Isn’t it a shame grown-ups can’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween? Don’t we love dressing up? Don’t we crave candy? Especially free candy?
I trick-or-treated with classmates in my tiny hometown in Michigan until my junior year in high school — until the people we approached started scolding us for taking candy meant for babies.
Still, I always say I may grow old, but they can’t make me grow up. So I cope by throwing a Halloween party. My entree is always the same: Dead Man’s Meatloaf.
You follow any good meatloaf recipe, but mold the loaf into the shape of a gingerbread man. Use sliced, pimento-stuffed olives for its eyes, a carrot triangle for its nose, corn kernels for its lip-less teeth. Once baked, squirt some ketchup on its chest and thrust a paring knife into it.
By now you’re wondering, “What kind of wine goes with this?” The answer is soft, red and inexpensive. But still excellent.
The $10-$15 reds here are just right for that meatloaf. Or burgers on the grill. And if your kids share a bit of booty with you, they go well with chocolate, too.
• 2009 Whiplash “Redemption” Proprietary Red Wine Blend, California (65 percent syrah, 25 percent barbera, 10 percent zinfandel): black cherry and dark chocolate flavors, crisp and lively; $11.
• 2009 Match Book Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills, California: (90 percent tempranillo, 5 percent graciano, 5 percent cabernet sauvignon): aromas and flavors of blackberries, cinnamon and mocha, ripe tannins; $15.
• 2010 Parducci “Small Lot Blend” Merlot, Mendocino County (100 percent merlot): red plum and cherry aromas and flavors, spicy cinnamon, soft tannins; $11.
• 2011 Alamos Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina. (85 percent malbec, 15 percent syrah): blackberry and clove aromas and flavors, medium body, soft tannins, hearty; $13.
• 2010 Peter Lehmann “Art Series” Shiraz/Cabernet Barossa, Australia (75 percent shiraz, 25 percent cabernet sauvignon): aromas and flavors of cassis and milk chocolate, soft tannins; $13.
• 2011 Robert Mondavi “Private Selection” Pinot Noir, California. (80 percent pinot noir, 12 percent syrah, 7 percent petite sirah, 1 percent Thompson seedless): intense tart cherry and espresso aromas and flavors, light body; $11.
• 2009 Masked Rider “Gunsmoke Red” Wine, California (29 percent petite sirah, 26.6 percent merlot, 11.2 percent cabernet sauvignon, 3.8 percent shiraz, 29.4 percent mixed red): red plum and espresso aromas and flavors, soft tannins, light body; $13.
• 2008 Masked Rider Zinfandel, California (76 percent zinfandel, 8 percent shiraz, 5 percent malbec, 11 percent mixed reds): soft, sweet black raspberry and black pepper flavors, rich and hearty; $13.
• 2009 Clayhouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles (80 percent cabernet sauvignon, 20 percent petit verdot): hint of oak, black cherry and black coffee aromas and flavors, soft tannins; $15.