How do you successfully pair wine with candy?
After a great Halloween dinner you will probably get an urge for something sweet. Since its Halloween its time to get some candy, maybe that fine chocolate you have been saving or just something sour. What wine do you choose to make a good pairing?
The same way that wine pairs with food it works just as well to pair it with candy. You have just not thought about it, or it could be an horrendously bad combination that has put you off. Which makes it even harder to stomach. To help you get a great experience with wine and candy we have made a thorough guide with a panel to find out what candy pairs well to which wine.
Wine & Fruity Candy
In this test, we concluded that most white wines and most the rosé wines made a good pairing.
Red Wine did not pair well at all. This is because white and rosé are fruity in a similar way to that of this kind of candy. The sweetness of the wine compliments the sweetness of the candy.
If you prefer less sweet wines this combination could be a tad bit too sweet. The panel agreed that sparkling wine made the best pair regardless if it was white or rosé.
Candy: Mentos, Gummy bears, Life Savers Gummies, Jolly Ranchers, Trolli, Haribo, Swedish Fish.
Wine: Sweet sparkling Wine with a hint of berries, like Spanish Moscato wines / Dry sparkling white wines with hints of apple and grapefruit / white fresh and fruity wines.
Wine & Mint
Mint, as you might expect, was the hardest challenge to match a wine to. Just like chewing gum and drinking wine – it’s not a very pleasant experience.
We didn’t try any mint candy that was just mint. Instead we chose mint chocolate, or candy with a hit a mint. In this test, it was also shown that sparkling wine was the best option.
Red Zinfandel was the only red that was an acceptable pairing.
Candy: After Eight, Andes Chocolate Mints, Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate
Wine: Sweet sparkling wines with hints of berries / Dry sparkling white wines with hints fruit / Fruity red Zinfandels
Wine & Caramel
If you are going for caramel, they are great choice that works with most wines. Our panel agreed that sparkling wine worked, the sweeter the better.
A few also thought that Cabernet Sauvignon paired well, probably because the wine had a hit of caramel. Rosé Wine was not recommended.
Candy: Milk Duds, Sugar Babies, Bach's Caramels, Werther’s
Wine: Sweet sparkling wines with hints of berries / Fruity Rieslings / Fruity Cabernet or Shiraz
Wine & Marshmallows
Marshmallows just like fruity candy works with white wine. The sweetness and soft texture could either work well or not at all. This means it could be both good and bad to choose a more structured wine.
The panel agreed that the Sparkling Rosé and a lighter Zinfandel red wine was the best choices.
Wine: Sweet sparkling wines with hints of berries / Very fruity Zinfandels with low sweetness / Smoky Cabernet Sauvignons with strong touches of dark fruits
Wine & Sour Candy
Sour candies can be tough to match a white wine. The sourness takes over too much for it to be a good combo.
Once again the sparkling rosé made the best choice. The wine we chose had a higher sweetness and lower alcohol content than the other wines.
Some members in the panel also thought that champagne with low sweetness was a good choice.
Red wine was not well suited - the combination of high tannin's and a lot of flavor did not work out.
Candy: Crybabies, Trolli sour candies, Warheads
Wine: Sweet sparkling wines
Wine & Sweet Liquorice
Liquorice was a good pair with all white, red and rosé wine. We went for the most basic kinds with no additional flavors. We used mainly Red Vines black liquorice and Liquorice Wheels which turned out to be a pleasant combination.
Our panels favorite was Pinot Noir and Pata Negra Cava.
Candy: Red Vines Black Liquorice, Liquorice Wheels.
Wine: Dry sparkling wines and champagne / Heavy fruity Shiraz / Pinot Noir
Wine & Salt Liquorice
Salt Liquorice is an acquired taste, but if you do like it there are a few good pairings. To no one’s surprise the sparkling rosé was a good choice. Among the other ones that got the approval of the panel were Chablis and Pinot Noir.
It should be added that all the panelists were real liquorice lovers and liked most of the wines, except for the port wine.
Candy: Salt Liquorice
Wine: Delicate fresh Pinot Noirs / Crisp Sauvignon Blanc’s / Spicy Amarone
Wine & Dark Chocolate
The question most people have is if wine works with chocolate. The answer is Yes. It all comes down to what wine you choose with what kind of chocolate. In the test the panel decided not to try any of the white wines.
Dark chocolate is high in bitterness and doesn’t pair with sweet and crisp, white wines – not even the bubbly kind.
Instead the panel opted to try the red wines. Among the dark chocolates was Lindt 70% and 85% cocoa. The 70% worked best with red wines while the higher coco content was a bit too bitter.
The Darker chocolate combined well with port wine and the red wine Amarone.
Candy: Godiva, Lindt
Wine: Fruity port wine / Spicy Amarone
Wine & Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate was tough to pair, simply because it is very sweet and contains a lot of fat. You would think that a red wine with a lot of tannins would be a great choice, but once again the sparkling rosé wine came out on top.
A few panelists thought that Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and port wine were well suited. We do however first and foremost recommend red wine with darker chocolate. None of the white wines made it through the test.
Candy: Hershey's Krackel, Nestle Crunch, Milk Chocolate
Wine: Sweet sparkling wines with hints of berries / delicate fresh Pinot noirs / Fruity Port wines / Spicy Amarone
The candy that pairs the best with wine is sweet liquorice, fruity candy and caramel. The winner of the test is as you may expect the sparking rosé that worked with a wide variety of candy. The champagne and the cava was also great choices. Red wines that paired well was pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel.
Wine tasting should be fun and everyone has their own preferences. Why not try out a few combinations yourself?