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Starburst Candy Corn…A True Scandal

Hello Friends!

My last post was in July which, in reflection, isn’t TOO bad considering the hectic nature of my life lately. I moved, started grad school, went to NYC, and now I am changing jobs. Bananas! This entire time, I have had a back up wine pairing. I did this pairing months ago before I moved.

I figured tonight was the best night to post my pair because a certain wine-drinking, white-hate wearing woman is back in our lives.


That’s right, Scandal is back and so am I…so let’s get crackin.

The Wine: Brethen of the Road, 2013, Grenache, Santa Cruz Mountains


The Candy: Starburst Candy Corn. Yeah. Yup. It is real.


The Dream:


This was months ago so I do not remember what I was thinking. All I know is this: I was unpacking and I found a sample pack of Starburst Candy Corn that I bought in a fever dream.

Have you ever held a mistake? Because I have.

Have you ever held a mistake? Because I have.

The Reality: 

I don’t know exactly what this is or why I ate it. The candy is basically a Starburst but with a candy corn texture. I don’t understand it. My brain could not handle it. I love candy corn and I love Starbursts, but together they are truly horrifying. If you want to be disgusted and frightened this Halloween, this is the choice for you.


My Thoughts Exactly Olivia

The wine has a yeasty, cherry smell. It is not very fruity and it is dry, which I thought might be good. But I was wrong. Horribly wrong. The texture of the candy meets the wine and it….bubbles. How? HOW? What a mistake.

Anyway, what a post to come back on right? I wish I could have made this more Scandal appropriate…..but that would just be straight wine right? What makes a Scandal pairing?

Candy Corn White Chocolate M& Ms. ‘Nuff Said.

We take a slight detour from our exploration of my bag of candy from Indianapolis to check out some fall candy delicacies. Today, we explore a twist on the ever delightful candy corn. We’ve visited candy corn in the past, so I am welcoming a new twist into the fold. 

So, first off, I have some saddish news. In the rush to get iOS 7 on my phone, I imported all the photos on my phone to my computer and then deleted them off my phone. In the fervor to get the latest and greatest update, I lost my photos from this pairing. Liz, you say, this is why you do your updates right away and don’t wait. To that I reply, shut up you’re not my dad, you can’t tell me what to do.

So, we will have to steal some photos from the net. But hey, not all is lost. They can take my pictures, but they can never take my words and taste buds.

The Candy: Candy Corn Coated White Chocolate M&Ms


I Find M&M People So Upsetting


The Wine: Viognier, The Winery at Bull Run, 2011



The Dream:

I had a taste of the Viognier at winery at Bull Run which we discussed in the winery tour post. It was light and fruity. I very much enjoyed it and thought it would pair nicely with white chocolate. I wasn’t entirely confident, but I steamed ahead anyway. I thought since the two types of sweet were different-fruity and sugary-they could potentially work together.

The result of this pairing is a really good example about how taste buds work differently in different people.

The Reality:

The wine is delightful. LIght, delicious, and fruity with a scent of tart apple and a lemony bite. The candy is also very tasty. The candy coating is fairly and it has only a hint of candy corn. The chocolate has a strong vanilla flavor.



I did not like this pairing. The wine went sour after eating the M&Ms and all together the experience was way too sweet. But Sam, my boyfriend in residence, really loved this pairing and considered it a slam dunk. So I don’t know, try it and see what you think! If you can’t find Viognier, a Reisling may do the trick.

Happy Tasting! We will go back to the bag o’ candy for the next pair. 


Cab-by Corn: A Halloween Pairing

It’s never too early to embrace the Halloween season. After all, we already have Thanksgiving and Christmas items on sale at stores. Every year, the buying season for the holidays comes closer and closer. It’s only a matter of time until we truly have Christmas in July. To celebrate both Halloween, my birthday, and all the great friends I made on Twitter (follow me at @loolabette), I threw together a little party. It was a pretty small affair since I can’t have that many people fit into my place.

I don’t want to say this post is Halloween themed. After all, I only used a Halloween candy: candy corn. The wine is just a regular Cabernet Sauvignon but from a brand I trust. I did not want to go the white route since those tend to be a little sweeter and I couldn’t see that working with the confectionary overload that is candy corn. I went with a Layer Cake because it is the brand I can trust. Before launching into my party of drunken debauchery (ok it was pretty tame), I took all my notes regarding this pairing. I wanted to make sure I was coherent.

The Wine: Layer Cake, Cabernet Sauvignon

Layers of Flavor

Candy: Brach’s Candy Corn

An American (?) Classic

The Dream:

Honestly, what does candy corn even taste like? How can you pair candy corn with anything when you really think about it? I don’t even understand the hang ups regarding candy corn. Is it the texture? The flavor is honestly just sugar and maybe some honey substitute. I needed a wine that counterbalanced the sweet but that would not go sour. Layer Cake wine tends to be very strong and thick and flavorful. It really is the best choice. The Layer Cake Malbec is one of my favorites and it’s truly a treat of a wine. And even though I had plenty to drink last night, there is a lot of left over wine. So I am drinking it. I refuse to let it go to waste.


Layer Cake smells delicious of course. There are notes of blackberry and rich, ripe strawberries. The smell alone makes my mouth water. A sip coats your mouth with tart fruit flavors. The blackberry comes in very nicely  and the taste rests in your mouth delightfully.

The candy corn is well, typical candy corn. Sweet and thick with an unspeakable appeal. After a few bites of candy corn the wine stays smooth but its distinct sharpness fades. It almost tickles on the way down and becomes far more sweet than I would like. It tastes a bit cheap really. But overally the flavors remain even if they are not that strong.

This pairing is fine. You certainly wouldn’t be amiss to try it. The wine stays good, even if it loses some of its distinct charm. However, this is for the best when considering candy corn. A candy corn and wine stomach ache probably would be the worst thing in the world. Maybe a perfect candy pairing would be far worse than good for the intestines. I’m just trying to look out for you readers.


Friends please enjoy our Halloween season safely and responsibly. And please enjoy the following links about candy corn.

A Chewy, Spooktacular Pairing

A Chewy, Spooktacular Pairing

Hello all,

As tired as I am of seeing/hearing/tasting the word spooktacular I used it in my blog post—what can I say? ‘Tis the season.

Bottoms Up!

                          Bottoms Up!

It has been a little over a month since my last pair which I have decided is respectable. Evidently, you all needed some TRUE candy/wine pairing since Halloween is when a lot of various blogs become wine/candy experts. I can’t have you be led astray, now can I?

My friend Megan requested I pair a candy of her choice with a wine, so this post is a result! Let’s get to it, shall we?

The Wine: Alamos, Chardonnay, 2012


The Candy: Laffy Taffy, Caramel Apple


The Dream:

I chose a chardonnay because it could balance the sweetness of Laffy Taffy. I also thought the subtleness of the wine would play well with the caramel apple flavors. Chardonnay is also very light whereas taffy is very sticky and cumbersome to chew.


The Reality:

The taffy is very sweet and reminds me more of a candy apple versus a caramel apple (yes, there’s a difference). The taffy is not all that chewy either. Readers, you may be thinking: Liz, Laffy Taffy is never that chewy. Well, some of us choose to eat taffy after it has gone stale ok…..


The chardonnay is lovely–not too distinct and not too dry. It is a very neutral chardonnay. The wine goes slightly sour when paired with the candy, but otherwise they combine nicely. The apple of the candy leaves an appealing after taste when combined with the wine. We decided it was a hit!

(If you were thinking I was going to pair candy corn, well, been there, done that.)

I hope you all have a fabulous and SAFE Halloween (look both ways when crossing the street, don’t block your vision with a mask, and DON’T DON’T DON’T drink and drive….use this directory of national designated driver services).



Make it a Double (Chocolate)

Hi Folks!

It has been awhile! The holidays are just around the corner so I thought I would provide you something super sweet to try. And it is extra boozy in case you need to self-medicate while spending quality time with the fam or while watching your favorite team lose. I will be with someone else’s family which is certainly less stressful. In fact, it is incredibly entertaining! I hope you have some fun plans.

I found this pairing’s candy at Candy Village, a store in a local mall. Unlike my August splurge in Indianapolis, this was a fairly reserved grab bag. I bought a variety of chocolates filled with delectables. I however screwed up the purchase so instead of a champagne filled chocolate I got an espresso bean one. Oh well!

The Wine: Layer Cake, Garnacha, 2010


I had to indulge!

The Candy: Chocolates with the following fillings: Blackberry Rum, Rum, & Espresso Beans





The Dream:

For this pairing, I picked up a Layer Cake Garnacha. Layer Cake has a distinct chocolate flavor and their reds are incredibly rich. Instead of doing opposites, I wanted to draw like-to-like to change my typical approach. Since every chocolate was different, I had to be able to at least match one flavor note from the wine to the chocolate….and so I went with chocolate.

The Reality:

As predicted, the chocolate note comes surging through on the first sip and then smoothes out into a raspberry tang. It is slightly unexpected and almost like biting into a fruit filled chocolate. I love Layer Cake for this experience. It is a fairly affordable wine that truly is its own meal.


Blackberry Rum:

The chocolate has a firm crunchy shell (and I didn’t even freeze them!) and has little flavor. The liquor is more sweet than sharp. When the wine and liquor filling meet, the wine is very unhappy and sour. But if you sip after you eat the chocolate, it is a double berry delight. Yum.


The shell is again fairly flavorless and crunchy. The pure rum is rum alright and I prefer it over the blackberry. But when the rum and liquor meet the wine goes sour. Sipping after eating the chocolate didn’t add anything either.

Espresso Beans:

This was my favorite pair. There is a slight minor throw of flavor when the wine hits the coffee bean but it is mostly pleasant. After eating the chocolate, the coffee-chocolate flavors layer nicely with the wine.


Well the espresso bean bought on accident edited up being the star player! I will have to return to try more of the offerings though honestly the chocolates weren’t that great. Next pair will return to this blogs pure, candy roots!


No Michael Phelps


Lucky for all of you, I am home sick with strep throat. And I have enough energy to write a post. As promised, we have an Olympic themed post for you today. Unfortunately, I do not think this pairing gets the gold. Maybe a bronze…but that’s a stretch. Maybe I am just not cut out to be an Olympian.

In my defense, my materials are difficult. I chose peach gummy rings, which are the obvious choice. This blog proved many times that pairing gummy candies is nearly impossible. Just like training a dressage horse, pairing gummies with wine is simply not natural (all do respect to Rafalca).Fortunately for me though, it is a lot cheaper.

Let’s meet the contenders.

The Wine: Simply Naked, Unoaked Pinot Grigio. California 2011

Let’s face it…most Olympians are practically naked when competing

The Candy: Peach Gummy Rings, Giant Brand

Perfect Formation!

The Dream: 

You know, it’s not about winning. It is about the love of the game and the honor of being her….ok no wait, my goal was to delight you all. But gummy candy is a real thorn in my side. Honestly, I need to stop doing themed posts because they are exceedingly limiting. Although they are fun, they can be a drag. It forces me into corners that I don’t want to be in.

For a sweet gummy with a bit of a sour bite, I went with a pinot grigio. The unoaked was appealing (as well as it’s very cheap price) and I wanted something light and playful. It had to be flavorful and full, because the risk of the wine going sour after the candy is big. Let’s see how I faired.


The Reality: 

I loved this wine. It is crisp and ends smoothly with a silky finish. It tingles on the tongue. The flavor of grape comes in strongly along with a hint of pear. This wine tastes like sunshine. Unfortunately for this pairing, it is tart. Which means that our super sweet peaches are going to to turn this wine sour.

The peach rings are peach rings. Overly sweet and only a bit peachy. They are fantastic though and do their job very well. The first sip after the peaches has a sour flavor though, though it maintains its lush finish. The flavor does hold out but the slight sourness is extremely distracting. I gulp down the peaches and enjoy my wine as it should be….naked of all distractions.


Well, what can I say, gummies are tough! They are very sweet and about any beverage gives you a sour stomach after.

I will explore my next post after I recover from this strep. Happy Olympics everyone and how about those gymnasts!?!