Pair chef David Burtka's frighteningly human-like beef back ribs with one of
these spooky Halloween wines. / © John Kernick
Here’s the way I see it with Halloween wines. There are plenty of wines out there that are propelled by some sort of marketing gimmick—Dracula’s favorite Transylvanian Zinfandel, 2012 Mr. Bones Bug Juice, what have you—but there are also some wines that more organically have a spooky Halloween vibe to them. Here are a few possibilities that would be appropriate served out of black glasses in a Haunted House, and that also actually taste good.
2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ($10). Crisp and citrusy, this all-purpose white is a good party pour. The name Casillero del Diablo refers an event in the 1800s, when Don Melchor, founder of Concha y Toro, discovered that his workers were making off with some of his best wines. To put the kibosh on that, he spread a rumor that the cellar where those wines were kept was the “Cellar of the Devil.” Which apparently worked like a charm. And there’s still a gold devil’s head on the label of the wine.
2011 Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot ($12). A big, blackberry-inflected Merlot from Washington State, this red isn’t long on complexity, but it packs a lot of power (and taste) for a modest price. Plus, it’s got a big ol’ pitchfork on the label.