Halloween is just around the corner, and we all know that means sweet treats will fill your family’s house, tempting even the adults around every corner. To guild the lily—and put a grown-up spin on candy—we’ve called in three wine experts to help us find the perfect pairings for all that chocolate (and other candy classics like Skittles, candy corn and Sour Patch Kids). Herewith, the ultimate Halloween candy pairing guide courtesy of Ski Peterson, co-owner of Decatur, GA’s Wahoo! Wine and Provisions shop, Will and Coral Frischkorn, owners of Cured in Boulder, Colorado, and Rob Elias, beverage director at Big Bear Café in Washington, D.C.

 

Candy Corn

Peterson’s Pick: “A dry Rosé, like Meinklang Prosa Frizzante Rosé of Pinot Noir ($17.99), is amazing and has great bubbles, fruit and acidity that will works great with the sweet creaminess of the candied corn.”

The Frischkorns Pick: “For candy corn there is nothing better than a buttery California Chardonnay, like Luli’s Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands ($20). Working with similarities, a lush, tropical fruit driven wine almost screams for candy corn to be dropped in the glass and given a swirl.”

Elias’ Pick: “Pair these little bite-sized candies with a rich sparkling Chardonnay, like Francois Montand Blanc de Blanc Brut ($12), to bring out the marshmallow aromas. It’s rich and light, while pear-y and the crisp sparkling that will give those candies a bit more a pop.”

 

Chocolate candy bars

Peterson’s Pick: “Chocolate and wine are a match made in Heaven, and there is a wine for each type of chocolate! At Wahoo!, we sell a bourbon barrel aged Zinfandel called 1000 Stories ($16.99) that I love to taste with a Snickers bar. The charred vanilla and herbal notes imparted on the Zinfandel by the bourbon barrels are a great addition to the wine, which tastes of big black and red fruits, and spices with a nice touch of tannins that plays great with the Snickers bar.”

The Frischkorns Pick: “We have a soft spot for a guilty chocolate candy bar and a slightly long pour of great Italian Vin Santo, like Felsina’s Vin Santo Chianti Classico ($35). These dried grapes made into wine have the perfect nutty sweetness to balance the best of the best that Nestle throws our way.”

Elias’ Pick: “[I’m partial to a Kit Kat, which is perfect with] Alto Lima Vinho Verde ($9). Not to be fooled by the slight effervescence of the Alvarinho, this Portugese Vinho Verde is crisp, light and fruity. It may be the wine that pops a bit more, or the Kit Kat that crunches a touch louder, but when paired together these two enhance each others trademarks, rather than balance each other out.”

 

Peanut butter cups

Peterson’s Pick:Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port ($22.99) is a great companion for peanut butter cups. The creamy caramel and chocolate of the peanut butter is wonderful with the rich, dark cocao, toffee and coffee flavors of the Zinfandel Port.”

The Frischkorns Pick: “Hello Port. The power and structure of Vintage Style Port, like Kopke’s LBV 2001 ($27.50), melts perfectly in your mouth with a peanut butter cup.”

Elias’ Pick:Conde Villar Alvarinho ($14) is a nice Portuguese twist on the South American Albarino, and has a great crispness and effervescence to it, fruity but not sweet. The nuttiness from a white chocolate peanut butter brings out the crisp acidity, while the white chocolate keeps things a bit more mellow than your typical chocolate/wine association.”

 

Sour candy

Peterson’s Pick:Pere Ventura Brut Rose Cava ($15.99) is a great choice with sour candy. This cava has aromas of wild red fruits, along with subtle flavor notes of roses and long persistent bubbles that provide a finish that helps clean away the sour flavor of the candy.”

The Frischkorns Pick: “Fight acid with acid—sour candy just screams to be served up alongside a crisp German Riesling, like Josef Lietz’s Dragonstone ($22). When these two acids come head to head, you’re left with a mouthful of bold fruit on the finish.”

Elias’ Pick: “Not known to many, Ganeta Txakolina ($12) is a light and crisp Spanish varietal, and a knockout paired with sour candy. Fresh fruit and ripe green apples hit the front palate on this light Basque region wine. The high acidity and lower alcohol content allow the tartness from the green apples to flush off the tongue quickly, leaving your mouth puckering for another swig, or another sour candy. Try this wine with the sour patch watermelons for the best combo.”

 

Chewy fruity candy

Peterson’s Pick: “With something like Skittles, I’d pair Piquitos Moscato ($10.99) from Valencia, Spain. With it's beautiful aromas of honey suckle, sweet orange blossoms and wild strawberries and a palate that has a nice sweetness that is full of light airy bubbles. The mouth coating sweetness plays wonderfully with the sour and acidity of the candy, with the bubbles washing it all down and getting your mouth ready for the next round of candies.”

The Frischkorns Pick: “The big fruit flavors coupled with that slightly salty finish makes a great Austrian Gruner Veltliner, like Hofer’s 1L Bottle ($17.50), the perfect counterpoint to chewy fruity candy.”

Elias’ Pick: “With candy like Gummy Bears (strawberry and pineapple specifically), go with a crisp French Muscadet, like Terroir Les Gras Moutons Muscadet ($15). Full of acidity and minerality, it leaves you puckering your lips together with just enough tannins that will make you bring the glass back to your mouth before it hits the table again. To balance out the rich acidity and fresh lemon of the Muscadet, pop in one of each of the fruitier classic gummies to bring a sweetness out that is better paired with the wine rather than having a sweet wine.”