Halloween traditions include carved pumpkins, spooky ghosts and tasty wines. Wines? you say. If your Halloween is lacking a wine tradition, read on. While other holidays naturally center around wine paired with a turkey dinner or wine with a meal of stuffed goose, Halloween's focus on trick-or-treating and scary costumes often means there's little time to eat anything except candy and snacks. Thankfully there are wines to pair with Halloween's unique foods.
If Halloween finds you at home handing out candy to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters, go ahead and indulge in some of that chocolate yourself. Just be sure to pair that Kit-Kat or Three Musketeers Bar with an appropriate vino, like a Zinfandel.
One option is the Peachy Canyon Westside 2010 Zinfandel ($16). If you have deeper pockets, Steve Greer of K&L Wines suggests the T-Vine 2010, an elegant Zin from a boutique Napa winery that makes just 675 cases a year ($35).
Perhaps your Halloween plans include attending a costume party. Then don't forget to bring a bottle of wine to share with the hosts. Halloween party snacks lean toward salty roasted pumpkin seeds and nuts, as well as spicy chips and salsa.
Complement these salty, spicy flavors with an appropriate wine pairing. In the mood for a red wine? Bring a D'Aquino Riserva Chianti ($5), light but fruity, which won't overpower the snacks you're munching on.
If a white wine is more your style, try a Gewürztraminer to match the spicy flavors. Katie Vonderheide of Silver Lake Wines suggests the Brooks Gewürztraminer 2012 from Oregon ($15).
Maybe you'll be spending the holiday outdoors at West Hollywood's massive Halloween Party, which diverts car traffic from Santa Monica Blvd. so costumed revelers can parade up and down the boulevard under the night sky.
Or maybe you'll be outside escorting your costumed kids from house-to-house for their tricks and treats. Whatever you do, don't forget a treat for yourself in the form of a flask filled with Grappa. Grappa is an Italian grape brandy that, at 70-100 proof, will warm you from the inside out on the chilliest of October nights. Lorenzo Inga's Grappa di Barolo ($25) follows a unique double distillation recipe that Inga's family has been using since 1832.
No matter what you do for Halloween, add a new tradition this year by serving wine. And have yourself a very Happy Hallow-wine holiday!