Pretty sure that most of our Wine is Life family is recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Windy, wet and cold – not a fun time for anyone. Rest assured, while others were crowding the grocery in search of bread and milk we were stocking up on stinky cheeses and boxes of wine. Can’t be fumbling with a corkscrew when the wind is howling and the lights are off.
Everyone is hopefully cleaning up and taking hot showers, but it’s time to get geared up for our next big holiday, Halloween. Or as we like to call it, Hallowine. Pumkins and candy treats are fine, but it takes some fortification to deal with roadways clogged with little robots and scary Sponge Bobs. We’ve chosen a few of our personal favorites.
First on the menu comes to us from the Door Peninsula Winery in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Their Hallowine is not from grapes, but is actually an apple wine, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Warm it up on the stove and drop in a cinnamon stick. Perfect to steel your nerves for ringing doorbells and smashed pumpkins. Now shut the door!
The next combo comes from Elk Creek Vineyards in Owenton, Kentucky. You see, folks in the rolling bluegrass drink things other than bourbon. Wine in Kentucky actually goes back to the late 1700’s when the Marquis de Lafeyette established a vineyard in what was to become Louisville. Anyway, the fine folks at Elk Creek start the apple bob with their Ghostly White Chardonnay. Hints of citrus, and yes, apple, grace this refreshing white.
Elk Creek apparently likes Hallowine, because they also make Bone Dry Red Cabernet. It comes in a ghoulish black and red bottle that features a grinning skull above the label, and is a great bring-along for a Hallowine party. Hints of berry, chocolate and spice give it a nice flavor to wash down your candy corn.
Sonoma, California is the home to Armida winery. They’ve been scaring up some decent wines for about ten years, and last year bottled a nice red featuring some Petite Sirah, Poizin. You’ll taste the oak used in the finishing and it has a nice vanilla finish. Something other than chocolate, eh?
The Pacific Northwest has long been the home of ghost stories, UFO sightings, and Bigfoot. It is also where Owen Roe set up shop. According to local legend, a pair of enterprising Irish families were disputing the rights to a local island. They decided to have a rowing contest across the stormy bay, with the first to touch land winning ownership rights. Losing the battle, an O’Neill grabbed a sword, lopped off his hand, and threw it onto shore. “Mine!” That inspired the 2011 Sinister Hand, a dark wine that will make you taste and smell pine, pepper and granite. Just don’t drop the bottle.
We’re not sure if they have the same zeal for Hallowine down under that we do here in the States, but New Zealand’s Killibinbin kills it with Scaredy Cat Cabernet Shiraz. Black and dark with the aroma of eucalyptus, it will grab you by the throat with its body. Boo!
So good luck with the little ghosts and pirates who show up on your doorstep this Hallowine. If someone rings the doorbell in a Lady Gaga meat dress give them ketchup. If you see someone reaching for your candy bowl, hit them with your bottle of Sinister Hand. Sure, Halloween is great fun for children, but turning it into Hallowine can make it an exciting family event. And if all else fails, you can go out trick or treating dressed as your own wine.