You're still stealing your kid's candy? After this tough year? Good. You're helping the little so-and-sos from ruining their gut flora, so don't beat yourself up. Secondly, we're going to make this a practical guide. That means, notwithstanding that Sherry, Madeira and Port are going to pair best with a whole slew of the candy, we appreciate that they're not the popular tipples they used to be when the Lincoln Memorial was opening so, as good as they are, we'll try to find more real-world options for you.
The Treat: Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Dairy Milk
The Wine: Here's where a nice sweet wine would come in handy, but a red wine that has ample fruit, some heft (no French Pinot or Gamay) and hopefully lighter tannins might sub in nicely as well. Syrah, Zinfandel or a rich Pinot should work.
The Bottle: Rust Wine Zinfandel 2018 ($40) is a rare BC Zin that packs a wallop of ripe, accessible fruit. A nice surprise of a wine.
The Treat: Sour Patch Kids
The Wine: Tartness covered in sugar is a trick, but if you think of a wine that also has tartness but some juicy fruit as well, what comes to mind? Maybe pass on the obviousness of New Zealand and think about something from BC?
The Bottle: Township 7 Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($20), equal parts tropical and crisp.
The Treat: Lay's Potato Chips
The Wine: Now we're in slam-dunk territory. Any sort of dry sparkling will shine here—maybe one of the great pairings—but I'm going for Haywire's Bub, which channels the freshness of bubbles and just a bit of the toast of an aged sparkler.
The Bottle: Haywire The Bub 2016 ($30), bottle cap and all to show you're not taking this thing too seriously.
The Treat: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
The Wine: This is a freakin' hard pairing. You might want to go with Cabernet or Malbec to match the chocolate, but then you have the ultra-rich peanut butter to deal with—you need some acid here to cut through it. So it's Cabernet Franc, my friends, with a foot in both worlds.
The Bottle: Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2017 ($34).This bottle skews rich for Cab Franc, but that's going to help with the chocolate, and the medium acidity will go to work on the PB.
The Treat: Hawkins Cheezies
The Wine: You know what goes with Hawkins? Everything, because they, not Tim Hortons, are the true taste of the Great White North. And frankly they're pretty easy to pair: any nice high-acid white will do the trick.
The Bottle: Fort Berens Reserve Riesling 2018 ($28). This was tough because there are a dozen rieslings up to the task, but this top-of-the-line bottle from Lilooet's Fort Berens is a perfect lemon rind-y and crisp apple match.
The Treat: Red Nibs or Twizzlers
The Wine: Lambrusco. This is sort of a cheat, because next to the sweeties, Italian sparkling red Lambrusco may be the most versatile food wine out there, with frequent notes of tart cherries, blackberries and raspberries.
The Bottle: Upper Bench Zweigelt 2018 ($25). Zweigelt is a kooky, appealing grape with low tannins (good for the softness of Twizzlers) and fresh red fruit, and could be served with a slight chill.