Candy & Wine Pairings PLUS Spooktacular Tasting Ideas

Host your ghosts without fussing in the kitchen. Halloween Tastings are all about fun, so we’ve got some ideas that are short on prep time and long on fun. Think candy pairings, pumpkin painting and the spooky drama a little dry ice can bring! A spell-binding time will be had by all. Who says kids get to have all the fun on Halloween?

 

Tasting #1: Spooky Sweets

Fear not, ghouls and boys! Candy is dandy, yet with wine it’s divine. Let our handy candy & wine pairing chart be your guide, then map out your own candy tasting strategy and have a blast making it happen.

Halloween & Candy Pairings

 

Inspired by caramel apples, these juicy sweet and salty bites will have everybody coming back for more.

Salted Caramel Dipped Grapes
Servings: 24

PAIRS WITH: Halcyon 2016 Pinot Noir

INGREDIENTS: 

1 pound Cotton Candy® grapes (40-50 grapes) washed and dried
1 package (11 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder (set to coarse setting)

Cotton Candy grapes are extra delicious; other fresh seedless green grapes also work well.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spear each grape with a toothpick. Set aside.

2. Microwave caramels and cream in small microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after every 30 seconds.

3. Dip each grape into melted caramel, allowing excess caramel to drip off. Place grapes on wax paper-lined tray. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt grinder. Refrigerate until caramel is set.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Tasting #2: Pumpkin Painting

Each guest gets 3 mini pumpkins and simple supplies (think paint, glitter and permanent markers). Everybody sips and paints to their hearts’ content. Vote on the favorite and the winner gets to take home a pumpkin treat.

 

An easy treat for your Pumpkin Painting Tasting. Smoked paprika makes these crunchy sweet seeds extra tasty.

Sweet and Smoky Pumpkin Seeds
Servings: 10

PAIRS WITH: Gemme Cellars 2016 Gewürztraminer 

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Paprika, Smoked
1 egg white

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Spread pumpkin seeds in single layer on greased foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until pumpkin seeds are dry.

2. Mix sugar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Set aside. Beat egg white in large bowl until foamy. Add dried pumpkin seeds; toss to coat. Gradually add sugar mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Spread seeds in single layer on same baking sheet.

3. Bake 1 hour, stirring seeds after 30 minutes. Cool slightly then break apart. Cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

*Recipe and Photo Courtesy of McCormick & Company, Inc.

 

Tasting #3: Haunted Vineyard

Love it scary? Create a dark, cobweb-draped “vineyard” cellar. Candles in wine bottles, “grapevines” on the walls, goblins and bones and whatever you dare. For extra drama, serve dry ice in the wine. Read on for dry ice how-to’s.

 

Sit for a spell and sip a glass of wicked brew.

Adding Dry Ice to Wine

You can easily add dry ice to an individual glass of wine or cocktail. It’s inexpensive, fairly easy to find and also safe when you know a few important things. So for everyone’s safety, before you venture into the world of dry ice, please read up on it in this helpful article from Tablespoon.com

 

Hallo-Wine Song Sampler

No bones about it, whatever you do for Hallo-wine, you’re going to need tunes. So get ghoulish with our spookified song sampler.

For more creative ideas on decor, recipes and inspiration to celebrate Halloween, check out our “Harvest” board on Pinterest and be sure to follow us!