Wine Inspired Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is almost upon us, and everyone agrees that a few glasses of vino improve every Hallows’ Eve. But instead of just drinking wine this year, why not let your beverage choices inspire your costume? Here we’ve paired each of our nine varietals with a costume that represents it best. These takes are no tricks; we hope you’ll let them treat you to a frightfully fun night.

Sauvignon Blanc

Anyone who knows our Sauvignon Blanc appreciates it for its careful blend of fruit and acidity, a finish that’s clean and crisp. With this in mind, the wine works best with costumes that suggest strength of character but also incorporate lightness. Think fairies or angels. And behave accordingly.

Chardonnay

Our Chardonnay is no pushover. It has a body—just like a warrior. We can’t help but think about Wonder Woman when we drink this wine. We recognize this might be a popular choice after Gal Gadot’s performance in the blockbuster movie this year, but we stand strong in our selection.

Rosé of Pinot Noir

The success of Disney’s runaway hit Frozen, coupled with the fresh-faced flavors in our dry rosé make this pairing a no-brainer: If you drink pink, consider dressing as Elsa, Anna or even Olaf. Of course to really play the part you could make some of our Rosé popsicles to hand out. How far will you let it go?

Pinot Noir

Fundamentally, Pinot Noir is a magical and mystical wine. Sometimes it’s soft. Sometimes it’s spicy. It’s like the best of all flavor profiles, wrapped up into one. The wonders of this wine always make us think of unicorns. So, we say: Run with the association and don the single horn with pride.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Our Cabernet expresses the depth and complexity of the cabernet grape itself. That means the wine will work nicely with a costume that expresses depth and complexity, too. Some options: Any one of the Corleone men from The Godfather, John Lennon, Oprah, maybe even Sigmund Freud.

Primitivo

Our take on Zinfandel is the most versatile wine in our lineup. Naturally, then, it’s one of the easiest wines to pair with costumes, too. Versatility always makes us think of our favorite athletes: LeBron James, Mia Hamm, Steph Curry, Billie Jean King. Grab a jersey and you’re golden.

Sea of Stones

Our red blend is dense and concentrated, opaque purple to the eye, almost black in color. This darkness is intriguing. Kind of like the darkness behind a witch. Any witch will do for a pairing here, though one of our favorites is Maleficent. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to cackle.

Malbec

Malbec is our most complicated wine, with dozens of layers to unpack with every sip. Maybe it’s because we’re soil nerds, but digging through layers makes us think of archaeology, which means this wine pairs well with Indiana Jones and Lara Croft costumes. Smart heroes never go out of style.

Shiraz

Cocoa, warm spice and dark fruit are some of what you’ll taste in our Shiraz. These flavors linger on your palate, giving the wine some serious soul. We love pairing it with costumes that incorporate guitars and reference the coolest musicians of our time: Barry White, B.B. King, and most definitely Prince.

An Italian Pantry

Daydreaming of an Italian vacation? Those golden sunsets. The olive trees swaying in the breeze, the rolling hills striped with grapevines. A farm table set for a leisurely dinner al fresco under the wisteria. A glass of Primitivo toasting yet another beautiful day.

Why wait? Start where the Italians would, with an unfussy meal of high-quality ingredients, simply prepared, like our Cacio e Pepe. Stock your pantry Italian-style, and you can easily pull together a dreamy, nourishing feast on any day of the week. Delizioso!

  • Olive oil. Keep one workhorse olive oil for everyday cooking, and splurge on a really good bottle of extra-virgin oil for finishing, salad dressings and saucing pastas. Excellent California producers include McEvoy Ranch, Stonehouse and Grumpy Goats Farm.
  • Dried pastas. Have a variety of shapes on hand to pair with different sauces and quickly sautéed veggies. Give orecchiette, strozzapreti or cavatappi a whirl. Legendary cookbook author Marcella Hazan (she’s considered the Julia Child of Italian cooking in the US) offered some helpful rules of thumb for perfect pasta cookery.
  • Cured meats. Slice up sopressata or roll up prosciutto for an antipasto plate with cheese and ciabatta. Keep frozen pizza dough on hand for a better-than-delivery meal, adding whisper-thin slices of salami at the end of baking. Freeze a package of diced pancetta and you’ll always be two steps closer to bucatini amatriciana.
  • Grains. Farro, rice and polenta keep for ages in the pantry. Pull them into service for a side dish (or main) with a box of chicken stock, dried porcini mushrooms and aged Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Regianno cheese.
  • Jars and tins. Toss olives, capers, anchovies and a big can of San Marzano tomatoes together for a gutsy puttanesca sauce. Cannellini beans with oil-packed tuna are a classic salad pairing for an easy lunch. Get creative with crostini toppings: artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or jarred bruschetta spread (which can also double as a pasta sauce).
  • Herbs. Nothing brightens a store-bought sauce like a chiffonade of fresh basil or flurry of chopped oregano. Fresh herbs don’t keep long, though, so unless you have a window herb garden at the ready, rely on dried herbs. (Generally, one teaspoon of dried herbs is equivalent to a tablespoon of fresh.) Also bear in mind that dried leafy herbs are only really fresh for 6 months to a year; old spices won’t make anyone ill, but they won’t flavor your dinner much, either.
  • Lots of garlic. So much garlic! Plus a few onions (yellow or cippolini, a sweeter Italian variety) and shallots; many, many Italian recipes start with these ingredients. Alliums keep best in a cool, dry area with some ventilation; a countertop usually does the trick. Store separately from potatoes, since an onion’s gases will hasten spoilage in spuds.
  • Layer Cake wine. Because, well, it just wouldn’t be la dolce vita without it. No passport required!

Discovering Heirloom Rice

It’s no secret: we love good food. Sweet, decadent, umami – we seek out bold flavors and go all out to create meals that are hard to forget. We love ingredients that have a story. Whether it’s locally raised lamb that falls off the bone or provisions from farmers with a mission, we seek out suppliers who understand what it means to be passionate about food.

A few years ago, we came across a product that spoke to us – heirloom rice by Lotus Foods. Actually, friends introduced us to Forbidden Black Rice with its beautiful texture and even more striking flavor. After such a meal enhancement, we had to explore the whole line, from Bhutan Red Rice to Volcano Rice. Sure enough, each was as delicious as the next.

We felt compelled to seek out the people responsible for these amazing rice varietals. Sure enough, upon meeting Ken Lee and Carol Levine, we felt an instant connection. Not only for their work to promote sustainably grown, exotic rice hand crafted on small family farms in remote areas of the world, but for their purpose of championing such distinctive rice in the US.

The unique attributes of such heirloom rice are quite akin to wine. The terroir, or special characteristics of geography in which the rice is grown, impacts and adds to the individuality of each product. This rice truly carries the sense of place in which it’s grown, each exuding vastly different flavors, textures, aromas and cooking qualities.

There are currently twelve varieties of heirloom rice from Lotus Foods. We’ve tried them all it’s hard to choose a favorite, but for now, we’ve chosen the Forbidden Black Rice and paired it with Liberty Duck and Bing Cherry Sauce (and a bottle of Layer Cake Pinot Noir) for an unforgettable meal.

Other stories and recipes from our journeys can be found in the One True Vine Journal 002. You can purchase a copy here.