First off: you’re helping the little so-and-sos from eating too much candy so don’t beat yourself up. Refined sugar is the new sitting! Secondly, we’re going to make this a practical guide. That means, notwithstanding that the under-loved trinity of Sherry, Madeira and Port are frequently going to pair best with a whole slew of the candy, we appreciate that they’re not the popular tipples they used to be in Teddy Roosevelt’s day, so as good as they are, we’ll try to find more real-world options for you. Thirdly—and I know we sound like a broken record here—but our wine industry was  truly devastated this winter and is still in huge recovery mode, so now is 100% the time to lean into buying local. Also, notwithstanding the above picture, there will be candy corn, because as everyone knows, it is disgusting to a level that Chateau Petrus can’t redeem.

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 Mission Hill Reserve 2020 Reserve Syrah $37, a wallop of fruit that will stand up to that bar, a dash of Viognier for lift and is honestly priced about $8 lower than it would be if it was made by any other winery (that button on the picture attests to it’s crazy high rating from the esteemed Decanter Magazine).


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 Sauvignon Blanc?

The Bottle Covert Farms Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2022 $22.50, good acid, citrus zest but the softer Semillon holds it back from too tart and envelops the sweet and sour profile of the SPK.


The Treat: Lays Potato Chips

The Wine Now we’re in slam-dunk territory. Any sort of dry sparkling will shine here—Champagne and plain potato chips is one of the great pairings in the world (especially if said chips have a dollop of caviar on top of them),  but I’m going for Haywire’s Vintage Bub because it’s on a bit of a smoking deal at the BCL right now. It has 10 years of age! And that age gives brioche-y, slightly yeasty profile that works just killer with some crisps.

The Bottle Haywire Vintage Bub 2013 Brut $38, a wine that at this price essentially gives you 10 free years of aging – no trick, all treat!


The Treat: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

The Wine Ok, I’m going to cheat a bit because this is a freakin’ hard pairing and I’m going to stick with what I chose all those years ago, because it’s still the champ. Foch is such a unique grape and I’m always so proud that Quails’ Gate sticks by it, when they could no doubt make more money growing something more widely known. But it’s a huge part of our wine growing heritage and a slow clap to them for safeguarding that legacy.  It’s dark, quirky and full of vanilla and cherry that it might be a bit of a secret weapon in candy pairing.

The Bottle Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch $29, an amazing oddball (and the price has gone up $10 in the past 4-5 years – how’s that for a fair shake!)

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 medium-acid white will do the trick.

The Bottle Road 13 Select Harvest Chenin 20122 $28 is a wonder. I initially chose a higher-acid option, but I think the balanced acidity here—lemon zest on one hand, lemon curd on the other—highlight the “cheese” of the Hawkins.

The Treat: Red Nibs or Twizzlers

The Wine When I first did this I chose Lambrusco, but seeing as how BC doesn’t do that (yet) I’m going for fun little codger. I’m not usually a huge proponent of Merlot as a base for rosé, but here the mayhem team bring the cherry characteristics to the forefront and that plays nice with whatever the hell Twizzlers are made of.

The Bottle Mayhem Sparkling Rosé 2022. 250 ml $7.50, a steal of a deal