Bring out a bowl of holiday candy, and even the most low-key gathering starts to feel like a party. Indulge in these 15 holiday candy and wine pairings this festive season! This is the time of year to enjoy seasonal sweets and holiday-themed treats. And even when the theme is flimsy – like how a Reese’s Snowman is basically just a Reese’s in the shape of a snowman – who really cares when you get to chill out with some candy and a glass of vino?
Whether you’re making a party tray of holiday candies or snacking off the gingerbread house you’re working on, a well paired glass of wine can bring a little cheer to the holiday. So, if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the Winter Solstice, enjoy this guide for pairing wine with your favorite holiday candy.
Holiday Candy and Wine Pairings
1. Candy Canes
Candy canes are a holiday classic on their own or when you use one to stir hot cocoa. These minty sticks pair well with a slightly sweet sparkling wine like Prosecco. Fans of Sour Patch candy canes can enjoy an off-dry Riesling. If you’re all about soda-flavored candy canes, like Dr. Pepper, 7 Up, and A&W, go with an oak-aged red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. Notes of vanilla and spice pair well with pop.
2. Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark
These holiday squares with layers of rich chocolate and peppermint are a welcome addition to any holiday table. Whether you indulge in the gift-wrapped variety or you make your own, peppermint bark pairs well with Shiraz, a bold red wine with notes of milk chocolate and plum.
Bushtelly Shiraz is the wine you want for this holiday candy pairing! The flavor notes of juicy plum, strawberry, and raspberry are complement by the aromas of campfire smoke, black pepper, and eucalyptus.
3. Holiday M&Ms and Hershey Kisses
Who are we kidding? Milk chocolate is amazing all year round, but the holiday season is known for some fun flavors of our favorite chocolate bites. Pair straight-up milk chocolate with a light- to medium-bodied fruit-forward red wine like Pinot Noir or Merlot. Caramel flavored kisses pair well with a dessert wine like tawny port or sherry. Alternatively, you can go with a fruity Australian Shiraz if you prefer a dry style of wine. White chocolate kisses pair well with a semi-sweet wine like off-dry Riesling or Moscato d’Asti.
4. Christmas Spice Gumdrops
These red and green gummies with a hint of ginger spice pair well with a slightly-sweet Riesling, or a light-bodied red wine like Beaujolais.
5. Hanukkah Gelt
Although it looks like a sack of coins, unwrap gelt and you’ll discover delicious milk chocolate. Enjoy this Hanukkah treat with a fruit-forward red wine like Merlot, or a sweet red wine like Banyuls, or, of course, Manischewitz.
6. Candied Pecans
Not all holiday candy is store-bought, of course. There’s really nothing like sweet, rich, and nutty candied pecans right out of the oven. Enjoy candied pecans with a sweet or fortified wine like port or sherry.
7. Ferrero Rocher
Speaking of nut-covered candy, we go absolutely nuts for Ferrero Rocher this time of year. These decadent balls of hazelnut chocolate covered in toasted hazelnuts pair well with Brachetto d'Acqui, a slightly sweet Italian red wine, or Shiraz.
8. Hanukkah Jelly Beans
Hanukkah themed Jelly Bellies come in several varieties, but the most common blue and white jellies are coconut and blueberry flavored. Jelly beans generally pair well with a sweeter wine like Riesling, but when it comes to these flavors you can also go with Chardonnay – a medium-bodied white wine with tropical fruit notes.
9. Reese’s Trees
We love Reese’s anytime of year – Reese’s pieces, Reese’s minis, and, of course, the canonical Reese’s Trees. This wonderful combination of chocolate and peanut butter pairs well with a jammy red like Cabernet Sauvignon with dark fruit flavors and notes of cocoa.
10. Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate dipped pretzels with holiday sprinkles are a perfect holiday happy hour treat. Enjoy these salty-sweet snacks with slightly sweet white wine like Gewürztraminer or a bold red wine with notes of baking spice like Zinfandel.
11. Dreidel Gummies
Spinning the dreidel is always more fun when there’s candy on the line. Enjoy your dreidel gummies with a light-bodied red like Beaujolais.
12. Snow Caps
A staple of holiday candy trays, semi-sweet nonpareils pair well with a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or jammy Zinfandel.
13. Christmas Wreath Gummies
Did you know that these classic red, green, and white, gummies are actually wild cherry, green apple, and strawberry banana flavored? Shocking, we know. In any event, these gummies are sweet, so you’ll want a sweet white wine like Moscato to go with them.
14. Winter Oreos
It turns out that Winter Oreos – you know, the kind with the red filling? – taste like regular Oreos, and that is just fine by us. Enjoy your season Oreos with Pinot Noir or an oak-aged Barolo. White wine lovers can also go with a Riesling.
15. Reindeer Corn
Finally, reindeer corn. The candy corn of the holiday season. Enjoy these sugarly little bites with a lightly-oaked Chardonnay or a sweet white wine like Sauternes.
A Note About Hot Chocolate Bombs
While not technically a candy, hot chocolate bombs are pretty amazing. For the uninitiated, hot chocolate bombs are chocolate balls filled with hot cocoa mix. You can make your own cocoa bombs, store them in the fridge, and then when you’re ready, drop them into a mug of steamy milk and enjoy. For an extra treat, stir in a bold, fruity red wine like Merlot, Shiraz, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
In Vino Finito
Did your go-to holiday candy not make the cut? If you need help finding the right wine for your favorite candy, email us and we can help.