Have Leftover Halloween Candy? Pair It With Some Wine!

Wine and chocolate
Courtesy of Winc

Trick-or-treating may be over, but the candy probably isn’t. 

If you’re wondering what to do with your shelf full of Tootsie Rolls and candy corn, Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc, a wine home delivery company, knows exactly what to do: Pair your candy with some wine. 

“Why wouldn’t you want to combine wine and candy?” says Matthias. “These pairings put a fun, adult spin on the holiday. Pairing the two can be considered tricky, but the flavors in candy are much different than the flavors you find in your typical food pairing, so they can complement various wines in unique ways.” 

But doesn’t the sweetness of candy overpower wine?

Nerds candy and wine
Pair your Halloween candy with some wine. / Courtesy of Winc

“Sweets definitely can overpower wines, and sugar in the candy can cause the wines to taste bitter,” she says. “You want to pair candies with wines that are more fruit-forward and don’t have as many tannins. I would typically pair gummies or hard candies with white wine and chocolate candies with red wines. Taste the wines without any candy at first, and then take a bite of candy and wash it down with a sip of wine. A good pairing should show off different nuances in the wine – a poor pairing will make the wine taste a bit flat and bitter.”

Matthias says this should all be done in fun and with some experimentation. 

“I would recommend matching the flavors found in the candy to those in the wine,” she says. “For example, I would pair a lemon drop with a Sauvignon Blanc since both have citrus flavors. Sugar candies like peach rings are delicious with whites that are full of stone fruit flavors, such as Viognier, Pinot Grigio or Albariño. For chocolate candies, I would tend to go with a red wine because the flavors are more complementary. Milk chocolate candy goes great with lighter reds like Pinot Noir, and dark chocolate with darker reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.”

Brooke Matthias’ Wine-Candy Pairing Recommendations: 

The candy: Candy corn 

The wine: 2018 Debts and Lessons Riesling

Candy corn is well known as the ultimate Halloween treat. To match its honey-sweet flavors, grab a bottle of Debts and Lessons, which beautifully balances acidity and sweetness.

The candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 

The wine: 2017 Lost Poet Red Blend

Opt for a velvety red that’s bold enough to be matched with everyone’s favorite indulgence – chocolate and peanut butter.

The candy: Sour Patch Kids 

The wine: 2018 Summer Water Bubbly

Crisp and lean, this wine’s light body and minerality go hand-in-hand with the candy’s sweet and sour flavors.

 The candy: Tootsie Rolls

The wine: 2018 Keep It Chill

This chewy Halloween favorite pairs well with this refreshing and unique red, made specifically to be enjoyed chilled.

The candy: Nerds 

The wine: 2017 Finke’s Sparkling

The various flavors in Nerds will taste even better when enjoyed alongside some bubbles.

The candy: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar 

The wine: 2018 Folly of the Beast 

This Pinot Noirs’ savory spice notes are a welcome accompaniment to the creamy milk chocolate without overpowering it.

The candy: York Peppermint Pattie

The wine: 2018 Chop Shop Cabernet

Dark chocolate and a glass of full-bodied cabernet are an unbeatable combo.