Oct 18, 2017 By Shawn Zarecki 3 years ago
A Halloween party doesn’t have to mean warted witches and chattering plastic teeth, and hosting a chic gathering doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. We at Black Box Wines have developed a foolproof formula featuring our Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon wines for a grown-up Halloween wine-and-cheese party that has all the well-dressed drama without the crazy kitsch or terrifying price tag.
While the traditional Halloween party of unchecked whimsy has its place, this grown-up affair saves the cheese for the actual cheese plate. So, your first step is to pick a simple, but dramatic motif.
For a modern look, keep the palette clean and chic with black and white. If you want to glam it up, just add some pops of gold or brass.
If you love a more opulent style, go with an old-world vintage palette and feature loads of black and charcoal hues with rich plums and reds (our wines do double work here). Pewter service, utensils, or simple accessories like candlesticks, frames, and vases add a moody, aged vibe.
Pick a few strategic spots for the thematic décor. No need to break the bank over-dressing your home. The moderated approach keeps the party setting stylishly graceful. Greet your guests with a simple black or dried-flower wreath on the front door.
Employ some no-carve black and white pumpkins, eerie antique photos, thematically-correct floral arrangements and plenty of candlelight on the table and mantle (if you have one).
Which brings us to our next less is more…
Moody lighting isn’t just the world’s cheapest youth and beauty serum, it’s the simplest way to create an otherworldly Halloween vibe. Dim or turn off your house lights, maybe hang a modicum of string lights, but definitely utilize a healthy dose of candlelight. Candleholders and candelabras do double duty here by complementing your chosen motif.
The dark fruit full-body of our Cabernet Sauvignon and our enticingly rich Red Blend hit just the right note of refined drama, while the price tag has no drama at all—perfect for our affordably chic party. So now that you have the wine, let’s talk cheese pairings.
Keep the cheese board in the simple yet dramatic color palette as well: select white cheeses that pair perfectly with our Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend like Talegio, Comte, and Gouda, and yes (finally, some will say), a pop of orange in a nice, aged cheddar. For the meat lovers, Salami is another delicious pairing with these wines and provides a dramatic visual punch.
Finish the tableau with deliciously dark fruits such as grapes, figs, plums, and olives along with a split pomegranate for a splash of red.
We know it’s Halloween, but don’t be afraid to add some unusual and surprising crowd-pleasers to your cheese table.
Craft an edible broomstick using one of the firmer white cheeses: cut the cheese into rectangles or tubes, then score strips on one side. Tie the base with a small strip of chive and finish with a breadstick or pretzel handle to make a bite-sized snack.
For a shockingly seamless Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon pairing, try sweet or savory popcorn. For a savory treat, season with cayenne pepper or soy sauce; flavor with rosemary, or choose a cheddar. To sweeten, simply add a drizzle of dark chocolate to freshly popped kernels.
To marry the classic with the creatively ambitious, create the blackest of caramel apples.
Recipe for Black Caramel Apples:
12 small, unwaxed apples
Candied apple sticks
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup water
½ cup corn syrup
2-3 tsp. black food coloring
Prepare a surface by covering with greased wax paper, grease-side up. Insert candied apple sticks into top of apples and set aside. Combine all the ingredients and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Turn up the heat and boil the caramel until it reaches 130 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully dip the apples into the caramel and place gently on the surface, allowing to cool thoroughly before serving.
Yes, it’s a grown-up party, but we like our games, too. Put a Halloween twist on classic charades by making all the clues about ghouls, ghosts, and monsters. The winning team is richly rewarded with another glass of Black Box Wine.
Finally, but not lastly, revel in the refined, yet ethereal, vibe you have created with your friends, your wine, and your real, delicious cheese.