“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.” Robert Brault
Even though there is a lot of uncertainty about Trick or Treating this year, there is a very good chance that some Halloween candy will find its way into a bowl in your house. If this is the case, you may be faced with that frightful question, what to do with all of your leftover Halloween candy? What you should be asking yourself is can I sneak some of this candy in with your glass of wine. No tricks here, candy and wine pair really well together, especially when there is chocolate involved. Today I want to share with you some not-so-terrifying Halloween candy pairings and Sherry from González Byass. Now don’t be frightened, this fortified wine is not just for the little old lady that lives down the street, it can be divine with nutty, chocolatey sweets and to make the most of this pairing occasion González Byass invited four renowned Sherry experts to provide their pairing recommendations. Along with the experts I wanted to share some ideas of my own pairing each sherry with a Washington Made Candy.
Founded in 1835 and headquartered in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, family-owned González Byass collection of wineries span across Spain’s most important wine producing regions.
Meaning “scented” in Spanish, Oloroso is a variety of sherry that is made in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles and is made from palomino grapes. Oloros Sherry shows it age by it’s darkness, the darker the wine the longer it has been aged, and those tones range from rich amber to deep mahogany. Known if it’s powerful, warm aromas and complex flavors , Olorso gets it’s nutty bouquet flavor from oxidative aging. Here are a couple of candy pairing recommendations from the experts and something that I think pairs perfectly with this well-rounded and full bodied Sherry.
González Byass Alfonso Oloroso + PayDay© Bars Washington DC-based Chantal Tseng, Founder of Custom Cocktails for the End of Times and US Sherry Week Ambassador offered this recommendation for the Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso, a PayDay© Bar. This salted peanut bar held together with delicious nougat-caramel was first introduced in 1932. “They are reminiscent of Squirrel-Nut-Zippers which aren’t really around anymore,” Chantal remarked.
González Byass Alfonso Oloroso + Peanut Butter Cups©: Another great pairing idea according to Nick Africano, Founder of En Rama LLC New York, is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups©. “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups© are a classic American candy. What’s better than chocolate and peanut butter, right? Perhaps, when two icons meet! Sweet, but balanced by the unctuous, roasted peanuts and salt, Reese’s are a perfect bite of candy…not just on Halloween…it’s a total classic any time of year. Now try them alongside a sip of another classic: Oloroso Sherry.” Nick went on to add, “I believe Oloroso is Sherry’s gateway to the American palate. The Alfonso Oloroso from the iconic Gonzalez Byass family with its dark notes of toasted pecan, old wood, and burnt orange is not only a harmonious match for the nutty, chocolatey, Reese’s buttery goodness but simultaneously serves as a poignant introduction to one of the world’s best beverages: Sherry!”
González Byass Alfonso Oloroso + Hawaiian Fruit Chocolates from Liberty Orchards© Candy Company in Cashmere, WA.
Let me just say if you haven’t tried Aplets and Cotlets or any of the other assorted sweet treats from Liberty Orchard© than you should considering treating yourself and order some for the Holiday Season.
With an assortment of tropical fruit flavors like Pineapple and Guava along with buttery macadamia nuts and rich chocolate, these Hawaiian Fruit Chocolates were a perfect match for González Byass Alfonso Oloroso. The full body and impression of sweetness in this richly fragrant Oloroso blended naturally and complimented the fruit, nut and chocolate flavors of the Hawaiian Fruit candies. There is no need for a fancy dessert when you have this Decadent and Delicious combination available.
“The great thing about candy is that it can’t be spoiled by the adult world. Candy is innocent. And all Halloween candy pales next to candy corn, if only because candy corn used to appear, like the Great Pumpkin, solely on Halloween” -Rosecrans Baldwin
When asked what she would pair with González Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez, Cheryl Wakerhauser, Owner, Executive Chef and Wine Director of Pix Patisserie and Bar Vivant, in Portland, Oregon selected the Good & Plenty Candy. “The full-bodied opulence of the Pedro Ximénez is calling for something to contrast it with, such as the crunchy outer shell of a Good & Plenty” Cheryl said, “and the licorice flavor of the candy brings forward the hint of savory, black olive notes in the wine. Try it!”
With so much delicious sweetness alone in the González Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez, I didn’t want to pair it with anything that would mask its sweet fig, and cinnamon chocolate flavors. For this reason I kept it simple by pairing it with one of the best chocolate producers in Washington State, Theo Chocolate©. To compliment the caramel and date flavors of this sherry I selected an Orange 70% dark chocolate bar. I loved how the orange in the chocolate played off of the nectar flavors in the sherry. Very rich, very sweet but such a delightful combination.
Theo Chocolate© has been a Pacific Northwest favorite since it was founded in 2005. With award-winning chocolates and candies, Theo is always coming out with new bars, candies and confections, you can visit their website for their current selections and holiday releases.
Harveys was founded in Bristol, England in 1796, Harveys Bristol Cream, produced in Jerez, the home of Sherry is the number one selling sherry in the world with presence in more than 70 countries.
This pairing comes from Kat Thomas, Wine Goddess LV from Las Vegas who selected a Chunky Bar© to go with Harveys Bristol Cream. Here is what she said, “So, you want to feel responsible with your candy cravings? Well, I’ve got the perfect treat (no tricks here). Unwrap a Chunky Bar© and let yourself find the flow in a nutty, sweet, and responsibly balanced bite. Dried fruit and sweet chocolate find their safe place nestled in this Sherry’s ‘legs’… and if you can’t do peanuts, feed the flow with Raisinettes”
Each sip of Harveys Brisol Cream is heavenly! Thick and creamy with the sweet flavor of the burnt caramel topping of creme brûlée, I envisioned enjoying this sherry with a chocolate cherry mousse, but these Dark Chocolate Cherries For Wine from Chukar was the next best thing. With an assortment of three flavors of dark chocolate-covered dried cherries, Cabernet Cherries, Amaretto Rainiers, and Classic Dark, the natural wine essence and naturally-ripened dried cherries from Prosser, WA give each bit of candy and sip of Bristol Cream a completely different flavor combination. Of the three chocolates, I really enjoyed the Amaretto Rainiers with this sherry and loved how the caramel flavors of the sherry complimented the Amaretto flavors in the candy. So enjoyable! It was almost too easy to get carried away with this pairing.
If you happen to find yourself in the small town of Prosser, Washington, perhaps to visit some of the areas wineries, don’t leave without a visit to the Chukar Cherries© factory and store on Wine Country Road. Family-owned, Chukar Cherries© has for three decades transformed local sweet and tart cherries into mouthwatering award-winning chocolate cherries. Drawing on the wine community around them Chukar has a line of chocolate cherry candies that pair perfectly with wine. I highly recommend visiting Chukar Cherries© to shop for holiday gifts and to fulfill your own chocolate cherry cravings.
I hope that this gave you some ideas for pairing Sherry with candy and now you basically have a great excuse to purchase and stockpile candy! Cheers everyone and Happy Halloween.
“Can anyone suggest a wine that pairs well with eating all of my kid’s Halloween Candy?”
Images are ©Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.