It’s my favorite time of year: Halloween. And in the spirit of the holiday (that’s a pun ~ so please, take a sip), I chose three different wines that embody this seasonal vibe. I chose them, not based on their wine merits, but the label art (bad Wine Student, bad). I thought they looked fun, and if they happen not to be too bad in my skull goblet, then it’s a happy surprise. And isn’t being taken by surprise what Halloween is all about?
So, Igor, get the corkscrew and let’s get on with the tasting! After all, these bottles won’t open themselves… or will they??
- Treat White ~ A ’12 white table wine from Chateau Diana Winery in California, I found Treat to be a pleasant enough white. As light in color as a scarecrow’s locks, it had a nose that I had to work a bit for. Once I got there, it had a light pineapple essence. It was as refreshing and tang-y; a little like a lemon drop. It had a surprising little cream-y finish that wasn’t as long-lasting as a handful of candy corn, but was still satisfying. Would I sip it in a Cleveland boneyard way after dark? Probably not. With the temps dipping to near-freezing, my old bones need a little something beefier to keep them warm.
- Zombie Zin ~ also from Chateau Diana winery, this Zombie was a skull-chewing, brain sucking little Zin ~ but that might be the acidity. The nose (which didn’t fall off) had a bright, cherry vibe and it had a clear, claret color that turned a cool purple in the setting sun. Most Zins I’ve had in the past have been very creamy, full-bodied and rich. This one at first taste seemed young, and a little thin but it settled into a finish of buttery coconut that I found I could sink my teeth into.
- Skeleton Malbec ~ from Skeleton Vineyards was deep blood-red in color. At first sniff, I detected a waft of perfume; maybe dried black roses from a long forgotten wreath? It tasted of blackberry jam and spice, with an earthy quality. Much like the Zombie Zin, the mouthfeel was lighter than expected from an Argentina Malbec. It seemed as though it needed a little more time in the catacombs. It wasn’t bad, but not quite what I was expecting at first sip.
I realize that most Halloween- themed wines are just that; fermented fun with cool labels that look funky on a decorated bar. Pair them with the right ghoul and you’ll probably have a great night.
Which wine made the cut for the skull goblet? The Zombie Zin. I couldn’t help it; zombie see, zombie drink.
Cheers, and Happy Halloween!