, or you wait until your own kids come home so you can steal some of your favorites… shhhh - let’s keep that one on the downlow. Recently, I discovered a whole other possibility for that Halloween candy that I had never thought about... paring candy with your favorite drinks.
Whether you prefer wine, beer or spirits, there is a candy that goes well with it. Check out this chart from Vinepairand start experimenting. Halloween candy just got that much sweeter with this handy pairing guide. I have to admit, after seeing this chart, I decided to start early on dipping into the Halloween candy. I convinced my husband (didn’t take much coercing at all) to accompany me on this candy-booze pairing extravaganza and here are some tasting notes and opinions of what we found.
I had to start with my go to Halloween all time favorite candy: The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Which according to a recent Monmouth University study is the most popular purchased Halloween Candy. See the chart below. Since wine is my drink of choice, Cabernet had to be the paring since it is a natural pairing for chocolate. I wasn’t sure which order - the wine first or the Reese’s first so I decided to drink the wine first.
I had a Lapostolle Cabernet Cuvee Alexandre, Cabernet Sauvignon that I had picked up at our local wine shop. It is a delicious Cabernet, with a bold and rich taste to it and a smooth finish. I let it sit in my mouth a moment longer than normal to be able to marry it with the Reese’s and I have to admit, it was pretty good. The chocolate exterior tasted perfectly scrumptious with the cabernet, the peanut butter center was unique but the tannins help cut through the sweet richness. It’s about the full mouth experience and this combo is a winner. However, if you’re more of a traditionalist (and not too sick of sugar), after the Reese's, try it with a piece of 70% cocoa dark chocolate. Really delish and not quite as sweet!
My husband decided to start with his personal Halloween chocolate favorite, the Snickers bar. This, by the way, is the 2nd most popular candy purchased at Halloween according to the Monmouth University study. Since he is a beer guy, he paired with a Newcastle Brown Ale. He also started with the beer and then took a bite of his Snicker’s bar. He mentioned the nutty flavor of the brown ale and the fact that it is a lighter tasting beer worked really well with the milk chocolate and caramel nutty inside. He thought it was a great pairing.
photo credit: popsugar
We each wanted to try a candy next, so I chose Sour Patch Kids only because I felt like drinking some Prosecco. I had a bottle of LaMarca which is a typically dry Prosecco. It has a lot of fruitiness to it so it seems a little less brut, which I prefer. I decided to start with the candy this time first. So I ate 3 sour patch kids which instantly took over every taste bud in my mouth. I quickly sipped on the Prosecco and the fizziness increased for an instant in my mouth. Then the sweet and sourness of the candy was balanced by the Prosecco. It was a good pairing, although I imagine any fruity candy that lacked the sourness could also be quite a good pairing. I think with the Prosecco’s sparkling nature, putting the candy in first was a good call or it would have been excessively fizzy.
My husband went for the Skittlesnext as this was recommended to pair with Pale Ale and he is a fan of Indian Pale Ales. He started with the Skittles and then took a drink of his Deschutes Brewing Fresh Squeezed IPA. The Skittles are sweet and fruity and although IPAs have a bittneress to it, Fresh Squeezed is very nicely balanced. He described it as an interesting pairing but he wasn’t convinced he loved the sweetness with the bitterness.
At the end of the day, It was a fun tasting and we are planning on having a group of friends over, along with a variety of candy and different boozy pairings and making a night of it. While I don’t think that sweet halloween candy paired with libations is going to become the latest and greatest craze, in the spirit of Halloween fun and adventure, why not make a go of it and have some good laughs with the adults while the kids enjoy counting up all the treats they gathered!
Let us know which pairing you enjoy the most or if you’ve discovered a fun one of your own!
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