Thursday, October 26, 2017

4 Wines to (Deliciously) Ward Off Evil Spirits this Halloween

While the kids are after candy, we adults know what Halloween is really about: costumes, booze, and debauchery (responsibly handled, of course).

I love good label art on a bottle of wine, especially this time of year. What's more important though is whats inside that bottle, so I have a few ideas for you folks who want something Halloween-themed or fall-themed but don't want to risk getting a truly bad bottle with a great label.

Via Armida Winery.
Poizin - California has done a lot for the wine industry worldwide. If there's one thing totally unique that California has done more than anyone else though, it has to be good, hearty, delicious red Zinfandel. The grape originated in Croatia - we think - and it didn't take it's slice of the international spotlight until the winemakers of California got their hands on it.

Poizin is a hard bottle to miss on the shelf. The black and red skull and crossbones, a widely recognized symbol of danger, graces the label and appears to be written in blood! As a professional wine buyer, I tend to be cautious of labels like these except at certain times of year. But I have kept this one on the shelf as long as I could more than one season.

Armida Winery makes this fantastically affordable bottle. Armida is located in Sonoma, California, the heartland for good Zin (and luckily they weren't damaged by the recent fires. They primarily source their wines from the Dry Creek Valley, when you see that designation on a bottle of Zin, it is most likely worth checking out.

This bottle represents the entry level of Armida's wines. I have seen it range from $15-$22 a bottle depending on the year. If you find a bottle of Zin from these guys that's not Poizin, don't hesitate to give it a try.

Via The Prisoner Wine Company.
Prisoner Wine Company - Formerly a product of Orin Swift Cellars, Prisoner used to be a little hard to get your hands on years ago. Now it's a little different, but readily available and still quite tasty. The gorgeous and eerie label art makes these wines a perfect glass to pour at Halloween.

The Prisoner, the flagship wine of this line, is a product of California through and through. The bulk of the blend is usually Zinfandel lent additional structure from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Syrah. It bursts with ripe berry flavor, with just the right balance of vanilla. All this is brought together with a soft, velvety texture.

The Blindfold is one of the white wines from this line. I find this one very interesting, not something I would drink all year round, but I really enjoy it!

This bottle shows some experimentation for a bottle out of California. It takes Chardonnay, a grape with a distinct style related to California, and blends it with flavors of the Rhone, one of my favorite wine regions in France. Roussane, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier are grapes we don't see everyday coming from anywhere other than the Rhone. Prisoner uses these to create something with a little of the body of California Chardonnay, that also has some of the crispness and aromatic qualities of white wines from the Rhone. It's one of those wines that I enjoy thinking about which part of the flavors represent which grape involved in the blend. Big points for creativity!

Via Charles Smith Wines
Velvet Devil - Charles Smith is one of the more unusual players in the wine business. He came from the music industry, and the label art of his wines has a distinct black and white style that make his bottles instantly recognizable. If you are looking for something inexpensive, easy drinking, that has a Halloween-friendly label art, this is a great choice.

Merlot has a less than stellar reputation with the general public these days because when it first gained ground in the American market, it took over. You could fill a lake with all the bad Merlot that was floating around. Since it's fallen out of favor and ceased to dominate the landscape, Merlot has become a much more solid choice in many cases. This is one of them.

Bold red currant flavors with notes of blueberry and soft tannins make this wine a great easy drinking option for around $12 a bottle. It won't change your life, but it will allow you to affordably serve a solid red at a Halloween party!

Even if you're not having a party, and are just staying in to watch horror movies and eat carbs and drink wine (our plan, btw), these are some great wines to try for Halloween!

No comments:

Post a Comment