Nick Carr on October 28, 2015 1 Comment Halloween is just around that dark corner at the edge of town. Have you prepared? I’m sure the boxes of Halloween decorations have been brought up from the basement or down from the attic, you probably have your eyes on two or three perfect pumpkins for the kids (or the grownups), and the costumes are quickly coming together. Maybe you’ve already got a store of treats laid aside for the witches, goblins, zombies, and ghouls that will no doubt call at your door come All Hallows Eve. But have you thought of a treat for yourself or for that party of sophisticated guests you plan to share October’s last evening with? The wines listed below all have some sort of Halloween theme–from the label art, to the name, to some ingredient used–and all are perfect treats for a Halloween bash. Some may even lend themselves to a trick or two, so choose with care. And Happy Halloween! 1. Old Ghost from Klinker Brick Winery (Lodi, CA) Winery Description: “The Old Ghost represents the very best lots of old vine zinfandel that we produce annually. For the past eight vintages, this wine has come from 90 plus-year-old vineyard blocks that produce minuscule yields that are less than one ton per acre.” Klinker Brick Winery Powerful on the palate and ready to chase away all your old ghosts, this big zin brings sweetness that is not over the top with nice dark fruit flavors. The finish is long, round, and haunting. Type: Zinfandel ABV: ≈16% Average Price: $35 2. Pumpkin Bog from Prairie Berry Winery (Hill City, SD) Winery Description: “[The Pumpkin Bog is] a semi-sweet blend of mellow South Dakota pumpkins and tart cranberries. Sandi tried many different blends with the pumpkin wine the first time she made it, searching for the perfect balance. Finally one day it hit her, ‘Of course! Cranberry!’ And the rest, is history.” Prairie Berry Winery This one’s to share with your Jack-O-Lantern sitting out on the front stoop. A clear watermelon pink, this wine brings light semi-sweet flavors of cranberry built on a pumpkiny rich body. Type: Fruit/Vegetable Wine ABV: ≈10% Average Price: $18 3. Poizin from Armida Winery (Capitola, CA) Winery Description: “A lush, delicious and ‘serious’ wine but in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak. Enjoy this POIZIN with caution; it is The Wine to Die for!” Armida Wines Imagine making this the center piece to that Halloween party. Put it in a nice wine decanter and when your guests ask what it is you can nonchalantly say “Poison,” and really you won’t be lying. Type: Zinfandel (85% Zinfandel, 15% Syrah) ABV: ≈14.5% Average Price: $21 Average Rating across Vintages (winesearcher): 87 4. Ghost from Miles Wine Cellars (Himrod, NY) Winery Description: “[This is a] light, semi-dry white wine that’s a blend of 50% Chardonnay 50% Cayuga. Serve [this wine] with a cheese and cracker tray or a perfect picnic lunch on the lawn.” Miles Wine Cellars Sitting like a ghost in the glass, this semi-dry wine brings flavors of apple and citrus with possible honey qualities in the lingering finish. If the flavor isn’t enough to tingle your spine, maybe knowing it came from a haunted vineyard will. You can read the story here. Type: White Blend (50% Chardonnay, 50% Cayuga) ABV: ≈12% Average Price: $15 5. Witches Brew from Leelanau Cellars (Omena, MI) Winery Description: “It is our secret wine blend enhanced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices that makes this a crowd pleaser and favorite of Leelanau Cellars’ fans. Perfect for entertaining, this wine will explode with intense flavor when served warm but can also be served chilled as an ingredient in sangria. Witches Brew is perfect for campfires, tailgating, or any gathering (large or small) on a chilly evening.” Leelanau Cellars Ah, the witches will be looking for the one who stole this most warming brew. Serve it heated for a warming balm to the nights chill. But, be warned: it might be best to finish the bottle before the turning of the witching hour…otherwise who knows what kind of guest might come knocking at the door. Type: Red Blend with Spices ABV: ≈12.5% Average Price: $6 6. Spritz and Giggles from Chronic Cellars (Paso Robles, CA) Winery Description: “‘Spritz’ is a blend consisting mainly of Pinot and Chardonnay from a handful of vineyards on the north coast of California. [It features] aromas of pears, cut apples, hints of fresh baked bread, light spices and floral notes. On the palate, different citrus flavors along with apples and pears.” Chronic Cellars Spritz and Giggles is like Trick or Treat for adults. Though more treat and less trick, unless the bubbles catch you by surprise. Bring a lighter side to Halloween with this unique wine. Type: Champagne Blend ABV: ≈11% Average Price: $17 7. Zombie Zin from Chateau Diana (Healdsburg, CA) Winery Description: “The Zombie Zin is sporting a new label design with a torn look that suggests a window into another world. The colors are more vibrant earth-tones and the capsule is a deep red. The grapes for the Zombie are sourced throughout California, mostly from the dry, hot sandy soils of the Delta region and the Central Valley. The final blend benefitted from some inky Syrah grapes that came from the Central Coast. The wine was fermented in Stainless Steel and aged for about a half a year in American oak. The Zombie Zinfandel is very dark in color, almost a black-purple. The aromas are of ripe, dense black fruits and a hint of dried herbs. The flavors are complex and rich, sporting succulent blackberries, powdered cinnamon, cola and cherry jam. Just a hint of black pepper in the long finish.” Chateau Diana Toast the undead as the night grows dark and they rise from their graves and stream excitedly from their houses. Whether you are out hunting candied-sweets or mushy brains, you can sit comfortably and watch the chaos as you sip from this zombie juice of complex pooled blackness. Type: Zinfandel ABV: ≈14% Average Price: $11 8. Broomstick Brew from Tomasello Winery (Hammonton, NJ) Winery Description: “Tomasello Broomstick Brew is a delightful blend of red wine and mulling spices. Served warm from your cauldron, this wicked concoction is perfect in front of a roaring fire with baked brie, toasted almonds and sugared apples. Delicious on Goblin nights when a howling wind chills your soul. Broomstick Brew warms your heart and embraces this special time of year.” Tomasello Winery Be the Good Witch of your Halloween party. As the night cools and your minions start searching warmth, pull forth your cauldron and cook up this little brew. It will warm their souls and bring smiles to their faces. Type: Blend of red wine and mulling spices ABV: ≈12% Average Price: $8 9. Headless Red from Ash Hollow (Walla Walla, WA) Winery Description: “Headless Red is a sinfully delicious blend of 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, & 3% Malbec–hand harvested before dusk from Ash Hollow’s Estate Vineyard. The wine carries aromatics of dark raspberry and Bing cherries with whispering hints of earth, heady spices, with a subtle oak finish. Headless Red has a mid-palate that is as luxurious, as it is accessible.” Ash Hollow Deep as the Horseman’s grave, this dark fruity concoction gives rise to galloping dark fruit and whispers of oak and earth. It’s easy to lose your head over something this good. Type: Red Blend (58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, 3% Malbec) ABV: ≈14% Average Price: $15 10. Pinot Evil from Big House Wines (Soledad, CA) Winery Description: “The Three Wise Monkeys are the mischievous deviants of the Big House. But don’t let them fool you with their playful demeanor…they rule the prison’s vineyards. Long believed by many winemakers to be the most difficult to grape and craft into a wine, Pinot Noir often seems possessed if not downright evil. The Three Wise Monkeys prefer to view Pinot Noir as their guilty pleasure. And with that philosophy in mind, Pinot Evil dances with a lovely ripe cherry nose that cascades into a smooth, velvet finish.” Big House Wines A companion for a lone night of screened scares or a shared decadence with an old friend on a cool October night, this wickedly delicious wine will put you in an evilly seasonable mood. With this wine you’ve already had your treat, time for some tricks. Type: Pinot Noir ABV: ≈13% Average Price: $15 Bonus: Zombie Killer from B. Nektar Meadery (Ferndale, MI) Meadery Description: “Dedicated to the freaks and the geeks! What started as a top-secret experiment with Michigan honey, cherries and apple cider became a viral epidemic. It won’t be easy to survive, so grab your weapons and don’t forget this bottle for backup!” B. Nektar Meadery For those looking for something a little different but still Halloween themed, this hard cider will give courage to any zombie hunter. It brings tart cherries, crisp cider, and smooth sweet honey together like the best Apocalyptic A-Team. Watch out you undead hordes, the Zombie Killer is coming. B. Nektar also has three meads (honey wines) very much made for the Halloween season. Black Fang is mead made with blackberries, clove, and orange zest; Devil’s Juice is made with pineapple and several kinds of hot pepper; and Necromangocon is made with mango and black pepper. Just in case you’re facing something other than zombies. Style: Hard Cider ABV: 5.5% Average Price: $12 So collect your party favors, choose your wine, and set your tricks. Whether you are planning the perfect party or are in need of the perfect gift, a wine from this list is sure to be a frightful delight. Happy haunting!