Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing
Yeah, I know, but the internet is still being filled with this silly topic - even in 2020! I was guilty of this when I was writing a wine blog several years ago. Perhaps this resurge of Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing articles have to do with the fact that we're in the quarantine. I guess we need to find entertainment where we can.
I am not going to follow the usual pattern of listing the wines and then follow up with the chosen candy. I am only going to list two candies - two candies that have been popular for close to 100-some Halloween years.
Mary Jane - is an old-fashioned peanut butter and molasses-flavored taffy. It was first produced in 1914 by the Charles N. Miller Company and later by Stark Candy Company. Miller originally made the taffy in his kitchen in what was once the home of America's patriot, Paul Revere. It's there where Miller named the candy after his favorite aunt, Mary Jane.
This taffy is often wrapped in its traditional wax beige wrapper with the drawing of a little girl, except during the Halloween season when it is wrapped in its classic orange and black wax paper. Don't let the black wax wrapping fool you that it's licorice. It's not licorice. It's still the same traditional peanut butter taffy. If you love peanut butter and caramel apples, then you will like Mary Janes.
Candy Corn - "Chicken Feed" was the original name of this candy when the production started in 1888. It was first invented by a Wunderle Candy Company employee, George Renninger. Following the Wunderle Candy Company, the Goelitz Confectionery Company (now called Jelly Belly) began manufacturing the product in 1898.
While Jelly Belly still makes candy corn, the largest manufacturer of candy corn is Brach's Confections owned by the Ferrara Candy Company. Brach’s makes approximately 7 billion pieces of candy corn per year and possesses 85 percent of the total share of the candy corn industry during the Halloween season. So you can make awful faces about candy corn, but according to these numbers - someone is buying it.
How about we cut to the chase? Instead of recommending individual wine for each one of these traditional fall sweets, let's just go bubbly. From Italian Prosecco to Spanish Cava, to domestic sparkling, and to Champagne. Bubbly is the perfect beverage to pair with these sweet Halloween treats, especially Extra Brut or Brut Nature as the dry effervescent bubbles cut the sweetness of the candy, cleanses the palate, and the acid brings balance to the palate. Bubbly also keeps the palate happy when you switch to salty snacks such as buttery popcorn.
Have a wonderful and safe Halloween. This is the time to "wear your face mask" - especially your Halloween mask.