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Potions for poltergiests

By Dave Buchanan
It’s Halloween, dahlink, and perhaps you crave something special to revive your spirits, eh? Mwahahaha. It's easy to get into this ghoul-filled holiday, even without trying to find something to pair with candy corn or mini-Snickers. Bewitching opportunities abound and I'll write about more of them in my regular Wednesday column in The Daily Sentinel. But here are a few, in accordance with the memorable words of Gomez Addams, "That's the spirit, Thing! Lend a hand!" You can sink your teeth into Vampire Vineyards' wines, which include six affordable ($8-$9) potions under the regular labeling and two more with their Dracula label. Maybe a sip or two of Armida Winery’s line of “Poizin” wines will do, including the limited-edition of the Reserve Zinfandel, which comes in a personal coffin and is good enough “to die for,” according to the Web site. You could try Armida’s Antidote, a Reserve Pinot Gris ($12), but surely you wouldn’t drink anything but red on Halloween, would you? Don't jump past Toad Hollow Vineyards’ webbed site with its “Eye of the Toad” Pinot Noir Rosé ($10) and the Faux Frog line of pocket-friendly ($10) wines imported from Limoux, France. Some of our friends will be celebrating El Dia de Los Muertos, and what’s more fitting than those devilish Casillero del Diablo products from the Chilean bodega, Concha y Toro. According to the Web site, the name originated in the 19th century when Concha y Toro founder Don Melchor discovered his vineyard workers were stealing his wines. To discourage thievery, Don Melchor spread the rumor that his darkest cellar was the Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil), and like (black) magic, the thefts stopped and the legend was born. The wines are handily priced depending on vintage from $10 to $25. And speaking of hands, maybe you recall Thing, the well-manicured though disembodied hand that lived in a velvet-lined box with “The Addams Family”? Then maybe you'd give your right hand to try Avalon Wine’s Owen Roe Sinister Hand ($24), a lush blend of Rhone varietals (in 2006 it was 63 percent grenache, 10 percent Syrah and 7 percent mourvedre) from vineyards around Yakima, Wash. According to Avalon Wine’s Web site, the severed hand on the label is that of Owen Roe O’Neil, an Irish patriot whose hand also appears on the family coat of arms of winemaker David O’Reilly. There are more All Hallow's Eve-type potions in my column, almost too-numerous to mention but all in good fun and all in good taste. Have a wonderful holiday, but don’t lose your head. Mwahahaha.