Dear Wineaux: I’ll use any holiday as an excuse to crack open a bottle or two, and Halloween – or Hallo-wine – is no exception! Today, I present three options for scary sipping tonight.
- Candy Corn and OPP Pinot Gris 2015. Our September Ladies Wine Night focused on Oregon wine and Denise already had a bowl of candy corn on the table, so naturally, I decided to taste each wine with it. And this Oregon Pinot Gris from Maison Noir was a great match. Imagine ripe cantaloupe, fresh n’ fruity peach notes and a really fresh and lively acidity. It cut right through the sugar and this was the night candy corn and pinot gris made friends! OPP stands for Other Peoples’ Pinot and I like that. At $18.99 it’s a great value.
- French Malbec – The “Black Wine” of Cahors For one thing, the nickname of this wine just sounds scary, right?. Sure, Argentina has gone bananas with Malbec, but it originated in Southwest France and if you find a wine from Cahors, it’s gonna be Malbec-based and probably ghoulishly good. It’ll be slightly lighter-bodied than Argentine Malbec, with softer – but still impressive – tannins, juicy black fruit. You might want to pair it with dark meat poultry, like roasted chicken thighs, duck breast or a roasted port tenderloin with an herby marinade and a side of sautéed mushrooms.
- Dracula’s Favorite: Hungarian Bull’s Blood Eek- sounds gory – but it’s actually glorious. Bull’s Blood is a delicious, full-bodied dry red wine from Hungary, and guess who’s from Hungary? That’s right – Vlad the Impaler, aka DRACULA! While as much as 70 percent of Hungary’s wine production is white (like Furmint), their big red wine is called Bikavér – of Bull’s Blood. It’s made from the Kadarka grape, and usually blended with many other red grapes like Kekfrankos (aka Blaufränkisch, which is like Pinot Noir), Kékoportó, Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Blauburger or Zweigelt. Maybe you whip up a nice Hungarian goulash – which is really a paprika-based soup starring potatoes and chunks of beef – and toast Dracula.
Happy Hallo-wine and scary sipping to you tonight!
Pinot Gris and candy corn? Sounds scary indeed! And I do love me some Bull’s Blood. I wish it were easier to find high-quality examples in the U.S.! Have you found a memorable one in Chicago?
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