Halloween is a sacred season at our house. My kids start planning their costumes in June, begin begging for house decorations in August, and start their official countdown to All Hallows Eve in September. I love trick-or-treating with them … a night of warm memories of getting costumes ready, meeting up with friends, and pleading for wine from my neighbors. Ever notice that every parent who trick-or-treats with their costumed kids has a cup in hand?? Be it a Starbucks one (newbie attempt at cover up), red Solo cup (neon sign there’s alcohol inside), or silly goblet from Party City (nice effort to be festive), these cups of cheer get us through the night.
Once we’ve had our well-earned wine, we can withstand the rollercoaster of kids’ sugar highs and lows that vacillate from fever-pitch excitement to puddle of tears, and we can cheerfully holler “Happy Halloween!” to the hoards snagging fists of candy from bowls that empty in minutes.
While my kids plot their night for months, I do some planning, too—mostly what wines (note the plural) I’ll be pouring to ensure my kiddie well wishes are pleasantly in tune. The first thing I’ll do is pop my new favorite Champagne: Palmer & Co Brut Reserve NV from Reims, France (about $50). This full and round bubbly is produced with grapes from mainly Grand and Premier Crus with an extensive time on the lees (four years). It pairs as well as anything with my kids’ half-eaten bowls of Franken Berry, Boo-Berry, and Count Chocula cereals that get them through the monster-y night, along with their string cheese for protein.
As they rush to get into costume, I’ll move from bubbles to white wine. I will not be tricked this year by the early bird that rings the doorbell before 5 p.m. I will be ready with my glass of Soter Vineyards North Valley 2014 Chardonnay (about $25). I love the touch of French oak that gives this Oregon chard depth. Odds are good I’ll be pairing it with the leftover string cheese.
Once the kids are in costume, they’ll plead to leave the house. I’ll make them wait until nightfall, and I’ll endure this transition from dusk to dark with red wine. It pairs best with the requisite Reese’s cup or Heath Bar that I “charge” them per house. This year, I’ll fill my Franken-goblet with one of my favorites from Andrew Murray, the Tous Les Jours 2014 Syrah (about $15). Its smoky undertones and full-mouth black fruits will keep my insides warm and my mind right on a chilly Halloween night.