The age-old question has taken a new twist this year: What are you going to be this Halloween? A ghost? A witch? A sourdough starter? How about a couch potato? That last one is easy. All you need are PJs, a cozy blanket, and our guide to a frightfully fun Halloween film fest, complete with wines that are so good it’s scary.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi are the bubbly, deliciously diabolical, and hysterically funny Sanderson sisters at the heart of this Halloween classic. The only possible pairing for this flick is a potion as richly flavored, textured, and fun as this 100% organic and biodynamic Aglianico. Pale pink with hints of orange in the glass, the wine offers notes of strawberry and cherry that are as hard to resist as this spooky charmer. Want to conjure your own spell to defy death? Add 1 oz Doc Herson’s White Absinthe to an ice-cold glass of this sparkler for a take on the Death in the Afternoon cocktail that’s sure to give you goosebumps.
Wes Craven’s “Scream,” a satirical send-up of slasher flicks, is unforgettable, just like this juicy California Pinot Noir. As exciting as it is approachable, and bursting with aromas of wild berries, soft earth, and wild herbs, with refreshing acidity and a lengthy finish, this red is a fantastic partner for Twizzlers and the twists and turns of the film. Just like the movie, one sip will surely leave you thirsty for a sequel.
This Cabernet Franc, from Domaine de L'R, located in the heart of France’s famed Chinon region is surprising in that pulses with intensity, just like “The Babadook,” the creepy psychological sensation from director Jennifer Kent. The film, about the eerie title spectre that wreaks havoc on the lives of a single mom and her son, is as filled with spine-tingling surprises as this wine is with tantalizing flavors of blackberry, black cherry, savory herbs, and balanced acidity. Made with no added sugar, chemicals, or sulfur, and packaged in bottle bedecked with a skull and crossbones against a pitch-black label, this lushly structured red plays with contradiction, slight and shadow, just like this modern ghost story.
This wine is simply otherworldly, just like the world conjured by “Blade,” the sleekly modern vampire flick that turned the conventional vampire film aesthetic upside down. Gone were the spooky castles and caped counts, replaced with a butt-kicking, sunglass wearing, half human-half vampire hybrid with a sword. The aromas in the glass seem to take flight, with notes of cherry blossom, smoke, espresso, cedar and a touch of spice, just like Snipes in the movie’s now iconic aerial fight scenes. Bright and balanced, this wine can also age fantastically, unlike … well, the rest of Snipes’ career as an action hero.
"Train to Busan" is an ultramodern thriller about the undead, set in South Korea, and this California blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is both thrilling and plenty lively. Notes of vanilla, baking spices, red and black berries explode from the glass with plenty of power, just like the commuter zombies in this film from director Sang-ho Yeon and writer Joo-Suk Park. For a snack as quick to prepare as the titular train, pop some popcorn, then dust it with a touch of cocoa powder and cayenne pepper and buckle up – you’re in a for flavorful ride.