Screaming Good Halloween Wines


Halloween is right around the corner, and whether you’ll be celebrating All Hallow’s Eve at a friend’s ‘house of horrors’ or hosting your own ‘haunted house’ , I’ve got some wicked wine suggestions that you’ll just be dying to share with your ghoulish grape loving witches and warlocks.

Starting with some wickedly savory wines that are made right here in Oregon, my number one suggestion for Halloween wine fun is Owen Roe’s 2009 Sinister Hand. With a label that’s got your eyes hooked on the bloodied severed hand, there’s actually a story behind the creepy drawing that’s sure to be a conversation piece:

“On this label the family crest depiction of a severed left hand tells the story of a rowing competition among the O’Neill’s & the O’Reilly’s (Owen Roe was an O’Neill). Whoever touched land first after rowing across the lake was rewarded with the land he touched. Lagging behind, one of the kinsfolk grabs his sword to cleave his hand and pitches it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king.” 

Owen Roe's 2009 Sinister Hand

Not only will the label be a conversation piece, but the wine is sure to get people talking. With grapes sourced from Washington and bottling taking place in Oregon, 2009 was a great vintage for Grenache in the Columbia Valley. This luscious red wine is a blend of 70%Grenache, 25% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre, and 2%  Cuonoise; in addition to being, 100% delicious.

My number two ghostly good wine from Oregon is the 2010 Ghost Hill Cellars “The Spirit of Pinot Noir” dry Rosé. Legend has it that this Carlton, Oregon winery wasn’t named Ghost Hill for no reason:

“In the early 1860s, Oregon was in the midst of a gold rush. An old military road that ran through what is now the Bayliss family farm stretched from southern Oregon to Portland. A miner that was traveling to Portland with his hard-earned “poke” of gold decided to camp for the night at the top of what is now known as Ghost Hill. During the night, someone snuck into his camp, killed the miner and his horse, and stole his gold. To this day, the miner is said to wander the hill looking for his stolen gold.”

Ash Hollow's Headless Read

My third suggested killer wine comes from our neighbors to the north that produce “big and bold reds”, Walla Walla, Washington. The picture on the label of Ash Hollow Legends 2009 Headless Red captures the lucid legend:

“All by itself in the Walla Walla Valley, sits the Ash Hollow Vineyard on Nine Mile Hill. Legend has it, this ground is sacred…it tells of a ghostly figure who haunts this very spot! And with this – a tale that few dare to tell.”

Headless Red is a sinfully delicious blend of 58% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah and 3% Malbec, and the black raspberry and dark cherry notes jump out at you like Michael Myers does in the slasher cult film of the 70’s, “Halloween”.

Aside from my top 3 chosen poisons, there are dozens of other spooky themed wines that
are sure to scare your grim reaper friends into a wine tasting frenzy.    

R Wines EVIL Cab

Out of California, Twisted Oak’s 2008 River of Skulls scored 90 points for it’s peppery and vibrant Mourvedre and Monastrell blend, and there’s nothing on the front of the intensely black bottle except a bright red skull. From R Wines in South Australia, their EVIL Cabernet scored 90 points too, and its creepy bottle simply has a single word written upside down: EVIL.

Vampire Vineyards motto is, “Sip the blood of the Vine”, and their creative concoctions include an entire line of reds and whites dedicated to the immortals, all under five different labels: Vampire, Dracula, Chateau du Vampire, Witches Brew and Trueblood.

So don’t go digging out of your own grave as a zombie before Halloween sneaks up behind you and screams, “BOO!”, simply have a glass of the blood from the vine ready for your blood drinking (or wine loving) ghouls and goblins before dawn turns them to ashes.

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Julia Crowley, EDN

Julia has been in the wine industry for nearly 20 years. First through creating European wine tours, then opening her own wine bar, Julia loves writing about food & wine on her website,

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