A Mama’s Guide to Halloween Candy & Wine Pairing

by Mama Loves A Drink

It’s the time of year where we start to see our mamas (not so) jokingly ask us what sort of wine they should match best with candy – you know, helping the kids out before the dental bills.

Well you’ve asked and we’ve researched and delivered – we bring you the best possible candy and wine combinations to try this Halloween (strictly over 21’s, of course!)

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A tall champagen glass filled with gummy worms - pairing wine with candy

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What Are The Basics of Pairing Wine With Sweet Foods?

Each wine has its own level of sweetness and tannins, so there truly is the perfect pairing for each kind of candy.  

Generally speaking, whites go better with candy whilst most chocolates will pair better with a fruit-forward red. Salty and fatty candy, such as anything with peanuts, works well with tannins, and don’t forget some fizz will work well too.

The old adage that the wine must be sweeter than the desert is not strictly true when it comes to candy matching. We’re deliberately skipping the overly sweet fortified wines – yes, there really can be too much of a good thing!

Some Favorite Halloween Candy & Wine Pairings

Skittles and Sauv Blanc

Skittles can be exceptionally sweet with some distinct fruity flavors. Look for a dry white wine that will cut through all of the sweetness. Sauvignon Blanc is perfect because it will tone down the rainbow of fruit flavor and complement the fruitiness. Another option is an effervescent sparkling rosé.

Starburst and Muscat/Moscato

Starburst are a soft, chewy fruit candy with a tart finish.  Look for something sweet to compliment, such as a Muscat or Moscato. The Muscat will help bring forward the sweet orange flavors and enhance the citrus, whilst the candy balances out the sweetness of the wine.

Gummy Worms and Riesling

Soft, sweet, and sugar-coated gummy worms are a Halloween party favorite you’re bound to find scattered around at any party. We believe the often nondescript sweet flavors – vaguely meant to be fruity – can work well with the sweetness of a Riesling. The Riesling will help the sweet flavors dance to your taste buds and swill down the sugary finish.

Candy Corn & Chardonnay

Love ’em or hate ’em? Either way, they’re decidedly more palatable when you can quickly wash these waxy, chalky things down. Candy corn is a hard, sweet, buttery-tasting candy, so the perfect pairing is, of course, a buttery Chardonnay. The Chardonnay will help mellow out the sharp, sweet sugariness (if you can, then stomach the Chardonnay). This is a needs-must scenario…

A bowl of candy corn - halloween sweet matching

Pop Rocks & Prosecco

I bet you never thought you’d put a Pop Rock in your mouth again after about the age of 12. If you really want to add some fizz to the Halloween madness, though, try adding some Pop Rocks with a swig of your favorite drop of Prosecco (or any sparkling wine) for the full foamy fruity burst you could only imagine!  Or, on second thoughts… 

Hershey’s Kisses & Zinfandel

Do you love the taste of chocolate-covered berries? I can tell you this is one I would go out of my way to raid the kids’ stash for! The sweet milk chocolate of the cute, individually wrapped Hershey’s Kisses is crying out to be paired with a fruity, jammy red.

A Zinfandel will make every sinful extra foil wrapper feel slightly more guilt-worthy but oh so worth it! It could also work with other jammy reds such as a Grenache or Cab Franc.

a bowl of Hershey's Kisses to be matched with wine

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Merlot

Reese’s can be that perfect blend of salty peanuty butter and sweet milk chocolate, so some would even argue that they do not need a pairing companion?

To cut through the fattiness of the peanut butter, we would highly recommend you reach for the Merlot. The Merlot compliments rather than competes with this already complex flavor combination with its slight tannic finish, making this one candy match made in heaven.

Snickers and Cab Sav

Snickers is another candy with a lot already happening: peanuts, caramel, nougat, and chocolate all in one mouthful!

A bold candy like this needs something equally bold in flavor to match – we bring you the king of chocolate matching, the Cab Sav!  Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of darker fruits, which contrast with the saltiness whilst complimenting the sweet chocolate. 

Dark Chocolate and Malbec

Saving the best for last? If your poor kid gets thrown a KitKat Dark or a delicious Dove Dark Chocolate Pumpkin (hey, you can dream) – here’s your chance to pounce mamas and help them out. Pour yourself a delicious glass of deep purple Malbec to perfectly compliment the bitterness and smooth out the tannins.

A Shiraz will equally help your palate work its way through the last few mouthfuls of the darkest choccies – or frankly, anything you need to remove evidence of the next day.

A glass of dark red wine with dark chocolate

Now, we never promised any of this was actually good for you! Perhaps pop over to our tantalizing teas or rejuvenating juices next if you’re looking to work off the excesses of Halloween in November!

Have you got any more great candy pairing suggestions, mamas? Let’s hear them in the comments.

Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!

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