BOO-ze! Have a Scary Good Halloween with these Wine Picks

Once again, it’s time to peruse and sample the scary good wine options out there to celebrate all things Halloween. This year shows a few of the usual amazingly delicious suspects as well as some new choices for those to like to keep their trick-or-drinking light and portable.

Dark and Devilishly Good Reds

 

2017 All Hallow’s Eve Cabernet Franc – $60

As always, the ever impressive Nat Komes has created a unique Halloween label for the historic Ghost Winery. A menacing rat however should do little to dissuade you from tasting this smooth mouth-filling Cabernet Franc, from a small block on the Rutherford side of the Komes Ranch. Ripe fruit flavors of blackberry and warm notes of toasted marshmallow make this a spectacular choice for a crisp Halloween night.

2017 Ghost Winery Malbec $60

As one of the few remaining ghost wineries in Napa Valley, once again their Malbec is bottled in small amounts to pay homage to it’s historical roots. Aged in the Ghost Winery cellar for 21 months, the wine offer the dark flavors of plum and black cherry, while hinting at coffee beans, dark chocolate and a hint of black licorice. A dark and enticing wine to sip on a spooky All Hallow’s Eve, when phantoms and spirits roam the night.

 

 

2015 Mount Peak Winery, Rattlesnake Zinfandel $46 

Named for the serpents that coil ’round the vines for warmth at night, Rattlesnake Zinfandel is a rich and inky Zin that entices with a dark and alluring juiciness. Layers of dark fruit, combined with cocoa, black pepper and licorice make this a dark force to enjoy.

 

2017 Tessier Gamay Noir, Barsotti Vineyard $36

Aged in neutral French Oak, this exceptional Gamay Noir is costumed like a naughty librarian, alluring yet cheeky with bright tart rhubarb and spicy white pepper. This wine is crushed by foot (specifically lady feet) and is enjoyed fresh like a Beaujolais. Enjoy with your favorite naughty costume for Halloween.

 

 

Tarantas Tempranillo $11

Considered the “people’s grape” Tempranillo is a perfect addition to your Halloween festivities. Bright with the flavors of cranberries and finishing with crisp dry citrus and tannins, it pairs delightfully with a variety of foods, at a frighteningly affordable price point.

Apothic Brew $14 

A surprising cult favorite, Apothic Brew is a red blend that has been infused with cold brew coffee. A full bodied red swirls with intrigue while the coffee infusion lends mocha and chocolate to this devilish hot chocolate-like creation.

 

Trick or Drinking

When portability or single servings are the name of your Halloween game, these cans provide a delicious outlet perfect for transporting to your favorite neighborhood haunted house… No wine opener necessary.

 

 

Obsession Wines – Symphony White Wine $6.99

Like magic, this peachy, fruity white blend opens with a hint of effervescence and transforms even the darkest, spookiest Halloween jaunt through the headstones. Travels well as you traverse the neighborhood in search of devilish tricks and sweet treats.

Cascadian Outfitters – Chardonnay $30 for 6

A fresh, light chardonnay is the best thing to bring with you on a dark and stormy night. With the portability of a can, this wine brightens even the darkest Halloween nights.

 

 

Wine by Joe – Joe to Go – Pinot Noir $7 

When wine is this good, you need to be able to bring it everywhere! 350 mls of juicy acidity and bright red fruit will make this your favorite treat of the night. Pairs well with spooky adventure!

Alloy Wine Works – Everyday Red $30 for 4

This easy drinking red blend will be the life of your Halloween party. Versatile and no glass required. Enjoy as you watch the witches, dinosaurs and Fortnite characters infiltrate your neighborhood.

 

Dark Horse Rosé $4

Last but certainly not least, the dark horse of the night is actually a beautifully done rosé… by Dark Horse. This Provence-style rosé feels like sunshine in a can, with a dry, fruit-forward wine that is anything but dark.

JAM Cellars, California Candy $16 for 4

If Halloween candy isn’t your thing, maybe JAM’s California Candy is more to your liking. This delicious dry rosé of Grenache and Syrah proves that while a bowl full of fun size candy bars might be good, a can of Candy is much, much better.

The_daily_meal

The Dish on Winter Wines with The Daily Meal

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I recently filmed a segment on Winter Wines with my friend, chef Diane Hendriks, who hosts regular segments dubbed “Dish with Diane” on The Daily Meal.  We were, of course, discussing wine and food for cold weather. These sips are ideal whether you like sparkling or sweet, white or red, affordable or extravagant.
Enjoy and let me know your vinous picks for keeping warm in winter’s chill.

Leslie Daily Meal 2

 

Under $20

Franciscan Chardonnay Napa Valley 2012
Franciscan Estate, Napa Valley 2012 Chardonnay 
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Force of Nature 2013, Red Wine

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Dreaming Tree 2009 Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon

59-CHATEAU PEY LA TOUR

Chateau Pey La Tour, 2011 Bordeaux Superieur

 

$20-40

patz_and_hall_2013_chardonnay

Patz & Hall, 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Ritual_2013_pinot_noir

Ritual, Casablanca Valley, 2013 Pinot Noir

Warres_Otima_10

Warre’s Otima 10, Tawny Port

Bubbles

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Luna Nuda Italia, Prosecco

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Segura Viudas, Estate Bottled Brut Cava

champ_moet_chandon_brut-imperial

Moet & Chandon, Imperial Brut Reserve Champagne

 

Click here to watch the whole segment on The Daily Meal.

The Daily Meal

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What is Leslie Drinking? | Shiraz, Vermentino, Pinot Noir

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2011 Jim Barry “The Lodge Hill” Shiraz, Clare Valley, Australia ($18)
If you think Aussie Shiraz is only big and bold, you haven’t sipped this wine. These Shiraz grapes adore growing in the cooler climate of a place called Clare Valley. The Clare — as locals know it — isn’t really a valley rather a series of hills and vales in South Australia. The soil, site and sun, along with the dipping evening temperatures combine to create wines of elegance. This beauty is sleek, spicy, and complex. The charming Barry family is firmly the helm of the company and known throughout the world for their stylish wines.

2012 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Vermentino, Toscana, Italy ($15)
Looking for an alternative white to welcome summer? Look no further than Vermentino. An Italian white variety, it makes wines that are exotic, full bodied and loaded with succulent fruit flavors. This bottling – from one of Italy’s top producers – comes from the heart of the Maremma region in Tuscany. Grapes grown at the scenic estate of Ammiraglia, enjoy sun and sea breezes bringing ripeness and vibrancy to the luscious white. It’s a winner with any type of fish, salads and simple roast or grilled chicken.

2012 Reata “Three County” Pinot Noir, California ($35)
Reata comes from the Spanish word for lariat and symbolizes the uniqueness of each handcrafted wine in their portfolio. This Pinot Noir is a powerful blend of grapes from three California counties, Sonoma, Monterey and San Benito. The aromas are reminiscent of dark berry fruit with a hint of vanilla and spice. Tannins are well balanced and smooth giving the wine an overall silky texture. It’s class in a glass.

 

What are YOU drinking as we leave summer behind and head into fall?

 

Check out my favorite pinks to drink, with my picks for affordable Rosé.