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Don’t Get Your Hops Up

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Don’t Get Your Hops Up

Hi Friends!

I can hardly believe it but I am running low on my haul from Istanbul. I will have to finally check out that candy shop in Chinatown I have been eyeing! Hopefully I can get some interesting stuff.

Today we return to the familiar war zone-the battle of the gummy pairing. Before we start however I wanted to give a special shout-out to a fan I met during a twitter chat. I won’t mention your name but it was fun chatting with you!

If you are interested in following me on twitter, my handle is @BraveBrasington. I mostly talk about public health stuff.

The Wine: Abadia de la Oliva, Tempranillo 2012



The Candy: Haribo Frogs & Haribo Rainbow Frogs


The Dream:

I chose tempranillo because, while it has an undeniable fruitiness, it also has other rich flavors that balance out the sweetness. In past pairings, I found fruity red wines went well with gummies so I wanted to keep to that trend while challenging it slightly.



The Reality:

The tempranillo is quite lovely actually and smells of licorice and blackberries. The wine goes down smooth with a slight acidity and dryness.


The small frogs are the superior pairing since they are fruity. The wine is not thrown and the fruity frogs draw out the wine’s sweetness.

The big frogs are a BIG disappointment. Their flavor is not that distinct and the wine’s flavor is altered. It’s not terrible, but not great.

Overall? The fruity gummies go well with the fruity wines. However, I don’t know what to do with the non-fruity gummies.  I think we will try the cola bottles or something sour for the next gummies. I’m always up for a challenge!


Fizz is Where it Iz

Hi Friends!

How is October treating you? Is it spooky? Or do you not do spooky? Whatever spooky level you do enjoy, I hope you are experiencing it today.

The loyal faithfuls to this blog may remember the Haribo Colas I paired previously. If you recall, it went pretty well. Today we have a bit of a twist on that old post: Fizzy Colas. I have never had fizzy colas and I wasn’t sure how this would play out. The red wine I paired with the other colas was a hit, so I thought I wouldn’t change it up too much. I was craving a Malbec, so I decided to go that route. More thoughts on my reasoning below!

The Wine: Gascòn, Malbec, 2011


Anybody see Gaston? No one drinks like…Gaston?


The Candy: Fizzy Cola, Haribo



The Dream:

I imagined the Fizzy Colas being a little sour but with that same cola sweetness. A Malbec is strong enough that can withstand a small amount of sour. Sure, it would turn a little bit but the sweetness in the cola would pull through.

The Reality:

The wine is smooth with a tart bite and it goes down nicely. A hint of blackberry tickles the tongue.



The gummy is certainly cola but has a bit more of a bite at first. The longer it stays in your mouth, it grows really really sour. The wine is then thrown a little bit and it isn’t lovely. But as the sour sugar melts away, the cola flavor reasserts itself and the wine returns to a good, round flavor.


So enjoy! I really liked this combo and the good indication of that? A sour stomach.

Try Merlot with Haribo

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I am about to go on another vacation. It will be short and sweet, but worth every drop. I have one more post for you before I shove off and it’s a special one.

We paired the variety of Haribo we bought in Istanbul with a red wine, as I promised in my previous pairing with the wine gummies. It actually turned out pretty well! Don’t get me wrong, gummies are still difficult but this rolled alright. It helped that the flavors were more unique. That’s the Haribo way, I guess.

The Wine: mrlt*, Merlot by Wonderful Wine Co

photo (4)

*I actually have no idea what that says, mrlt is my best guess



The Candy: Haribo! Afrika, Smurfs, Phantasia

photo (3)

Yes Haribo. These are ALL candy categories alright.


The Dream:

I just wanted to try something different, so I grabbed Merlot which doesn’t get a lot of play on this blog.  It tends to have some bite but isn’t overwhelming and not too fruity. I thought it may go well with the fun fruit flavors. But honestly, I wasn’t sure. I got lucky (or is it SKILL?).

The Reality:

We did this pairing while watching the extended version of Return of the King (…yea) so I didn’t take notes on the wine flavors! This is a huge offense and I apologize. But the wine was quite nice! Let’s break down the pairing by gummy.


I paired a yellow gummy that was alligator-shaped and had white stuff on the back. Predictably, it tasted like lemon but the white stuff on the back gave it a strange stale flavor. It wasn’t altogether unpleasant, just strange. Paired? Not so great. Lemon is just never great with wine in my experience. The wine goes tart and gets very harsh. This particular pairing was not successful.

photo (2)

Gator! Smurf! ….Gator?


The Smurfs:

I don’t know why I bought these, because I hate the Smurfs. I find them annoying and frankly suspicions. But they paired really well. They had a nice, tart blueberry flavor. It is uniquely blueberry and not the vague Berry that so many gummies go for. The wine stays smooth and tastes quite good. Would I gobble and drink til I can’t see straight? Maybe not, but it doesn’t upset me either.


This citrusy gatorhead-shaped gummy actually stays quite smooth. The Merlot is crisp and fresh. Overall, a lovely combination.

The Take Away: Gummy pairings have found a new savior, and her name is Red Wine. Yeah that savior is a HER, sorry fellas.


Istanbul Sweet

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Hey friends!

We fly home tomorrow and we’ve had a great time. Rest assured, I have sweets to pair on my return.



Drunk Bears

Drunk Bears

I bet you all thought I went away for Lent. “Liz is a good person,” you decided. “She would never abandon her blog, so she must have a strong, moral reason for not posting.”


Several health mishaps and travel delayed my posting, but what matters is we are here now. Living in the moment. I’m not sure when the next post will be, since I am still ill and need to lay off the drinking. Fortunately this blog is not my livelihood (yet?!).

This pairing was thrown together without too much thought. I tossed around a few ideas. Perhaps I could do something with the Oscars? I stared around the wine store and could not find a wine that fit “Moneyball” or “Hugo.”

But I still wanted to be darin and I realized that I had not done any gummy candies. Only one word came to mind: Haribo. The candy I associated with my brother’s trips to Germany and my stays at French & German camp. But now you can buy them everywhere.

The Wine: Caught my eye for being a supposed “Recession Buster.” An Italian Red Wine. “Montepulciano D’Abruzzo”, 2008

Italian Red

The Recession Buster

The Candy: Haribo, “Happy Cola” & the classic “Gold Bears”

Chew Chew

The Dream: I’ll be honest, I worried about the gummy bears a little bit. They are so, so very sweet and it is hard to eat them with any beverage. I felt more optimistic about the Happy Cola. It is a strange candy, but has flavors that don’t invade your mouth. And though I love gummy bears, they are practically a war weapon with the way they make you feel post consumption. The wine…I had no thoughts since Italian wine is like most things on this blog: I know very little. But the description said it would have soft tannins.

Red Wine with Gummy Compote

The Reality: The wine is very bitter and has a tart, cherry flavor. It reminds me a lot of bark in some ways. I can see why it is a recession buster, because it punches you in the mouth a bit. The only candy to stand up to this wine was the Happy Cola. Happy Cola isn’t overwhelming in its sweetness. It is almost like a Diet Coke, lacking that rush of sugar that grazing past your teeth when drinking regular Coke. The Gold Bears are another story. It just wouldn’t work. The wine felt unpleasantly sweeter when paired with the Bears. And when paired with the wine, the bears lost each individual flavor. They just blended into one underwhelming mass that I knew would make me sick.

So buy your own “recession buster” and pick up a pack of these Happy Colas. I can’t promise that you’ll like it, but I will guarantee one thing:

You’ll have the worst stomach ache.