River of Skulls from Twisted Oak is a frightfully delicious bottle of wine. Sure, the graphically compelling red skull on the bottle makes it ideal for All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day or Día de Muertos celebrations, but the wine inside the bottle isn’t a scary marketing ploy – it’s just spooky good juice. River of Skulls is a red wine made of mourvèdre with full fruity flavors of blackberries and dark cherries with spice. If the ghouls don’t finish the whole bottle the first night, enjoy it the second day when the fruit mellows out into an eerily haunting quaff. The perfect pairing is red meat, scare up Braised Short Ribs with Potato Purée, Swiss Chard & Horseradish Cream to serve your goblins.
Musically, you’ve got to go with “Beat of the Night” from Bob Geldof’s first solo album Deep in the Heart of Nowhere. The album is a deeply flawed, self-conscious and overly earnest work, it still speaks to me when I’m disaffected and moody. This track is intentionally hilarious with lyrics of “What Hitchcock plots were hatched that night? And all the blood was red….”
The details: 14.8% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Calaveras County. Grape: Mourvedre. Retail: $39 USD available directly from Twisted Oak. The wine was provided as a media sample for editorial consideration.