Don’t let your Pinterest boards fool you, fall isn’t all apple orchards and pumpkin spice. There’s a chill in the air that can’t be ignored — and spooky season is scary movie season. So grab a big wine glass, a blanket, and a friend to hold on to …
Here are the top horror movies and wine to pair for the ultimate scare!
Cue the score (duuunnnnn duunn …) and crack open a can of Rosé with Bubbles. After all, what else would you be drinking on Amity Island when a monster shark shows up in the water? This film cranks up the suspense and summer nostalgia, but will also make you prefer sipping wine in a beach chair to swimming in the ocean for, well … ever. And as always, no glass on the beach! So to keep extra safe, stick to the canned variety while watching this cult classic.
This movie just gets scarier and scarier as it goes on, and then gets even worse when you do some digging on the internet and discover that it is, in fact, based on a true story. So what pairs with a family stuck at their new haunted farmhouse home in the country? An easy-drinking Pinot Noir to balance extreme terror with light tannins. The movie is intense enough — trust us.
This movie went beyond the family-moves-in-to-a-haunted-house plot with the demonic spirit residing inside the creepy child instead, and creates the perfect blend of both classic themes and new tricks within the horror genre. That’s why a Red Blend is exactly the right fit for this movie. And since this movie has the biggest “jump scares” in horror film history, we recommend sipping straight from the can to prevent your living room from turning into your very own red-splashed horror scene.
A stay at the old and elegant Overlook Hotel requires a bold, full-bodied wine to get to the end of this terrifying masterpiece. Syrah is even darker than Cabernet Sauvignon, and the perfect glass to lean on while you watch Jack go mad. Plus, at a high ABV of 15%, you may even feel like you’re going mad yourself …
Choose Syrah (the French variety) if you like an earthy, spicy wine with higher tannins. Shiraz (the Australian counterpart from the same grape) leans more fruit-forward for a juicier beginning. But with both, you’ll likely experience tasting notes that include smoke, pepper, and spice — perfect to warm you up during the most chilling wintertime scenes.
Horror fanatics will debate whether this movie is scary or just plain disturbing until the end of time, but one thing everyone can agree on is that the summer scenery is absolutely stunning. Chardonnay is an easy choice here. After all, if you’re going to watch extremely graphic content among sunshine, fields of green, and flowers, you might as well pretend you’re on summer holiday in Sweden while attempting to watch Ari Aster’s daytime horror film.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
This low-budget flick wasn’t just terrifying when it was released in 1974. Decades later, it remains a staple on the all-time charts, so it only makes sense to bring a Chianti to the Sawyer family’s cannibalistic table. This Tuscan wine has been popular for centuries and pairs well with almost any food, which makes it a great addition to a scary movie marathon with friends. Order pizza, decant a few bottles (or don’t), and watch as Leatherface terrorizes his victims.
Hailed as an instant classic by both critics and moviegoers in 2017, this horror film draws on both contemporary racial issues and terrifying situations for a complex movie that succeeds (and scares) on all fronts. A Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with the glamorous backdrop, and will keep you company as Chris fights for his life in this house of horrors.
HALLOWEENIt’s only fair to assume you’ll be watching this seasonal classic with candy, apple cider donuts, and a big bowl of popcorn … and only one type of wine will stand up to the challenge of pairing with an assortment of sweet and salty snacks! Whether it’s Prosecco, Champagne, or our favorite White Wine with Bubbles, almost any bubbly will calm the nerves while watching Michael Myers terrorize babysitters across town.
Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.