I consider myself a pretty good marketer, and no matter how many different ways I have approached it over the years, I just cannot find a way to get folks interested in wine as a beverage for Halloween. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped trying. This year I put The Ghost of 413 Red on my ad hoping to spark a bit of interest…I have my doubts. Halloween seems to be a Fireball and beer sort of event and it is hard if not impossible to get folks on the wine train for this night of costumes and Trick-Or-Treaters.
That being said, Halloween falls on a Friday this year, which should make it a party night for a lot of people including myself. However, I do have a couple of ideas for all you folks that are stuck at home in a busy neighborhood of little children all dressed up looking to get their hands on a handful of candy to fill up their cute little bucket. What should you uncork and enjoy while involved in this yearly ritual?
Let the guys get hammered on their Fireball while you (the women and some men of course) enjoy a nice bottle of buttery Chardonnay. Seriously, there can be nothing quite as enjoyable as drinking a delicious Chard while you pass the time away handing out candy to the eager youth that come knocking. There are a lot of good ones out there that don’t cost a lot of money and are very enjoyable. Here a couple of suggestions….
Hayes Ranch Chardonnay (California) … $8.
I don’t know if you’ve tried this one yet, but for the price it is one of the better chards I have tried with a nice tropical fruit and buttery edge that makes it go down all to easy (be careful with this one).
Lockwood Chardonnay (California)… $10.
This winery is very consistent at putting out a nice creamy, buttery style chard at a good price. This shouldn’t be hard to find since it has wide distribution.
Now from Washington…
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, WA)… $11.
This is like a household name chard from Washington, and I believe over-delivers for the price. If you like them bold, smooth and buttery, look no further.
Waterbrook Winery Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, WA)… $14.
I tried this one recently and was very impressed. It’s a little more money than the others, but delivers what you want if you are looking for a chard with some oak and creaminess.
Some of you may be thinking that a white is not going to cut it. What about a red? My first thought is a Zinfandel or Zinfandel based blend. Let’s face it, Zinfandel is big and juicy and delicious. Who wants to think about what they’re drinking while they’re handing out candy and enjoying the company of friends. Zinfandel in the budget range is perfect for the occasion…Here are a few suggestions.
Montoya Zinfandel Old Vines (Lodi, CA)… $12.
Here is a zin for the ages at this price. Juicy dark and red fruits with a nice peppery edge. I love zin, and this is one that I go to often.
Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel (California)… $9.
You can’t talk zin without talking Ravenswood. This went through a bit of a funk a few years ago, but they have come around again, producing a consistently good product at a great price. Not as dynamic as the Montoya, a little lighter on the palate, but still has all the elements of a good zin.
Peirano Estate Vineyards “Immortal” Old Vines Zinfandel (Lodi, CA)… $11.
Another zin that delivers for next to nothing. This one doesn’t have as much spice, but leans towards the chocolate raspberry side of the varietal. Nice juice for the money.
I’m sure you can think of many other examples to try, but the idea is to go simple and good while you talk with friends and hand out the goods. Another reason you should consider wine instead of whiskey and beer is the next morning… You will feel a lot better!
Have a great Halloween no matter what you decide to do. And, please give me some feedback on any wines that you have found appropriate to the occasion.
Stan The Wine Man