Scott Greenberg, special to wtop.com
Halloween is just around the corner – and judging from the hype on the morning news shows and party store displays, the annual ghostly celebration appears to be enjoyed as much by the adult crowd as it is by the traditional younger-than-sixteen gang.
At our house, it appears that as I get older, so do the ghosts and goblins that show up on my doorstep – most notably in the form of adult friends and parents who know that I usually have a bottle or two of wine open and ready to share when the doorbell rings. Plastic wine glasses compete with plastic pumpkins and paper bags, extended at arms length, looking for a liquid goody of the red or white varietal.
If you’re looking for a bloody good wine, Vampire Vineyards from California offers nine different wine varietals for your Halloween treat including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. My favorites are the 2006 Dracula Syrah from Paso Robles and the 2007 Dracula Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley. The Syrah features a jammy core of fruit reminiscent of a chocolate covered black cherry and has a long, lush finish.
The Pinot Noir is produced from grapes that are – and I am not making this up – picked before sunrise! It offers up beautiful concentrated raspberry, dark cherry and pomegranate flavors with a silky texture and a balanced, pretty finish. The Syrah is $17 and the Pinot Noir is $34 and I recommend having either with a bite of soft cheese.
If you are looking for a wine to “die for,” try the 2009 Armida Winery “Poizin” Zinfandel from Sonoma, California. This full-bodied zinfandel is from the heart of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma and according to the website, it’s “the wine to die for.” Bright notes of cherry, raspberry and blueberry cover the tongue on a medium-bodied frame. The slightly dusty finish features just a touch of black pepper. The label sports a wicked skull and crossbones and best of all, you’ll only be “coffin” up $25.
If you’re looking to wear a mask this Halloween and go incognito, then the 2010 Michael David Vineyards “Incognito” White is for you. Created from a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, and Roussanne all sourced from Lodi, California, it’s a goody bag filled with beautiful flavors of honey, apricot, peach and pineapple. Highlights of candied orange rind that glide over the palate and onto the lengthy finish. At $18, this wine is a wickedly wonderful value.
One of my favorite local wines also sports a wicked label – the 2009 Horton Vineyards “Black Cat” Chardonnay. Blended from select barrels of chardonnay grown in Orange County, Virginia, this wine sports a wonderfully rich, round mouthfeel, featuring sumptuous flavors of apple, nectarine and guava. The oak-accented finish is lush and long, with a nice touch of vanilla on the back of the tongue. Just $15.
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