Screaming kids, costume meltdowns, jack-o-lanterns catching fire—yeah, you’re going to need a glass of wine and a dip into the candy bowl this Halloween. If you want to keep it simple, pour a fruity Merlot and nibble through the Hershey’s Miniatures. To help you survive the festivities, grab a glass, a bowl of candy, and study our matchmaker.
To really nerd out, check out the tasting notes:
Candy Corn + Moscato
- Moscato and candy corn are a fantasmagorica of sweetness. Think candyland on steroids. The sugar in the candy corn amps up the fruitiness in the Moscato. Both taste better as a result.
Almond Joy + Madeira
- The rich, caramelized, brown sugar nuttiness of Madeira is just waiting for coconut to come into its life. Both the Almond Joy and the wine have a certain weight and gravitas and they need each other the way Humphrey Bogart needed Lauren Bacall.
M&MS + Port
- The dark, sweet, black fig and dried fruit character of Port is a great counterpoint to the milk chocolate in M&Ms. The hard crunch of the candy shell is perfect with the soft pillow of lavishly textured Port.
Tootsie Rolls + Amarone
- In order for a chocolate and wine pairing to work, the wine needs a lot of horsepower. Amarone, with its rich tones of leathered blackberry, strawberry, and currant has the strength to stand up to one of life’s greatest pleasures, chocolate.
Whoppers + Cabernet Sauvignon
- The huge malty character of whoppers needs a wine with backbone and depth to keep from being overpowered by the malt and chocolate. I love dessert wine with Whoppers, but something more accessible is a ripe, bold Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Paso Robles.
Jolly Ranchers + Gewürztraminer
- You need a dynamic wine with enough acid and depth to stand up to the berry Ranchers and mesh with citrus ones. Grand Cru Alsatian Gewurztraminer has strong lychee tones and low acidity, so the candy the reigns without drowning out the flavor of the wine.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups + Sherry
- Reach for a bottle of Oloroso Sherry to toast the now-probably-sainted person who first married chocolate and peanut butter. Toasted nuts, caramel, raisins, and brown sugar, accented by sea salt, blend harmoniously with the rich flavor of a Reese’s.
Swedish Fish + Lambrusco
- Swedish Fish holds the title for best gummy Halloween candy—yup, I said it. They’re not too sweet, bursting with flavor, and just plain fun! Lambrusco’s berry and cherry flavors mirror those of the Swedish Fish, while underlying earth and floral notes add complexity.
Sour Patch Kids + Riesling
- If Sour Patch Kids are “first sour, then sweet,” off-dry German Riesling is just the opposite! The Riesling’s sugar hits first, countering the candy tartness, and finishes with a cleansing kick of acidity.
Pixie Stix + Sauvignon Blanc
- These fruity tubes of sugar rush-inducing powder beg to be paired with something equally peppy and fun—Sauvignon Blanc! The juicy tropical fruit and refreshing acidity match well without any sugar to get in the way.
Hershey Kisses + Zinfandel:
- The best wine contrasts creamy milk chocolate with ripe berry flavors. America’s sweetheart, Zinfandel, turns every bite into a raspberry cordial on the palate.
Sweet Tarts + Riesling
- Rieslings labeled “Spätlese” are sweet, but not dessert-level sweet, making them a great match for sour candy. Dominated by intense orange and candied lemon with touches of minerality, they make the candy taste less sour, enabling the eating of way too many packets at once!
Starburst + Moscato d’Asti
- The best Moscato d’Asti wines bring a refreshing sparkle to trick-or-treating frenzies with seductive orange aromas and candied citrus flavors. Like Starburst, Moscato d’Asti balances fruity sweetness with a tart tang.
Twizzlers + Brachetto d’Acqui
- The appeal of Twizzlers is the chewy texture and that synthetic raspberry-strawberry-cherry flavor. Piedmont’s Brachetto marries brambly, wild fruit, and perfumed red floral aromas with a pleasant sweetness and easy-going bubbles, it’s basically nature’s liquid Twizzlers.
Twix + Madeira
- Twix are top-of-list candies for me because they mix the crunchy-salty cookie with chewy-buttery caramel, and the creamy satisfaction of the milk-chocolate coating. You need an equally complex wine, and Malmsey Madeira has everything: salty, sweet, nutty, caramel-y, with hints of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and exotic baking spices.