Kids are the primary collectors of Halloween candy, but everyone knows it's the adults who determine how the sweets are purchased, distributed and consumed. According to the National Confectioners Association, 84 percent of adults will hand out candy at the front door this Halloween, and 41 percent of them will munch on some while they wait for trick-or-treaters. A whopping 90 percent of adults admit to pilfering their own kids' Halloween candy and, of course, it's adults who'll drop the $2.1 billion to buy treats in the first place.
Yes, adults do a lot of things with Halloween candy, but here's one thing they never seem to do: look for a decent pinot grigio or chardonnay to pair it with.
Well, now they can: Vivino, the popular app for wine enthusiasts, has just released its second annual Candy and Wine Match Maker (see chart below), an easy guide for pairing Halloween candy with the perfect vintage.
"Halloween is so focused on kids, but there are parents out there. And I'm sure that some of them wouldn't mind having a glass of wine," Vivino's vp of marketing Stephen Favrot told Adweek. "This is a perfect excuse for them."
Billed as a "Halloween survival guide for adults," Vivino's chart lists 14 popular Halloween candies in the left column (Tootsie Rolls, M&Ms, Skittles—all the heavy hitters are there.) Users can then follow leader lines to a variety of wines organized by category.
For example, the light, sweet and crispy flavor profile of a Kit Kat bar would pair nicely with medium reds like a zinfandel or a Grenache. Kit Kats also go well with sparkling wines—try a Champagne, prosecco or sparkling rose.
As you might imagine, producing such a comprehensive chart took enormous dedication. "We ate a fair share of candy," Favrot said. Basically, the Vivino tasters looked for the same flavor notes found in main-dish entrées and matched them using their experienced palates. The house staff then checked its results with some handpicked oenophiles in its user base of 11.4 million.
Because Vivino's app gives crowd-sourced advice on buying wine, its pairing guide does not mention brands; the app created its Halloween candy chart solely to spotlight its expertise. "We let the user pick what brand he wants," Favrot said, "We give them the guidelines."
Tart-flavored candies proved especially hard to match. "Some of the Starburst flavors?" Favrot said. "Man, that was tough—and Sour Patch Kids, too."
Sour Patch Kids doesn't appear on the pairing list, in fact. But Starburst can be safely washed down with a nice Moscato or Riesling.