Mark Aselstine
 
October 31, 2013 | Mark Aselstine

Halloween Wines

Judging by the Dragon, Pirate, Giraffe and more at my son’s preschool this morning, Halloween has arrived.  Are you in the mood spooky and scary mood yet?  Here’s a few wines which should help.

Devil!Charles Smith Wines, Velvet Devil Merlot: This isn’t a wine from an unknown winery and winemaker simply trying to find a marketing gimmick, in fact Smith might be one of the top 5 winemakers in the state of Washington.  He’s also a Maverick in a number of ways within the wine establishment, not the least of which is his long hair, motorcycle and reportedly, epic tasting trips with members of the trade.  To put Smith in perspective, he spent a decade managing rock bands in Europe.  As much as we talk about winemakers with different pedigrees, this is as different as it gets.  Oh if you’re wondering if the wine’s likely to be good-Smith is responsible for a 100 point wine and then no less than 50 more scored at 95 points or above.

La Serena Wines Pirate Treasured: A Napa Valley blend of 7 varietals that’ll simply make you think, this is a damn good Cabernet. The bottle, yes looks like a rum bottle and many consumers when they see it, think it might be a Port. This is a serious, serious wine though.  Made by Heidi Peterson Barrett who is famous in wine circles for receiving back to back perfect 100 point scores from Robert Parker in the early 1990’s and then for bringing Screaming Eagle and Cult Cabernet into the public consciousness a decade later.  If you aren’t familiar with the story of Cult Cabernet in California, or Screaming Eagle, let’s just say that a single bottle of wine once sold for $650,000 at auction.  Priced at $60 this Pirate Treasured might be a whimsical look into the world of wine in Napa Valley, but the quality will make your wine drinking friends, green with envy.

Vintage Cowboy Winery: We don’t feel like every Halloween wine on your list has to be serious, at least we hope it doesn’t.  Vintage Cowboy is located in Santa Margarita California, a site on the Central Coast that does produce a range of nice, drinkable wines.  The draw here is one part price (all 4 of their wines are about $20) but also the label, after all have you ever been to a Halloween party that didn’t have at least one Cowboy?

Zombie ZinChateau Diana Zombie Zin:  One of the most whimsical and interesting labels that we’ve ever come across, if you have this wine sitting on your counter-don’t you think everyone at your party would at least try it.  Don’t tell them it sells for only $12 because winemaker Dawn Sacchetti brings a much longer and more complex winemaking resume than you typically find at this price point.  She has worked for years in Sonoma as an enologist at shining stars in the wine scene like Cline Cellars. This is a better wine than you’d expect given the label and price point.

Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy the night, stay safe and don't be afraid to open a Port with your kid's extra candy after you get them to sleep!

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