what wines pair best with the candy that I stole from my kid?

Rosy Rodriguez in Sonoma


Rosy Rodriguez is a mom and wannabe athlete by day and a wayward sommelier by night. She is a ninja in the kitchen and has the drinking tolerance of a large man. If she invites you to dinner be ready for a long night of laughs, delicious food, and many, many wines.

Halloween is upon us and if you’re like me you’ve stocked up on more than just candy! Few nights spark more stress for parents than the whirlwind that comes with Halloween. First, you fight through traffic to get home, attempt to dress up your child with minimal meltdowns, run around the neighborhood until you’ve collected an acceptable amount of loot and then convince your children they have to eat food for dinner and not candy. I’m sorry but I’m already opening a bottle of wine as I type this.

Whether you have kids or not, most of us like to end our day with a well-deserved glass of wine. We’ve been burdened all day by the stress of breaking down all sorts of glass ceilings and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy the beverage that truly tastes like freedom. Opening a bottle of wine and pouring a glass means the remainder of the day now belongs to you and it needs to be savored. So for those of you sorting through your kids’ bag of magic, for those who raided the “Pam Beesly” bucket from the reception in your office and for those who simply stocked up in the Halloween spirit, here’s a list of wine varietals and the candies you can best enjoy with them.

Sparkling Whites

These crisp bubbles will pair best with the lighter, appetizer type candies like Nerds, Twizzlers, Gummy Bears, and Sweet Tarts. Get creative and throw a couple into your flute if you like. These are your first-course candies where you toast the success of the holiday and begin to cry because you realize the stress of the holidays to come. Black Friday (shudder).

Rosés

Here’s where we begin to get into the candies with a little more flavor. Rose’s fresh fruit notes and crisp finish pair well with Swedish Fish, Life Saver Gummies and Starbursts. This is the cleansing fruit salad course of our candy adventure.

Pinot Grigio

Now the sour candies get to shine! Bring on the Sour Patch Kids, Warheads and Skittles Sour. Honestly, I prefer to skip this course but I’m just trying to help you go through all the wine options you might have in your fridge. Or maybe you like this horrid candy. No judgment (maybe).

Sauvignon Blanc

Oh Sauvignon Blanc, so fruity yet so dry and acidic, you pair beautifully with the weirdest candies! I’m fairly sure any lollypop that isn’t a Tootsie Pop pairs with Sauvignon Blanc. Also, be sure to enjoy with some Jolly Ranchers and even Pixie Stix. Such a diverse wine with or without candy.

Chardonnay

Ahhhh, time for those buttery, rich candies to make an appearance. Pair your favorite California Chardonnay with Candy Corn, Candy Apples (assuming you remembered to check them for razor blades before you started drinking) and even Butter Finger. Also, if that lazy family on your block gives your kid a Werther’s Original this is a great time to help it melt in your mouth.

Merlot

The mellow tannins, fresh fruit dry finish of Merlot love them some simple milk chocolate. M&M’s, Kit Kat, Whoppers, Reese’s anything, and Twix all pair beautifully. If you’re like me you’ll keep a future stash in the fridge because seriously, it’s the right thing to do.

Syrah or Pinot Noir

The distinct tannins and notes of red fruits in Syrah or Pinot Noir make them an excellent partner for one candy alone: dark chocolate. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate and Milky Way Dark meet thy match. We’re getting so close to our main course but by all means, feel free to revisit this pairing again in the future.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the “plato fuerte” of our candy culinary adventure. Snickers, Peanut M&M’s, Milky Way, Crunch and Hershey’s are all a strong match for the bold flavors and dry finish on a classic Cabernet. Additionally, since most Cabernets have anywhere from 13.5-14% alcohol this is an excellent wine to drink if your child has food allergies and you survived Halloween without a single Epi-Pen incident. Celebrate!

At this point, you might be reaching for an old bottle of Port or a fantastic bottle of Sauternes a guest once brought to your house that you never opened. Spoiler alert, dessert wines are always an excellent pair with every single candy mentioned above but where’s the fun in that? Honestly, as you trudge through the endless array of sweets before you be sure to take a moment to appreciate the magic of Trick or Treating and the beautiful innocence of our kids that leaves them with a complete disregard for counting their candy before mom breaks into their stash. Happy Halloween!