Trick or drink!

Halloween is upon us, and while most of us won’t likely find ourselves going door-to-door begging for sweets, we may very well be eating some of our own.

Halloween is upon us, and while most of us won’t likely find ourselves going door-to-door begging for sweets, we may very well be eating some of our own. What better way to combine both the past and adulthood than by pairing wines and beer with candy? In order to keep this experiment college-friendly, each of our wines used have been purchased from our frugal friends at Trader Joe’s. The beers are readily available and often on sale at your finest alcoholic distributors (or, you know, the grocery store).

So empty your candy bowl, pull out the cork of your favorite wine and celebrate Halloween. Here are the beverages and candies used in this experiment, but feel free to try your own flavors:


  • Charles Shaw Chardonnay
  • Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Le Grotte Reggiano Lambrusco
  • Widmer Brother’s Hefeweizen
  • Black Butte Porter

Candy Tasted:

  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • 100 Grand
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Tootsie Roll Pop
  • Candy Corn

The Pairings:

Chardonnay: The lemon flavors of both the Skittles and the Starburst paired well with the notes of melon in this award-winning Chardonnay. One surprise match for this beverage was the 100 Grand candy bar, whose rice and caramel tones became prominent when eaten alongside the wine. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was not an ideal match for this, since the peanut butter became overwhelming when eaten after wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Although it was expected, the chocolates chosen in this experiment did not pair ideally with this red wine choice. Better choices to eat with this wine are the orange and berry flavors of the Starburst. Their juicy mouth-feel fit well with the flavors of this wine, particularly the berry notes and slight tannins.

Lambrusco: The bubbles of this red sparkling wine seemed to play well with the most the candy choices. The notes of chocolate paired well with the strawberry layers in this wine, causing the 100 Grand and the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to be excellent choices. This was the only match found that seemed to harmonize with the Tootsie Pop, whose fruit and chocolate were hard to work with. In addition, the Starbursts and Skittles’ fruit flavors married well with the lightness of the bubbles, allowing this fun drink to be a winner with all.

Hefewizen: The two choices that work best with this light, wheaty beer are caramel and vanilla-toned candies. The rice crackles in the 100 Grand Bars were reminiscent of the wheat tastes in this drink, which really caused an excellent match. The sweet vanilla tones of Candy Corn also complimented the lightness of this beer.

Black Butte Porter: Since many connect stouts and porters with chocolate, it was no surprise that the chocolate candies

(100 Grand and Chocolate Tootsie Pop) were genius matches for the richness of this beer. But the absolute best pairing with this porter is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The saltiness of this candy was constantly requesting a refreshing drink, and the Porter provides a nice complexity that is delicious and unexpected. ?