12 Most Frighteningly Delectable Wines
It’s Halloween and temptation, chaos, and fear abound. And that’s just in the wine aisle of your favorite store. That’s because there’s no shortage of novelty wine on the shelves for Halloween parties. Many of these wines are a trick rather than a treat when it comes to tasting great.
You don’t have to choose between a so-so wine with an orange and black label featuring a witch, and a wine you’ll really enjoy. There are plenty of frighteningly delectable wines with frightful, macabre labeling and/or stories that offer great taste too!
No trick here — these are my favorite wines that are a treat for Halloween!
1. 2009 d’Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm
No, this one isn’t named for the villain whose arm was ripped off by the Toxic Avenger! It’s named for a fungal vine disease that results in an “arm” of the grape vine turning into dead wood. The affected vines are severely pruned or replanted.
Ah… but bad news of the vine is good news for wine lovers. While one side of the grape vine may be lifeless and brittle, the other side produces fruit of amazing intensity. This one has complex floral, spice and savory dark fruit aromas followed by rich dark cherry, dark chocolate, baking spice and vanilla flavors.
2. 2009 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
The grapes for this one are sourced from a vineyard next to a cemetery in Yountville, California. According to local legend, George C Yount, whom the town is named after and was the first to plant vineyards in Napa Valley, wanders among the vineyards and keeps watch over the valley.
The spirit of Mr. Yount would be pleased with this big, rich Cabernet with velvety tannins and ripe blackberry, cherry and chocolate aromas and flavors accented with vanilla spice.
3. 2009 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Murder Ridge Block Perli Vineyard
Drew Family Cellars is a Mendocino County based winery that was named Winery of the Year by Wine & Spirits Magazine. This winery consistently produced superb wine, and this wine is no exception. It’s complex with an exotic berry, cherry, plum and spice and character — a killer Pinot!
4. 2008 Misfit Wine Co. “Brujeria” Red
Yikes! How is this for a scary label?! This wine is from Australia, and is a blend of Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah), Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Tempranillo.
According to the DrinkUpNY website… “This blend offers an exciting bouquet of baking spice, black pepper and ripe red fruit. The palate is rounded, mouthwatering and concentrated, with bushels of red berry and a lingering finish.” Don’t let the smooth taste fool you… and don’t leave it on your nightstand!
5. 2011 Armida Zinfandel PoiZin
There are plenty of tasty Zinfandels that make my list. Since Zin rhymes with Sin, it’s easy to see why! This one is from Dry Creek — Zinfandel country in California. It has a red skull and cross-bones emblazoned on the bottle. And if you want to drop some serious coin, Armida offers a “reserve” version that comes in its own coffin! This wine offers a “lush, delicious, and “serious” wine but in a fun package.” As the Armida website states, “Enjoy this POIZIN with caution; it is The Wine to Die for!”
6. Orin Swift The Prisoner
This wine is an eclectic blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbano, and Grenache.
It’s a big bold wine that consistently rates high scores with wine lovers for its ripe cherry, plum and fig character. Careful… one sip and this Prisoner may hold you hostage!
7.2010 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel 7 Deadly Zins
The name of this “seductive, full throttle” blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot brings to mind the movie, “Se7en,” about the hunt for a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. It’s a blend of fruit from seven vineyards in Lodi, California.
“This hugely popular wine spends 12 months in both French and American oak. Sexy and endearing, it offers a deep ruby/purple color, full-bodied, corpulent flavors and abundant berry fruit, pepper and spice notes.” One sip and at least a couple of sins — lust and greed will surely tempt you!
8. 2011 Owen Roe Sinister Hand
Yes — that’s a severed hand on the label of this wine! As the story goes, during the 17th century two Irish clans decided to settle a land dispute by having a rowing competition with the first team to touch the land claiming ownership. A family member on the team that was losing cut off his own hand with a sword and flung it ashore, thereby winning title to the land. The land is still in the family today!
According to this Oregon winery… “A dark story needs a dark wine, which is why we created this blend, typical of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.” It’s a tasty blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault that bursting with “fruity notes of raspberry and blackberry” and spices.
9. 2009 Bogle Phantom
This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Mourvèdre that “heady apparition of fierce berry and sensual spice returns to haunt wine lovers. Marked by bright entry, a full-bodied mid palate and firm finish, this wine showcases the best of these three unique varietals.” This is seriously tasty wine. Don’t be surprised by how quickly it vanishes!
10. 2010 Charles Smith Merlot The Velvet Devil
I’ve had a few wines from Charles Smith, an eponymous Washington-state based winery, and I’ve found them all to be wonderful! Charles was named “Winemaker of the Year” both in 2009 and 2010 by Food & Wine and Seattle magazines, respectively.
According to their websites, this wine offers “Classic Merlot aromas of dark cherries, cedar, pipe tobacco, anise, stone and cherry blossoms. Yeah, believe it! Naughty and nice, a true “Velvet Devil.”
11. 2010 Vampire Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
What’s Halloween without a vampire? Bwahahaha! Vampire Vineyards has a full line of wines perfectly named for Halloween. Aside from this wine, which recently won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Wine and Spirits (I can’t make this stuff up) Competition, they also produce Vampire Merlot and Pinot Noir; “Dracula” Syrah, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir and a “Trueblood” Pinot Noir. They also have similarly labeled Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and White Zinfandel.
12. 2010 Gray Ghost Winery Chardonnay
Somehow, white wine isn’t nearly as frightful as red wine for me. Nonetheless, I feel my list would be incomplete without including America’s favorite white wine, Chardonnay. Gray Ghost Vineyard is a Virginia-based winery that is named for John S. Mosby, a Confederate soldier referred to as the “Gray Ghost” by the Union Army for his ability to infiltrate enemy lines without being detected. Their Chardonnay offers tropical fruit, pear and vanilla character.
Happy Hallow-Wine! I’m sure there are other frighteningly delectable wines. What are your favorites?
Featured image courtesy of *traveler licensed via Creative Commons.