Hubble, Bubble, Toil and…Wine?
Halloween is nearly here – a day where parents stand helplessly by as their offspring consume almost heroic levels of sugar before transforming before their eyes into demented miniature nightmares hopped up on treat-sized Snickers. But what about the poor parents? Don’t they deserve a little Halloween cheer? So after the kids eventually pass out, go cold turkey, or steal the car and head for Vegas, here’s how to raid that leftover candy pile and match the contents with the perfect beer or wine.
The Candy: Reeces Pieces, Snickers or Butter Fingers
Perfect Pairing: Madeira
Hailing from the island of the same name, the repeated heating of Madeira’s signature fortification process gives it a rich, burnt sugar oatiness that’s perfect for nut based confections, and also comes packed with roasting coffee and salted caramel flavours so deep you could hide a Lexus in it.
The Candy: Cadbury Fruit and Nut, Toblerone or dark chocolate
Perfect Pairing: Port or Kasteel Donker
Port is always a natural match with chocolate and the darker the better, blessed as it is with sweet, rich flavours – raspberry, blackberry and cinnamon, backed by an unctuous, brown sugar hit. Kasteel Donker meanwhile is a strong, yeasty, dark beer (around 10%) hailing from Belgium, with spicy, fruit flavours and a sweet, caramel maltiness.
The Candy: Milk chocolate
Perfect Pairing: Früli strawberry beer
Made from white beer and fresh strawberry juice, Früli smells like a lollypop anyway, but pair it with a creamy milk chocolate and it’s like eating strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue – if you like that kind of thing, which of course everyone does.
The Candy: Gummy candy
Perfect Pairing: Sparkling Moscato, Mostcato d’asti
When you’re dealing with the kind of sticky, chewy candy that works its way into every corner of your mouth and indeed soul, you need a light and refreshing wine to counter-balance it. The fruity, flirty, floral flavours of still and sparkling Moscato – peach, nectarine and orange blossom, work beautifully with cloying Jelly-like treats, whilst its refreshing acidity takes the edge off that titanic sweetness.
The Candy: Caramel apples
Perfect Pairing: Sauternes or any other golden dessert wine that says ‘late harvest,’ noble’ or ‘botrytis’ on it. Apple cider.
The tartness of crisp apple cider balances beautifully with the toffee and caramel flavours of the treat, whilst the concentrated flavours of late harvest wine explode with candied lemon, apricot, marmalade and honey flavours which works beautifully with that sweet and crunchy coating.
The Candy: Coconut Mounds or any treats heavy on the coconut or marshmallow.
Perfect Pairing: Champagne
Coconut and champagne make a surprisingly harmonious pairing, both being creamy, light, flavourful and able to solely survive off in an emergency situation, whilst Champagne’s delicate bubbles cut through coconuts occasionally sickly characteristics. As for the marshmallow, roll that treat in chocolate and it pushes the flavour forward so that it blends with the toasted biscuit characteristics of a great Champagne.