It piles up. Haunting your dreams. Calling your name all hours of the day. It’s impossible to ignore its siren song. Once the trick-or-treaters have come and gone, the Halloween candy remains, like an intractable ghost of holiday past.
Fortunately, there is an upside: Candy is delicious! Let’s upscale this seasonal binge by pairing your favorite sweet treats with Pennsylvania wines.
PA Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark Chocolate Kit Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
Boasting hints of smoke and black cherry, this bold red pairs well with the richness of chocolate favorites. And any wine with jammy notes is especially fun alongside the peanut buttery goodness of Reese’s — it’s like the world’s most indulgent PB&J.
If you’re looking four something a bit less tannic, you could swap in Chambourcin. The hybrid grape also has red fruit flavors, balanced by an enticing earthiness.
PA Pinot Noir: Twizzlers, Whoppers, or Swedish Fish
Pinot Noir’s signature bright fruit flavors match the sweet pop of Twizzlers, while the high acid cuts through the candy’s tacky texture. Try this trick: Use the Twizzler as a straw!
Meanwhile, those same berry and cherry flavors will also boost the distinct zip of Swedish Fish, while the wine’s underlying smoky notes add complexity.
Now here’s something a little different: Whoppers, a spherical shot of malt powder encased in chocolate, are one of the easiest confections to match with wine. We lean toward the classic combination of chocolate and strawberry, hence our recommendation of a juicy Pinot Noir.
Or you could mix it up: Another varietal that would work well with this array of candy is Lemberger. Popular with Pennsylvania growers, this German grape has a gorgeous dark red color and high acidity — that brightness makes it an easy match for Twizzlers or Swedish Fish and an enticing contrast for the malty Whoppers.
PA Chambourcin: Snickers, Twix, or Almond Joy
Chambourcin, a dry, oaked red wine rich with earthy tobacco and vanilla aromas, pairs well with roasted nuts and caramel, the iconic combination behind Snickers’ success.
Sticking with the caramel theme, Twix is another option to pair with Chambourcin. The subtle undercurrent of bitterness coming from the cooked sugar will accentuate the wine’s vanilla notes.
And if you “feel like a nut,” Almond Joy is there to answer the call. The intoxicating fusion of almonds and coconut will balance out the earthy tobacco notes of Chambourcin.
PA Gewürztraminer: Jolly Ranchers, Tropical Skittles, or Gummy worms
This dynamic wine has tropical fruit notes and medium acidity, which will cut through the citrus Ranchers and hold its ground against the berry ones.
Those same tropical flavors also make Gewürztraminer the perfect match for Tropical Skittles.
Meanwhile, if you’re holed up on the couch with a sack of gummy worms, this bright German white is capable of cutting through the candy’s gummy texture.
PA Moscato: Starburst, Airheads, or Laffy Taffy
Moscato is a light-bodied, sweet wine boasting notes of tropical fruit, wild honey, and strawberries. Those characteristics make it an ideal companion for both fresh fruit and fruit-flavored treats. Crack open a bottle to drink alongside a buffet of strawberry Starbursts, Airheads, and Laffy Taffy.
PA Riesling: Candy Corn, Sweet Tarts, or Blow Pops
Pair your sweetest candy with this popular white wine — the peach, citrus, and floral notes in this white will complement the sweetness of these old-school treats. Because of the wine’s high acidity, each sip will cleanse the palate and prep your sweet tooth for the next bite.