A lot of us have Halloween parties to attend this week, and what better gift to bring to a party than wine? So here are three delicious “Hallowines” that taste good, and are reasonably priced. I don’t recommend pairing them with candy.
#1 – Apothic Dark, California Red Blend, 2013 ($9)
One of my go-to reds this time of year. Apothic Dark is the Gallo family’s seasonal offering, which – despite the name – is quite different from Apothic Red. This is a blend of Shiraz, Merlot, and Zinfandel, and is an inky dark purple in the glass. It’s not as fruity as Apothic Red, although you still get a good taste of blackberry with hints of dark chocolate on the finish. This is a fine wine for the price, and is a definite crowd-pleaser.
#2 – The Velvet Devil Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013 ($13)
This is a very smooth (hence the name) easy-drinking Merlot at a good price. Nice and fruity, with smooth notes of cherry, blackberry, and baking spices. Like all the Charles Smith Washington State wines, it’s ready to drink now.
#3 – Ghost Pines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma/Napa/Lake County CA, 2013 ($20)
This is my favorite of the three. A bit more money, but well worth the price! Ghost Pines sources grapes, in this case Cabernet, from all over the state: 53% from Sonoma, 29% from Napa, and the remainder from Lake County. The result is a really nice Cab that has the good qualities of all three regions; powerful flavors of Napa, smoothness and depth of Sonoma, and a very tasty wine featuring blackberry and mocha flavors that will not disappoint. It also gets 90 points from Wine Spectator, so not only will you enjoy the taste, you’ll impress your friends in the process.
Any of these three would be a hit at whatever spooky party you may be going to, or to enjoy on their own. In this case, the quality increases with the price.