Wickedly Wicked Wines for Halloween
It’s that time of year again. The zombie’s, ghosts, ghouls and goblins will be ready to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve as early as this coming weekend. Whether you’re celebrating at a friend’s haunted house or hosting a monster mash of your own, these wickedly wicked wines are sure to offer a howling good time for those witches and warlocks that enjoy the blood of the vine.
1. Ghost Hill Cellars 2009 Prospector’s Reserve Pinot Noir was named in honor of the miner whose legend provided the name of their estate. Aromas of dark, ripe cherry and blackberry are nuanced by hints of licorice and earth. Flavors of cranberry, cherry and pie spice are layered on the palate ending with a full bodied, rich finish. This is an excellent Pinot Noir, and the label with a spooky legend makes this my number one pick for Halloween.
Ghost Hill Cellars out of Carlton, Oregon, not only offers stellar wines, but legend has it that Ghost Hill actually has a ‘ghost on the hill‘:
In the early 1860s, Oregon was in the midst of a gold rush. An old military road that ran through what is now the Bayliss family farm stretched from southern Oregon to Portland. A miner that was traveling to Portland with his hard-earned “poke” of gold decided to camp for the night at the top of what is now known as Ghost Hill. During the night, someone snuck into his camp, killed the miner and his horse, and stole his gold. To this day, the miner is said to wander the hill looking for his stolen gold.
Ghost Hill Cellars is currently having a Ghost Story Contest on Facebook. Click here to visit the Ghost Hill Cellars Facebook page to enter your ghost story for a chance to win a $25 winery credit.
2. Owen Roe 2011 Sinister Hand is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Cinsault. I recently tried this at a friends and was really impressed with the spiciness that was displayed in both aromas and flavors. Dark juicy fruits balance out the gripping tannins while notes of cinnamon, licorice and pepper linger on the finish. This is one wine that is sure to strike up conversation at a Halloween party, whether it’s the bloody hand on the label or the spicy deliciousness inside, this is a great Halloween wine.
The severed bloody hand on the label of Sinister Hand tells the story of two 17th century Irish families fighting over one piece of land:
“Long ago, during the 17th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were two revolutionary Irish families. They formed a rowing competition to reserve rights to some highly regarded land. The two rowing teams agreed that the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land. O’Neill’s boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. This land still remains in the family.”
3. Bogle Vineyards 2009 Phantom is a hearty blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mouvedre. Last Halloween, I looked everywhere for this much talked about wine, and as if it were truly a phantom, I was never able to find it anywhere. This year, the Phantom has returned to the shelves, and it was in my glass last night. On the nose, vibrant currants, chocolate and fresh tobacco flow on to the palate with hints of pepper and cedar. Good depth of character and pretty intense, this is what I call a big, bold wine – and the nme and label are prefect for a Halloween party.
4. Ed Hardy Sangria
Let me start by saying I had no idea the Ed Hardy brand had a line of wines. Because I’ve always been intrigued by the Ed Hardy tattoo-ish/motocycle gang-ish art work, I immediately picked up this bottle of Sangria to check out the intricately beautiful, yet creepy label, which admittedly got the best of me – I ended up bringing home a bottle of this…er, um, wine. At first whiff, the smell of super ripe oranges took over my senses and with just a sip, I was impressed with the refreshing citrus and fall spice flavors as well as the balance. I was also glad that it wasn’t overly sweet; in fact, it was much better than I thought it was going to be, and I sampled it before it was chilled. After my first initial taste, I decided to add some sliced apples, strawberries and plums. I put everything in a mason jar and put it in the fridge for several hours. The result was a fruity, citrusy refreshing sangria that was enjoyed by a small group of us. We all agreed: Ed Hardy Sangria has a great label that’s perfect for Halloween, and the flavors are pretty pleasing too.
5. Ash Hollow Legends Headless Red 2009 is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec that has beautiful aromas of black cherries and currants. Similar flavors with added spice and earth end with a nice, easy, medium length finish. This is an easy drinking, yet nicely complex wine. With the label and the legend behind the label, this is a winner wine for Halloween parties that most everyone will enjoy.
Here are some other Halloween themed wines that I spotted at World Market in Eugene, Oregon, but haven’t yet tried: