Best Wines to Pair With the Halloween Candy You Steal From Your Kids

wines chocolateBefore Halloween, we make decisions about costumes, candy, and where to take our little ones trick-or-treating. Then we slap coats over our beautifully wrought or hastily thrown-together costumes to brave the cold as we go house to house, ringing doorbells, asking for candy from strangers. But once we’re tucked safely back in our homes, the important decision-making begins -- what wine will we drink with the candy we pilfer from the kids?


Perhaps you feel a twinge of guilt? Don’t. Why not give in to desire and just enjoy? We’ve done so much for them, so what is a little bit of candy in between giving birth and transporting them to all their activities and making sure they’re regularly fed? We deserve it.

Even so, there are rules when stealing candy from children. Because what are we, animals? Don't take the full-size ones. Don't take their absolute favorites. And, never eat all of any one kind of candy. Separate the candy into categories. Do this with your kids. Then let them eat as much as they want. Once they go to bed, the rest is fair game.

Above all, and I cannot stress this enough, eat your favorite candy first. Because life is short, and days with children, no matter how adorable or how much you love them, can be long. So take this slow night moment and fill yourself with well-paired joy. 

Now, what goodies pair best with what wines?

1. White chocolate (with or without filling or nuts or other random pieces of nuts, candy, or nougat). Perhaps you come from the camp that says white chocolate isn’t really chocolate. Fine. Confection? Does that work better for you? Wine pairing: It goes well with a dry, versatile white wine like a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!

2. Caramels and marshmallows. These go with a Riesling or Pinot Noir. Not too sweet to balance out the pure sugar, but you don't want to go too dry.

3. Candy corn. I have only one warning for these little packets of pure chemical death: Do not eat the whole bag. I did that once and the ensuing headache Pavlov'd me off them for good. If you must eat them anyway, go for a white. Red wine can cause migraines.

4. Chocolates with nuts and peanut butter. Choose a mid-range red or white, from a Chardonnay, Zinfandel, or Viognier, to balance the salty nuts and cloying sweet.

5. Fruit. People who give fruit should be shunned. They clearly do not understand the heart of Halloween and instead push their own agenda -- although, you can still use their fruit for a Sangria.

More from The Stir: Apple Cider Champagne Sangria -- the Perfect Fall Cocktail (PHOTOS) 

Then there is the best of the best.

6. Good, quality dark chocolate. Although it is our job as parents to teach our kids the difference between a really good chocolate and the mediocre sort, Halloween is not the time. When your kids come home with a plastic jack-o'-lantern of random sweets, that is the time to take the best for yourself. Your kids simply won’t appreciate the difference between a Swiss truffle and a bar of factory chocolate the way you will.

Dark chocolate makes your soul sing when matched with just about any heavy red wine. A Merlot, a Shiraz, wonderful mixed blends, or a dark Burgundy or Cabernet. Go ahead and open up that good quality wine you've been saving. It is so worth it.

And what will you say the day after when your children inquire what happened to the missing candy? (They will notice. It’s inevitable.)

Well, there are two ways to address this:

Lie. If and when you lie, do it in the same bold-faced way kids do so well. “Did you eat my chocolate, Mama?” No, I did not. “So why are there all those wrappers in your purse?” There are no wrappers in my purse. I don’t know what you mean. Turnabout is sometimes fair play.

Brutal honesty. Say, Yes. I ate your candy. Look them straight in the eye when you say this. What are they going to do?


Leigh Shulman is a writer, traveler, and mom living in northwest Argentina. She runs Creative Revolution Retreats, international writing retreats for women, and blogs at The Future Is Red.


Images via Arina P Habich/shutterstock; joannawnuk/shutterstock

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