Thursday, September 28, 2023 Sep 28, 2023
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What to Drink Now: Halloween

By Hayley Hamilton Cogill |

Every Halloween I sit on my front porch with my sweetie and our dog to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids while sipping a glass of Chardonnay – it is a good tradition.

If you are looking for some good Halloween libations to do the same tonight, consider one of these.  I’ll be drinking the Miner Chardonnay.
Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.

2009 Gilgal Chardonnay – from Isreal in the Golan Heights region near the Sea of Galilee, this rocky terrain produces a mineral rich, intense Chardonnay filled with tropical fruit like pineapple and banana, with melon and ripe pear.  A good wine to enjoy with grilled white fish and shellfish.  

Miner 2008 Chardonnay – one of my go to whites with round flavors of apple and pear with hints of vanilla and toast.  Half of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation, keeping the bright flavors in the wine, while adding fullness and texture.  A beautiful white from Napa Valley.

2010 Biltmore Reserve Unoaked Sonoma County Chardonnay – Just 800 cases of this steely, Chardonnay from fruit grown throughout Sonoma County, CA are made each year.  100% stainless steel fermented, with 1/3 going through malolactic fermentation creating a vibrant wine with complexity, a hint of creaminess and filled with crisp pear, lemon peel and tropical pineapple and coconut.

2010 Dama de Toro Malvasia – 100% Malvasia white wine from one of the oldest wine producing families in the Toro region of Spain, Bodega Farina.  Made from 100 year old vines this aromatic wine is clean and refreshing, filled with tart green apple, ripe melon and white peach.  A great wine to enjoy on its own, or with hard cheese and fruit.

2009 Educated Guess Pinot Noir – One of the toughest grape varieties to grown, but done especially well in Carneros, this Pinot jumps from the glass with big strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors.  A lush wine with a good balance of acidity and fruit, with hints of sweet spice and cola on the finish.

2009 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon – One of the most consistent bang for your buck wines, this Paso Robles County Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits the great attention to quality Austin Hope and his winemaking team put on each bottle of wine they produce.  Aged 12 months prior to bottling, this Cabernet is filled with black cherry, wild flowers and red berry aromas, followed by ripe black fruit, licorice and cedar flavors.

Match Book 2007 Tinto Rey – A blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano and Petite Sirah, and meaning “Red King” this is a bold Spanish style wine. Made from predominantly Tempranillo and Syrah, aromas of vanilla and spice leap from the glass, followed by black cherry and berry, finishing with a slight hint of smoke and spice.  An elegant wine to be enjoyed with hearty grilled meat and stews.

If Halloween Cocktails are more your style, try one of these spooky flavors tonight:

VuQo Black Cat
1 1/2 oz. VuQo Vodka
1 oz. Schnapps, black cherry
2 oz. Cola
2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Pour vodka, schnapps and cranberry together in a shaker over ice and shake until very cold, strain into an ice filled glass and top with cola.

PepperMint Pattini
1-1/2 oz Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka
1/2 oz Crème de menthe
1/2 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 oz Cream
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a Peppermint Pattie candy wedge.

Created by expert mixologist and The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash
1 1/2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
1/2 parts Campari
1 part fresh blood orange juice
1/4 parts blood (aka home-made grenadine) **
2 parts Jarritos Tamarindo Soda
Build all ingredients into a highball glass filled with ice.  Add the “blood” at the end. Garnish: blood orange wheel and strawberry syrup
** Home-made grenadine: Add equal parts white sugar and POM pomegranate juice together and dissolve sugar over high on stove-top.  When dissolved, add several drops of orange flower water, simmer on low heat for 10 mins., chill, and serve.
** If blood oranges are not available, use a slice of regular orange that is soaking in “blood” as a garnish.