Buying good wine should never be scary, but a number of wineries in Canada and the United States have created wines that are ideal for pouring on All Hallows’ Eve. In the spririt of the Halloween season, we’ve tracked down a handful of spooky-sounding (yet perfectly delicious) sippers for your next gathering.
Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery 2013 Back from the Dead Red, Meaford, Ont.
Coffin Ridge is a small winery that looks out on Coffin Hill near Owen Sound, two hours northwest of Toronto. Not surprisingly, you’ll find small cemeteries on Coffin Hill, as well as winery staff who are well-versed in stories of how the hill was named (one involves a wayward coffin at a long-ago funeral). The winery’s 2013 Back from the Dead Red consists of a motley blend of red grapes including Marechal Foch, Baco Noir, Cabernet, Merlot and Gamay. With notes of leather and dark plums, it pairs well with roasted lamb or steak. Available at select LCBO stores in Ontario.
Ghost Pines 2013 Chardonnay, California
Made from grapes grown in California’s Napa, Sonoma and Monterey counties, this lush white wine has pretty caramel notes on the nose and flavours of lemon and vanilla. Its name comes from the tall, grey pines that dot the coastal valley landscape—at dusk, some people claim, these trees look like ghosts. The wines (there are other Ghost Pines wines, including a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon) are made at the Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena, Calif., and the Chardonnay in particular pairs well with roast turkey and salmon. Widely available in North America.
Monster Vineyards 2012 Riesling, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
Monster Vineyards is a fun label that’s an offshoot of Poplar Grove, one of the Okanagan Valley’s finest wineries. Visit Monster Vineyards’ brand-new tasting room in Penticton to try a variety of scarily delicious offerings, including this off-dry 2012 Riesling. Quite big and intense, it features green apple and lime notes and pairs well with curries, ginger beef or pork loin. Available at select wine shops throughout B.C. and Alberta, or across Canada from the vineyard’s website.
Devil’s Wishbone 2013 Incarnate Red, North Marysburgh, Ont.
Devil’s Wishbone Winery and Vineyard is located a little over two hours east of Toronto, in pretty Prince Edward County. The winery gets its name from early pioneers who found the area devilishly tough for farming. Of course, the region’s conditions turned out to be great for grapes, as the fiendishly tasty 2013 Incarnate Red shows. A medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine has enticing notes of cherry, raspberry and spice. Try it with barbecued ribs or smoked gouda. Pick up a bottle right at the winery, or buy online.
Five Wines for the Holidays
When it comes to social gatherings, no time of year is quite as hectic as December. Here are five fantastic wines suitable for a variety of get-togethers. Plus, with January comes the start of winter wine festival season. Here are three festivals worth travelling for in Niagara, the Okanagan and Santa Barbara.