While the younger generations enjoy trick or treating through the neighborhoods for the best candy; the older, more sophisticated generations can trick or treat their way through our wine list for the best wine for All Hallow’s Eve.
We tried to present more treats than tricks but with 31 different wines to choose from based on creepy names and spooky stories, there’s bound to be a prized wine waiting for you.
Proceed if you dare!
1. Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo
Casillero del Diablo offers wine lovers the very special opportunity to participate in the propagation of a century-old legend known throughout the world. In the 19th century, the founder of Concha y Toro, Don Melchor, discovered that his vineyard workers were sampling his greatest wines.
To discourage this action, Don Melchor spread the rumor that his deepest, darkest cellar was the Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil), so that no one would dare go in there. It worked, and a legend was born. Today, this mysterious and legendary cellar continues to hold the finest, estate-grown wines of Casillero del Diablo.
The Cabernet Sauvignon owns an intense cherry and plum bouquet, with vanilla and toast finishes. It is one of the red varieties with full wine in mouth, elegant and ideal to match beef in pepper sauce.
2. Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap
When the farm was founded, the Franschhoek valley was far wilder than it is today – as the wolf trap once discovered goes to show. Today, the mountains are still alive with indigenous animals, including the majestic leopard.
No evidence of wolves has ever been found though, so Boekenhoutskloof created this wine to remind people of the mysteries and legends of days gone by. The Wolftrap is a rich, deep red blend that includes Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier.
The Red Syrah has an intense red color with a purple rim. A spicy profile with ripe black fruit and violets. Smooth and rich on the palate with soft tannins, good density, and a hint of oak. A well balanced, unpretentious wine made for easy drinking.
3. Bogle Phantom
Bogle’s heady apparition of fierce berry and sensual spice returns to haunt wine lovers. Marked by a bright entry, a full-bodied mid-palate, and a firm finish, this wine showcases the best of these three unique varietals.
Rich black raspberries and briary boysenberries vividly surround the nose and palate, while the decadence of cocoa-dusted pomegranate is enticingly complex. Touches of juniper, cedar, and black pepper edge toward the full-bodied fruit, charming you to take another sip.
Though the wine is remarkable now, age in the bottle will only integrate these distinct varietals more. Welcome the winery ghost into your home again with this latest vintage, and enjoy with full-flavored and hearty meals…before it vanishes.
Bewitched is a dark, rich Californian red wine. The name is so good that Stranger and Stranger didn’t need to do too much apart from making it dark and sexy.
The reserve level is screened back onto the bottle. Witchery, in liquid form. It’s not hundreds of years old, though. It’s a 2011 Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley made by Virginia Marie Lambrix.
5. Ghost Pines
Ghost Pines is a historic vineyard in the Louis M. Martini portfolio. The Ghost Pine is an illustrious tree, open in structure and free-form in style. Native to California, the Ghost Pine thrives in nutrient-deficient soils, much like grapevines.
Like the unharnessed, free-form, ghost-like tree with which it shares a name, Ghost Pines represents the long, rich, winemaking heritage of California’s finest appellations. By departing from traditional single appellation grape sourcing, the Ghost Pines winemaker is able to craft consistently superior “Winemaker’s Blend” wines which showcase the concentrated yet elegant flavor characters that come from the best growing regions in the state.
The result is Ghost Pine’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon which displays aromas and flavors of plums and blackberries, with layered notes of mocha, toasted pound cake, and roasted nuts. This wine has superb complexity and an aging potential for up to 3 years.
6. Saxum James Berry Vineyard Bone Rock
The Bone Rock blend comes from the Bone Rock block of James Berry Vineyard. It is a steep terrace of old head-trained Syrah vines on a south-facing slope.
Saxum James Berry Vineyard unearthed fossilized whale bones when they terraced it and then needed to use jackhammers to plant the vines. This wine might be the most structured blend Saxum produces and because of its density, tannin, and acidity, it needs a few years to unfold. Saxum’s wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The 2009 wines are quite powerful. There are some very substantial tannins on these wines, they are muscular. These late releases of the 2009’s are going to benefit from a few years of cellar age. Enjoy some now, but be sure to stash some in your cellar so you can see how they evolve after a few years. You will be well rewarded for waiting.
7. Freakshow Cab
Known for taking the road less traveled Michael David Winery has always stood apart from the crowd. Whether it be their outlandish brands and packaging or their quirky personalities, Michael and David are definitely on a stage of their own and this wine showcases just that.
The fruit for this brute of a Cab comes from the original “super freak”, Michael Phillips vineyard located only a medicine balls toss away from the winery. Surprisingly nimble and elegant, showing great balance, strength, and poise.
This Cabernet has a bouquet of dark cherry and roasted spices. Full-bodied and mouth-filling with gobs of black currant, blackberry, charred oak, vanilla, and cassis. Mild tannins with a mellow, long finish.
8. 7 Deadly Zins
This hugely popular wine, also from the Michael David Winery, 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.
Drink this seductive, full throttle, classic Zinfandel over the next several years.
9. Dead Arm Shiraz
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. One half or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to deadwood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.
Dead Arm’s heady aroma is both powerful and pretty with notes of fennel, purple flowers, and blossom mingling with ripe, varietal purple fruits, and black pepper. The oak is hardly evident which allows fruit and soil complexities to emerge with edges of rhubarb and red mulberry and savory characters of dried herbs, game, and spice.
The palate opens with anise, black pepper, graphite, and restrained dark cherries before it gives way to seductive mulberry, plum, licorice, and spice. It has great power, depth, and length with very vibrant, gritty fruit tannins providing immense structure. Notes of anise and spice linger for a long time after the last sip. The Dead Arm 2008 strikes a rare balance of power, complexity, and finesse with an impressive structure that will reward those with patience to cellar it.
10. Apothic Red Blend
The brambly spice of Zinfandel, dark fruit flavors of Syrah, the bold notes of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the smooth elegance of Merlot unite to create this captivating red blend.
Apothic Red reveals intense fruit aromas and flavors of rhubarb and black cherry, complemented by hints of mocha, chocolate, brown spice, and vanilla. The plush, velvety mouth-feel, and the smooth finish round out this intriguing, full-bodied red blend.
More than 800 years ago, vintners blended and stored their most coveted concoctions in a mysterious place called Apotheca. In late 2005, a Master Winemaker envisioned an epic red wine that would combine Old World blending traditions with a markedly New World style.
Thus began the path that led his protégé, Apothic winemaker Boyd Morrison, to create Apothic Red using the most distinctive grapes from California’s renowned vineyards: Zinfandel for its spicy nature, Syrah for its dark fruit flavors, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot for a smooth finish.
11. Ballet of Angels
A sweet name for a wine named after a creepy paranormal event. Owner Catherine Vollweiler was in bed one night looking in art books for an image to use on her new wine. Giving up, she fell asleep but was later awakened by a noise. Upon switching on the light, she found that a book had fallen to the floor and opened to the picture currently on the label.
Ballet of Angels is a light and refreshing semi-dry white wine with a delicious floral bouquet. The wine has wonderful refreshing citrus flavors reminiscent of peaches, pears, and sweet grapefruit.
Sharpe Hill Vineyard suggests serving it well chilled as an aperitif or as the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods.
12. Sinister Hand
The story goes like this: Long ago, during the 17th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were two revolutionary Irish families. They formed a rowing competition to reserve rights to some highly regarded land. The two rowing teams agreed that the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land.
O’Neill’s boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand, and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. This land still remains in the family.
A dark story needs a dark wine, which is why Owen Roe Winery created this blend, typical of a traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Aromas of spicy red hots, cinnamon, and pine lead to a bursting mouth-feel of cassis, white pepper and granite. Fruity notes of raspberry and blackberry enhance this structured, firm tannin blend and finish with hints of rosemary and clove.
13. Ghost Hill Cellars
In the early 1860s, Oregon was in the midst of a gold rush. An old military road that ran through what is now the Bayliss family farm stretched from southern Oregon to Portland. A miner that was traveling to Portland with his hard-earned “poke” of gold decided to camp for the night at the top of what is now known as Ghost Hill.
During the night, someone snuck into his camp, killed the miner and his horse, and stole his gold. To this day, the miner is said to wander the hill looking for his stolen gold.
“The Spirit of Pinot Noir” dry Rosé has notes of wild strawberry, raspberry and sour cherries are lifted by floral tones of dried rose petals, hibiscus, and orange blossom filling the nose of this brightly colored dry Rosé. The palate is surprisingly rich with pomegranate and perfumed apricot. A suggestion of tannin helps to fill the mouth with lovely red berry fruit touched and a hint of blood orange.
14. EVIL Cabernet
One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Langhorne Creek, Riverland, Barossa Valley. Twenty-five percent aged in French oak for 12 months.
Dan Phillips of the importer, The Grateful Palate, and Evil Cab winemaker, Chris Ringland, are fond of saying that all wines that are really good are “evil” because you can’t put the bottle down!
EVIL Cabernet is a dark rich red, with bright crimson hues. Fresh, yet rich classic varietal nose, consisting of black olive, fresh blackberries, and raspberries. The soft palate displays the complexity of fruit and oak, with blackcurrant and spicy clove characters, balanced with a fine tannin finish.
15. Twisted Oak’s River of Skulls
In 1805, Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga was ordered by the Spanish Governor of California to explore the Great Central Valley and to (re)name everything he found.
One day Gabe came across a river where the banks were littered with skulls. No one knows how the skulls came to be there. Perhaps an ancient battle. Or perhaps a really great party gone horribly wrong. Whatever. Old Gabe, being a true master of the obvious, named this river “El Rio De Las Calaveras” or in English, “The River of Skulls.”
With a name like River of Skulls, you know it has to be good… An ankle bone of cherries is connected to the shin bone of raspberries, which connects to the knee bone of smoky vanilla. The knee bone is connected to the leg bone of Mourvedre’s natural tobacco character, which connects to the hip bone, backbone, and neck bone of a nice long finish. Oh, Dem Skulls!
16. Ash Hollow Legends Headless Red
All by itself, in the Walla Walla Valley, sits the Ash Hollow Vineyard on Nine Mile Hill. Legend has it, this ground is sacred… legend tells of a ghostly figure who haunts this very spot! And with this- a tale that few, dare to tell…
Headless Red is a sinfully delicious blend of 58 percent Merlot, 26 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 13 percent Syrah, and 3 percent Malbec. It’s hand-harvested before dusk from Ash Hollow’s Estate Vineyard. The wine carries aromatics of dark raspberry and Bing cherries with whispering hints of earth, heady spices, with a subtle oak finish.
Headless Red has a mid-palate that is as luxurious, as it is accessible. It’s legendary….it’s WICKED GOOD!
17. Vampire Vineyards – Dracula Pinot Noir
Made from grapes picked before sunrise under the Master’s supervision, this wine highlights the incredible nuances and flavors obtainable from pinot noir grapes grown in the Santa Maria Valley.
This Cuvee was placed in French Oak barrels for 18 months prior to bottling, leading to a rich and concentrated wine with raspberry, dark cherry, and pomegranate flavors. God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the devil made Pinot Noir. Andres Tchelistcheff (1901-1994)
18. Elk Creek’s Ghostly White – Sweet Mellow White
Your Halloween party guests will be treated when you serve them this pretty aromatic Halloween wine that offers up plenty of flavors. The crisp and fruity complexity of the Cayuga grape is balanced beautifully with the solid body and foundation of the Vidal Blanc grape.
Together these grapes produce a Halloween wine with nicely balanced notes of apricot, melon, and peach and no tricks! No Halloween party is complete without Elk Creek’s Ghostly White Halloween wine.
19. Elk Creek – Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon
Aged in small oak barrels to maintain a soft balance while adding richness and character, our Bone Dry Red Cabernet has ripe cherry, red berry, chocolate, and hints of spice, this Halloween Wine is perfect to carry along or serve at all your Halloween parties.
Your friends are sure to enjoy this tantalizingly eerie wine.
20. The Velvet Devil
Charles Smith’s The Velvet Devil has classic Merlot aromas of dark cherries, cedar, pipe tobacco as well as anise, stone, and cherry blossoms.
Yeah, believe it! Naughty and nice, this is a true Velvet Devil.
21. Reserve POIZIN/Reserve Antidote
POIZIN – This wine is the best of the best Zin that Armida has to offer. This the best and most delicious 9-barrels of Zinfandel in their cellar were chosen and blended to create this otherworldly nectar.
The nose is fruit-driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn, and cranberry. The mouth-feel is supple, yet well structured with gobs of dense ripe Dry Creek Zin fruit, and hints of dark chocolate, fresh strawberries, with a long rhubarb pie finish. Enjoy this poizin with caution, for it is The Wine to Die for!
Antidote – This wine is a dry Pinot Gris that is the perfect “Antidote” to Armida’s POIZIN. This wine was steel tank fermented for 45 days, then left on the lees until bottling. The extended lees (dead yeast cells) contact helped to create a beautifully complex wine with a bright nose of cantaloupe and meyer lemon, and a creamy mouth-feel reminiscent of pear flambé.
Drink this wine alone as an aperitif, or pair with your favorite aged cheeses.
22. Spanish Demon Tempranillo
Axial Vinos created Spanish Demon to bring Rioja closer to younger audiences who wish to enter the world of wine. It’s attractive and mysterious design is our proposal for the adventurous wine drinker. If you want to have fun, bask in the company of your friends without any worries and enjoy a taste worthy of the bolder side of you…
Spanish Demon is made 100 percent of the grape variety Tempranillo coming from 25-year-old family-owned vineyards, which belong to the family San Pedro, located close to Laguardia, a medieval village in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, the northern region of D.O.Ca. Rioja in Spain.
This highly expressive Tempranillo is soft and delicious, it’s also loaded with juicy blackberry and black plum fruit plus a touch of smoke and a dash of spice. This devilishly good wine is definitely worthwhile trying out.
Intensely aromatic, densely flavored, muscular but supple, graceful, and delicate. This wine is full of contradictions and charming mysteries. It is a trifecta of Albarino, Malvasia Bianca, and Chardonnay; each providing a balancing force in the blend. The Albarino is delicate in aroma, like a white peach, but full-flavored.
The Malvasia Bianca is almost overwhelming with jasmine flower and apricot nectar aromas, yet brisk and clean to taste. The Chardonnay is a ripe pear in both flavor and aroma, filling your mouth with warm, succulent flavor.
But, the wine is much more than the sum of its parts…insanely good!
24. NV The Big Red Monster
Medium to dark purple in the glass this wine has a pleasant nose of cherry, cassis, and vanilla aromas. In the mouth, it is smooth and soft and round with no perceptible tannins and a mix of fruit flavors including black cherry, cherry, and cola.
The wine is balanced, though perhaps possesses the tiniest hint of sweetness amidst all the ripe fruit. Not to beat a metaphor to death, but this wine is definitely a crowd-pleaser for anyone who enjoys a bolder style of red wine with plenty of fruit.
It won’t win awards for sophistication, but sometimes you don’t want to drink anything intellectual, you just want to drink something tasty.
25. Incognito Rouge
The newest of Incognito vintages have seen subtle changes on the outside, but what’s most impressive is corked up inside these newly screened bottles. The winemaking team at Michael David has worked up two intriguing blends, one red and one white.
Both wines are blends of multiple complementary varietals, each showing the complexity and balance that come from experienced blending in the cellar.
Not afraid to experiment with various grapes, this wine shows a nice cherry and plum aroma with medium tannins and a long, smooth finish.
26. Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Lodi
This deep-hued wine is a Mischievous blend from five different old vine Zinfandel vineyards. Each bringing their unique personalities that when combined equal the classic fruit-forward characteristics that are the centerpiece of all great Lodi wines.
The rich ripe berry flavors are highlighted with a subtle hint of soft vanilla oak.
27. Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay
The color is a lovely ruby-red. The nose is very fresh: violets, raspberry, a little pepper, and something faintly salty, as well.
Flavors are very focused, penetrating, and persistent, with gorgeous texture, and fine length. Mouth-watering, and fun to drink, and quite complex, at the same time.
Bound to provoke considerable jolliness!
Spellbound was born of Rob Mondavi Jr.’s desire to craft every day approachable wines from California that are relaxed enough to enjoy every day, yet special enough to celebrate milestone events.
Spellbound’s intensity of color, rich black and brambly fruits, vanilla bean, and roasting coffee aromatics are complemented by remarkable approachability in Petite Sirah. The wine is crafted to unleash dark and luscious characteristics while managing tannins to deliver an opulent and juicy Petite Sirah.
This lush yet easy-drinking wine provides intense berry character, with a superb texture you will find in no other Petite Sirah but Spellbound.
29. Ravenswood Icon Mixed Blacks
Ravenswood Icon is very dark, very dense. Blackberries and other fruit aromas mingle with interesting and complicated scents of violets, forest floor, and aromatic spices.
The 2009 Icon is big and suave on the palate. It is full of ripe dark fruit flavors, harmonious oak notes, and a long, finish with perfect acidity that adds lift and punch.
This is a youthful, muscular wine that will offer rewards for many years to come.
30. Moselland Black Cat Riesling
According to legend, three wine merchants came to the town of Zell (in Germany) to buy wine. In one of the cellars, they tasted several wines out of different barrels.
They had narrowed the choice to three barrels but they couldn’t agree on which one was the best. They were about to take another sample, when a black cat suddenly jumped on one of the barrels, arched its back, its fur standing on end, and swiped its paw at anyone who tried to get closer. The wine merchants quickly came to an agreement and chose the barrel which was so obstinately defended by the cat, thinking that it probably contained the best wine.
The merchants marketed the wine under the name “Zeller Schwarze Katz” (black cat from Zell) and it became so popular that other winegrowers and the city government eventually gave this name to its vineyard of origin, in the town of Zell.
Moselland was the first and only winery to actually market their wine in a black, cat-shaped bottle!
31. Crystal Lake Wines
Adrienne King from Friday the 13th and Valley View Winery produce a variety of wines named after the infamous lake from the Friday the 13th films.
Each bottle has an “Alice in Canoe” wine label originally painted by Adrienne King. Horror fans can even get their bottles personally signed by King.
The Oregonian called Crystal Lake Wines’ Cabernet Sauvignon the perfect red paired with pasta or a nice beef stew and a vintage horror flick.
32. Elvira’s Macabrenet
One of television’s most loved and enduring personalities, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has lent her name and voluptuous likeness to a brand new line of fine handcrafted California wines with Sort This Out Cellars.
Now adding Vamp of Vino to her resume, Elvira worked closely with winemaker Michael Cobb in creating her Macabrenet, a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Elvira’s Macabernet is full-bodied, well-rounded with flavors from exotically plump, ripe berries which give this wine it’s eerily dark and devilish flavor.