Halloween is the one night a year to say “buh-bye” to white wines and embrace big, bold, beautiful reds. From zinfandel to cabernet sauvignon here are 10 blood-red, boo-tiful wines from around the globe which are perfect for celebrating All Hallows’ Eve.
1.Monster Mash Zombie Outbreak Red Wine, California, 2012 ($12):
This luscious blend of petite sirah and zinfandel is sure to be graveyard smash with bold, fruity notes of black cherry jam, spice and tobacco. The festive label will also pair perfectly with your Halloween décor.
2. Skeleton Malbec, Patagonia, Argentina, NV ($14):
This enticing incarnation of malbec has heady aromas of violet and plum, followed by flavors of blackberry jam, dark fruit and spice. The convenient 1 liter bottle and kitschy artwork make it the perfect Halloween party wine too.
3. Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2010 ($14):
Named for its undeniable velvety smoothness, this merlot delights with notes of lush blackberry, dried rose petals and baking spices. And, like all the Charles Smith wines, it’s ready to drink now.
4. Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carménère, Central Valley, Chile, 2013 ($16):
Named for an old cellar in Santiago, Chile once owned by the winery’s founder and rumored to be guarded by the devil, this crimson red incarnation of the carménère grape pleases the palate with notes of dried red fruit, licorice, leather and spice-tinged finish.
5. Vinaceous Voodoo Moon Malbec, Margaret River, Australia, 2013 ($16):
Sourced from a single vineyard in Western Australia, this delightful wine casts a spell with its deep, inky purple color and brooding, perfumey aromas of dark fruit and spice. On the palate, layers of complex flavors accompany a rich texture and lengthy finish.
6. Hahn Family Boneshaker Zinfandel, Lodi, California, 2013 ($20):
This full-bodied stunner is crafted from 40 year old vines which produce intensely flavored, luscious fruit. It’s sure to shake you to your bones with intense, layered aromas and flavors of ripe plum, black cherry jam and licorice.
7. Hope Estate Shiraz The Ripper, Western Australia, Australia, 2011 ($20):
You won’t mind running into this deep purple, fruit driven red wine in a dark alley. The Ripper seduces with big, bold notes of cassis, black cherry jam and black pepper which accompany chewy tannins and a lingering finish.
8. R Wines Chateau Chateau Skulls Red, Castilla y León, Spain, 2012 ($22):
This 50/50 blend of mencia and tempranillo is made by acclaimed winemaker Chris Ringland. The spooky skull on the label is also rife with symbolism: the Mencia represents the cranium with its strength and power, while Tempranillo is the mandible with its peripheral aromatics of sweet, dark fruit.
9. Klinker Brick Winery Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, California, 2013 ($42):
Made from over 90-year-old vineyard blocks which produce highly concentrated fruit, this pricey incarnation of zinfandel is well worth the splurge with massively ripe, jammy and juicy flavors and textures.
10. Ghost Block Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, California, 2012 ($65):
The fruit for this full-bodied, voluptuous, cab hails from the 16-acre Ghost Block Vineyard, named in honor of the historic Pioneer Cemetery it borders, in Napa Valley’s acclaimed Oakville AVA. This wine lingers on the palate with entrancing notes of black currant, leather, cedar and toasty oak.
Stephanie Miskew is a certified sommelier, wine educator and proprietor of The Wine Atelier, an online wine boutique. She also runs the The Glamorous Gourmet, a website dedicated to wine and entertaining.