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Lemon Know What You Think of this Pairing

Lemon Know What You Think of this Pairing

Hello all! It’s the end of the summer and I have one last fresh summery post for you readers. The school year is coming up, so these posts may be even more sparse. But never fear I will provide you a post when you least expect it.

I bought a lemon ginger haribo candy while vacationing in Grand Cayman and created a lovely pairing to toast the end of the summer.

The Wine: If a Tree Falls Riesling, 2014


The Candy: Ginger-Lemon Gummi Candy, Haribo


The Dream:

As always, a gummi proposes a challenge. But I felt confident since ginger candy won’t overwhelm with sweetness. The riesling was a daring choice since they are typically quite sweet. I felt the ginger could cut through and make an impression.


The Reality:

The wine is smooth and grapey (for lack of a better word) with a syrupy texture.

The candy is intense! It busts in with a strong lemon flavor that fades into the burning ginger. If you are not a ginger fanatic like me, you may not like it as much as I did.

The wine stays very sweet and smooth when eating the candy. The flavor is slightly warped and becomes slightly bitter. Overall, I consider the pairing a win since I couldn’t stop eating and drinking.

And as always, drink responsibly you guys.

You Spin Me Rind Round Baby Rind Roundf

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You Spin Me Rind Round Baby Rind Roundf

Hello! I am about to go on a well-earned vacation but before I do, I thought I would provide you some reading. Today I am following up on a promise I made a long time ago to my friend at Medieval Vegetarian. I am featuring a candy she made and brought to a casual holiday get together that somehow turned into a party. Quite a few months later, the candy is still amazing if not better. So no matter how this pairing goes, check out the recipe here.

In regards to our little wine give away, you all certainly acted quickly! There will be another one once I accrue some more giveaways. If you are interested in joining Club W before then, please leave a comment! Club W wines are often portrayed on this blog, just like they are today!

The Wine: Imperial Red Blend, Thracian Valley


The Candy: Candied Orange Peels, by Medieval Vegetarian


The Dream:

This candy has a very strong flavor since it is made directly from an orange peel. I needed a wine that could tango with this candy adequately without overpowering it. I thought a red blend was a safe bet since I was not sure what flavor notes would balance this unique candy best.


Making Candied Orange Peels from Medieval Vegetarian

The Reality: 

The wine is tangy and sharp with very ripe blackberry and raspberry flavors. The rinds are bitter, sweet, chewy, and taste just as good as when I got them in December.

The rind enhances what I enjoy about the wine. The tangy sweet flavor of the fruit is brought to the front while the ripeness fades. The aftertaste of the rind and wine left a delightful dance of flavor on the tongue.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your July dear readers. I look forward to preparing a new pairing for you in the near future!

Meh(rlot) Pairing

Meh(rlot) Pairing

Happy 2015! Was your New Year’s amazing? Did you pair candy with champagne? Did you make resolutions that you have yet to even start? No matter what your answer, may 2015 be your year.

I am enjoying the last few days before school and my new internship starts. Yesterday, I hiked Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland and then visited a nearby winery to enjoy a tasting and mulled wine! I didn’t take any winery photos, but here is a lovely view from the mountain.


I have done a pairing very recently, which I am impressed by (it wasn’t even a resolution)! I got a lot of candy to pair for Christmas, so we are going to kick it off by pairing a classic on this blog, the candy that started it all: black licorice.

The Wine: 2013 Agua Negra Merlot


The Candy: Rockies Soft-Sweet Licorice


The Dream: I typically pair licorice with reds, but I have not yet tried a Merlot. I actually was not that confident with this pairing, but I wanted to keep licorice pairings fresh. Also for some reason, I thought I had received salted licorice. Sometimes I really worry about my poor attention to detail.

The Reality: I did not take a picture of this pairing and, unrelatedly(?), I did not like this pairing very much. The Merlot did not taste good at first so I let it breathe awhile. However, it still tasted a bit watery and reminded me of weak coffee. Quite frankly it was not for my palate and I never grew to like it.

The licorice is plain black licorice with a creamy sweet center. There was a vanilla and a strawberry center, but I could not tell the difference. I really tried to tell the difference but maybe my tongue has been burned too many times. I never grew to like these. Is there something wrong with me? Am I too negative? We will never know.

The licorice slightly masks the odd coffee flavor. Again, I like coffee notes but this was just…wrong I don’t know. Overalldid not like this pairing. As the title suggests, I felt very “meh” at the end.

While this isn’t the best way to start 2015, we can only go up from here! I have lemonheads and mini-mentos to pair in the near future.

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).



(B)limey What a Bad Pair

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(B)limey What a Bad Pair

Hello All!

It has been awhile. I would say I would get better, but that would be a lie! And while this blog does celebrate drunkenness and gluttony, I cannot support lies. I simply cannot.

I am writing this post on Thursday and we are truly doing a throwback for this post. Many months ago my friend Megan brought back some strange candies from England for me to pair. Today’s candy item has been sitting on my table in my broken candy bowl for months if not a year? I have no idea when she gave it to me.

Please keep in mind that this candy item had been on my living room table for a long time. When it was given to me, I completely understood what the candy was. But boy, memory is a funny thing.

The Candy: TouteSweet Chocolate Limes


The Wine: Presidential Porto


The Dream:

This is what happened. I looked at this bag of candy every single day. But do you ever find you can’t remember the color of your best friend’s eyes or can’t remember what ring goes where on your hands? What happened here is sort of like that.

When I looked at them the first time, I knew they were lime. But over time, something happened. It can be best described like this: I stopped reading the package and only saw the green. Since I am me, I saw green and thought, mint. When I saw mint, I thought cookie. I knew they had chocolate but the whole mint vs lime thing was negotiable according to my brain. Why I thought cookie, I cannot understand. I had asked Megan for candies and my friend knows the difference between cookie and candy.


I picked port because in the past I have paired mint and port with some success. I thought this would be a new opportunity to try out the pairing. I didn’t realize my error until I was literally taking photos of the candy bag.

I need you to understand that this bag sat in the candy bowl alone for many, many weeks. I have no excuse. Something is just wrong with me.

The Reality:

I didn’t admit to my boyfriend my mistake. I just went with it. I still haven’t admitted my error. If he reads this post, I guess he will find out and I will find out if he really reads this blog (hi honey, maybe?).

The candy is strange. Obviously, it is lime and tart. The texture is what threw me because it is not quite a hard candy. It is almost a bit soft. The chocolate inside tastes like a tootsie roll but lacks the same texture. They are very weird. As weird candies go, this one is definitely up there in the weirdness level.

This isn’t a very sophisticated port since it is affordable. Don’t go port shopping you guys because boy, you probably can’t afford them.

Well, as could be predicted the lime tastes really weird with the port. It throws the port a bit on the way down and the aftertaste is not pleasing. The port is rich though so the flavor balances out. I didn’t find myself reaching for more candies which is an indicator of failure.

What WOULD I paired if I wasn’t an idiot who can’t read? A chardonnay or a pinot. I have plenty of these little wrapped babies left. Maybe if I am organized enough, I will do a rematch.


A Weird Start to a Weird Year

Happy New Year!

As promised, I am getting this post out to you before upcoming events and weekends sweep me away. My candy bowl is getting really full so I am going to make an effort to be extra vigilant to pair more often. This upcoming pairing is definitely odd. I have never heard of this candy but I found it back in November and knew I had to feature it. I can’t really say the pairing was good or bad—just unusual. Starting the New Year off right (really weirdly)!

The Wine: Chardonnay, The Wonderland Project, Vintage 2012 “La Reine Blanche”


Long Live the Queen

The Candy: Abba-Zaba, Peanut Butter Filled Taffy (Strawberry & Plain)


The Dream:

Wow. Peanut butter-taffy filled taffy….pretty wild. I picked the Chardonnay because I thought the dry sweetness would compliment the salty peanut butter. Chardonnay can really cleanse the palate and compliment a dish. I thought after chewy salty-sweet taffy, the Chardonnay would offer a nice clear flavor to relieve the tastebuds.

An Inside Look

An Inside Look

The Reality:

Both taffies are incredibly chewy because, again, I bought them in November. I really should have paired them immediately. The strawberry is has that unnatural saccharine sweetness with a touch of tartness. It reminds me a lot of strawberry laffy taffy which obviously makes sense. The peanut butter is good on its own–it’s that cheap sugary peanut butter you find in Reese’s. The candy is just bizarre on the whole. It’s like a train-wreck in your mouth–you really should stop eating it but it’s just so horrifying you can’t stop.

The wine is light, sweet and not very dry. There are some prominent pear notes with a nice hint of lemon. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it is my favorite Chardonnay. I do love that label though. When paired with the strawberry it is light and refreshing but does not add anything. I sort of ripped open the taffy to get more of the peanut butter but I don’t know if that helped.



The plain taffy really doesn’t have anything going on. It is in fact plain. I would have preferred at least a vanilla or something because it is so much chewy taffy before the peanut butter. Again, the wine is perfectly fine. I think you lose a lot of the flavors of the wine because your  mouth is just so confused by the taffy. It’s like someone interrupting you when you are really busy and you have no idea how to respond. After you swallow the taffy the wine is delightful but I think I am just happy I am no longer eating the taffy?

I don’t know guys. It was a weird ride. I ate this taffy so fast as well. If you are not allergic to peanuts, I would try this candy just for kicks. I really have no clue what a better wine would have been. I think the fact the wine didn’t taste absolutely awful with the pairing is a success.


(Peanut Butter) Cup of Cab


It is holiday season (what! NO!) so life is hectic so expect a dramatic drop in posts. I hope that won’t be the case, but it has been several weeks since my last post so the forecast isn’t favorable. To be fair, there were quite a few things going on in my life but I digress. I am back with another hit.

I admit, I cheated slightly with this post. I had a glass of the wine the night before, but the candy inspiration came from a friend. Lazy and not feeling up to thinking about pairing, I asked someone for suggestions and she said Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Now, before you lose your hats, I didn’t do Reese’s since I knew the wine would just drown it out. Instead I picked Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. The chocolate is richer and the cups are stronger. I love Reese’s, don’t misunderstand, but I did not think it would go well with a cabernet sauvignon. I would like to try it with a chardonnay potentially.

The Wine: EB|GB, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

This label is so EDGY right?

The Candy: Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Paul Newman your legacy lives on through your delicious 

confectionsThe Dream: 

I already explained my reasoning somewhat, but I will go into further detail. The reason I chose Newsman’s over Reese’s is due to a combination of texture and flavor. Newman’s peanut butter cups are firm and leave little residue behind. This gives a better tasting experience. It’s also a matter of chocolate quality. Milk chocolate and a peppery cab just don’t mix well, especially Reese’s chocolate. It is flimsy and too sweet (and THIS is perfectly fine). There is also a lot of the peanut butter filling and it is very sugary. I would like to try them with a dry chardonnay which can compliment the sweet chocolate and peanut butter.

That was a long explanation. Let’s get to the tasting!

The Reality:


EB|GB has blackberry notes that hit the pallete sharply, ending with a smooth finish. The flavors tingle slightly on the tongue with a hint of coffee. The peanut butter cups have a thick chocolate exterior with smooth and nutty peanut butter underneath.

This pairing is pleasant. Dark chocolate and red wine is usually a safe bet, but the addition of peanut butter is a challenge. It’s pleasant, but the wine looses it’s smooth finish. Oddly, the peanut butter coats the mouth with a strange after taste. The berry wine flavors add a richness to the wine although the tartness undermines it slightly.

It is not a complete home run, but it is delicious. Unfortunately I took a lot of negative notes. Woops.


I think I will go ahead and do the Reese’s pairing for the next post. Why not? I have nothing to lose but my sterling reputation.

Guest Post #2: Jack Be Nimble

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your day is sunny and fine. We have another guest post today from my friend Sarah. Enjoy and remember, you too can guest post. Just leave your contact info below or contact me via email (if you have it).

Sarah claims she is no wine-expert, but she sure knows how to make my mouth water for her latest discovery.


So I’ll start off by saying I’m NOT well-versed in wine. I’m still
figuring out what I like, what’s reasonable to spend on a bottle, and
what different types actually mean. My latest adventure has been to
find a wine I tried at a restaurant recently- it was a Pinot blanc and
it was so delicious. It paired perfectly with my soup, scallop entree,
and desert. What more could you ask for in a wine?

Since this wonderful discovery, I’ve been searching for variations on
this white wine as it seems Pinot blanc is a rare find. I went to my
local liquor store and they had a big display for this company
“Steeple Jack” which apparently does unique combinations at super
inexpensive prices. I picked up the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc which is
described as follows: “This wine has a burst of tropical fruit and
grassy notes followed by a crisp, citrus finish.”

Photo Credit: Ballast Stone Estate Wines website

I was hoping it would be a light but bitter wine and after tasting it
it was definitely bitter but not exactly the lightness I wanted. When
I decided to pair it, I wanted to do my favorite evening guilty
pleasure: strawberries and nutella.


I was totally unprepared to make a planned/educated pairing so I
figured it would fail miserably, but this was actually a delicious
combination! The heaviness of the nutella really cut the bitter/sharp
taste and allowed some of the softer flavors to come out of the wine.
The strawberries kept with the fruity flavors and helped cut the
nutella as well. My only negative note to this pairing is that the
nutella takes too much of the bitterness out of the wine and leaves
the wine with a rather plain flavor/experience. There were moments
when I asked whether or not it even tasted like wine or just a
flavored water of sorts.

This was my first pairing and first review of a wine- huzzah for
success! I’ll keep on my quest to find a delicious Pinot blanc to
enjoy at dinner but in the meantime I will continue to experiment with
cheap white wines I’ve never heard of before. And its likely they’ll
all go through the nutella test after this enjoyable experience.

Not for the Faint of Tongue

This weeks post is sure to sandblast your tongue, but in the best way possible. It is a bold pairing that surprisingly worked out very well. I took on two difficult mediums-gummy and sour. Yes, the contender this week was Sour Patch, otherwise known as those little people that you eat. This candy came recommended as a pairing with a white wine. But since I am fresh out (Chardonnay, I still miss you), I had to make do with what I had of my Groupon stash. I must say, it worked out for the better.

I can not say I came away with an expert way to pair sour with wine. Every ounce of me says this type of companionship will always end in tears. But instead it ended with me eating sour patch and drinking wine in front of the TV. It’s amazing what a good relationship can do.

The Wine: Viña Alarba, Old Vine Grenache (Product of Spain)


The Candy: Sour Patch

I always find this little guy disturbing

The Dream:

If I am honest with myself, I thought this would turn out terribly. I felt sure that the wine would sour and turn after my first sour patch. This candy played a huge role in my childhood of destroying my young taste buds. My tongue looked like the field after Antietam when I finished a bag. I didn’t go with the Malbec I had on hand, since I thought the stronge flavors of a Malbec could warp too easily. The wine I chose boasted of a finish of white pepper spice. Spice. That, I thought, could just maybe work out.

How do you like my book selection?


The Reality:

This wine lunges and bites you at first sip. I found myself taking a step back and needing several sips before I could make any sense of it. As the wine roles over your tongue it makes small nips, keeping your mouth alive for flavor. The wine is deceptively smooth at first before it ripples through you. There are notes of plum and well, it sure is spicy. After the initial snap there is a lingering of sweetness and fruit in your mouth. It is a fun wine because it keeps you awake.

Compared to this wine, the candy is a sweet surprise. It does not take me back by its sour flavor. Each flavor of candy is a bit different, but the lime flavor has the worst effect on the wine. Overall, the wine is mostly unaffected and the flavor does not bend or warp. The cherry candies are sweeter and bring a new note of fruitiness to the pallet.

I wrote down that I did not think this was a home run. But reflecting on this pairing, I am going to take that back. Considering the challenge of sour patch, I think this turned out well.


Next week we will have a guest post since I am taking an online class right now and I’m a bit busy!

Wining in the Desert

As promised, here is this blog’s first guest post. It is by my great friend Dillon, an intelligent young man I have known for several years. You can explore his intellectual musings at

The post is written very beautifully. He puts my silly musings to shame, but I should have known better…I did invite him to post right?


“Wining in the Desert”

I’m a child of the desert. I grew up in southern Nevada, in a suburb of Las Vegas, and, essentially, studied deserts at the University of Arizona—located in Tucson, not too far from the Mexican border. The deadly Sonoran. As someone who lives in civilization now, it’s a mystery even to myself why I continue to be at least partly fascinated by the desolation, heat, and emptiness of the desert. And why I choose to spend most of my summers here, at my family’s home. As I’m writing this, I just received a text message from the national weather service: Warning—severe dust storm. Typical.

When Liz invited me to contribute to this blog, I really did not know where to begin. I know I love the blog (I don’t follow many blogs, but I read this one religiously). I like to drink; I’m from Vegas. I don’t know much about wine. But, I do know that my three month sabbatical in the wasteland is coming to a close, and it is with great pleasure (and, surely, a coming nostalgia) that I chose the following combination. One that, at least I hoped, would bring out both the best of the summer, and the mystery of the desert.


The wine is from a local winery here in Nevada called the Pahrump Valley Winery. It is labeled as “Desert Blush.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m assuming it’s a white zinfandel type. Pahrump is maybe 60 miles outside of Las Vegas, and is famous for more than its liquor. I’ve always been a fan of blush wines. It always reminds me, for some reason, of a picnic in the summer rain. I was expecting a sort of light, almost white, taste to it. Something sweet—maybe too sweet—for a table wine.


The candy is Wonka’s Laffy Taffy—Banana flavored. Something I’ve associated with summer. It must be the bananas. I don’t know. I had this idea in my head that anything would go well with Laffy Taffy. Surely, Pahrump Valley Winery took this into consideration when producing.


The first sip. Rather spicy, not too sweet, though with a taste reminiscent of watermelon. It finishes smooth, almost creamy. Though it’s a blush, it has the character of a full red. I have a feeling this bottle is going to go fast. The Laffy Taffy is delightful on its own. It, too, has a rather creamy, rich texture that compliments well the blush. I may not have gotten a sweet wine, but the taffy certainly made up for it.

This pairing was quite perplexing. It threw me off, was not at all what I expected, and rather mysteriously gave me a smile. It was warm and inviting, and despite the simplicity of a local wine and a popular candy, was fulfilling.

Perhaps I have discovered my fascination with the desert after all.