THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

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Spooktacular Halloween Wine Gifts From Windsor Vineyards

Is there a special wine for Halloween? Absolutely: It’s the wine with the best costume. While our friend Ruth sews little ghost bottle covers, the vintners at Sonoma County’s Windsor Vineyards have dressed the bottle for you, with a choice of 18 special Halloween labels.

It’s easy to get spooky with these Halloween “spirits”—the wine(s) of your choice with your selected wine label(s). Three examples (see them close up in photo #7, below:

  • Here for the Boos: Get the party started with this cute ghost-inspired label that features a Spotify QR code that links to a playlist with all of Halloween’s best hits.
  • Let’s Get Lit: Don’t forget the wine, witches! Host a pumpkin carving party and use the QR code on the label to find over 50+ designs to turn your gourd into a glowing masterpiece.
  • Horror Movie ‘Take a Sip When’ Game: Pop the cork and play the ‘Take a Sip When’ horror movie game.
  • And 15 more label choices.

    Choose from a selection of:

  • White Wines: Chardonnay, Fusion White Wine Blend, Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine
  • Red Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Fusion Red Blend Merlot, Pinot Noir
    Whether you bring the bottle(s) to a party host, give them as gifts at your own party, or sit with your partner and play the Horror Movie Game…you’ll have a memorable Halloween.

    Head to Windsor Vineyards’ Halloween label page, pick your label, and get started!

    There are also designs for Windsor Vineyards have made special occasions more memorable with their “vino-centric personalization,” the ability of customers to select personalized wine labels for any occasion.

    What began as the simple idea of writing a person’s name on bottles has grown into a wide range of custom options, including hand-etching.

    You can choose from a broad selection of award-winning wines paired with themed templates. There are 18 label choices for Halloween alone!

    And the artist in you can design your own label from scratch, using the design tool on the website.

    Good wine, fun label: What else do you need (except, maybe, some good food to go with the wine).


    [1] Choose your label and your wine: red, white and sparkling. You can see the labels up-close below (all photos © Windsor Vineyards).

    [2] Trick or treat if you dare…or just uncork the bottle and have a seat.

    [3] Is it real witches’ brew, or a bottle of California wine?

    [4] Halloween isn’t over on October 31st. Día de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd.


    [5] A close-up of the labels in photo #1.


    Schofferhofer Beer: Hefeweizen & The Types Of Wheat Beer

    Following on the heels of eating good food, the second-best part of our job is the thrill of discovery. Experiencing new categories or sub-categories of food and drink makes it a good day.

    Take wheat beer, for example. It’s a lighter style on the opposite spectrum of what we personally prefer (IPA, Porter, Stout).

    But Schöfferhofer showed us a different take on the German tradition of premium wheat beer, with their Hefeweizen mix.

    Hefeweizen is one of the types of wheat beer (see the rest below).

    Schöfferhofer, a German brewer, was the first brewery to blend 50% Hefeweizen beer with 50% grapefruit juice, creating a refreshing taste experience that to us, is so much more alluring than the Belgian lambics we’ve tried.

    (Although a Schaarbeekse krieken, a cherry kriek from Belgium, is really nice with a chocolate dessert.)

    Schöfferhofer Grapefruit took off, engendering Passionfruit and Pomegranate versions. All are 50% fruit juice and 100% delicious.

    These 50% fruit juice beers are what you’d imagine a fruity, soft-drink version of beer to be. There’s lots of fruit flavor and some sparkle, with a depth of hefeweizen flavor.

    The three fruit flavors—Grapefruit, Passionfruit, and Pomegranate—are enjoyable year-round. Right now, the colors of the beers resemble the colors of the turning fall leaves.

    Try them with just about any food where you’d like to pair a fruity, slightly sweet beverage.

  • Food: We first tried the beers with Mexican food. The fruitiness complemented the chile flavors. Great with a hot dog, too.
  • Dessert: The beers are a natural with baked goods, fruit desserts, and sorbet.
  • Cocktails: There are quite a few beer cocktail recipes on the website. The ones we tried were so enjoyable, we’re thinking about a “beertail” get-together.
    Ready to quaff?

    Here’s a store locator. You can also buy the beers online.

    Wheat beers are a challenge to make. Barley malt is easier to brew with, while wheat beers are exceptionally hard to brew.

    That’s because the proteins and starches in the wheat want to bind, making it trickier to extract the sugars.

    These same proteins make wheat exceptional for baking. Think stretchy pizza dough says Allagash Brewing Company, a craft brewer of fine American wheat beers (photo #5).

    The different styles of wheat beer have one thing in common: wheat comprises a substantial portion of the grain used in brewing. (Most European and American beers are brewed primarily with malted barley.)

    The wheat typically makes the beer lighter in color, so they are called “white beer.” They’re not white, of course, but range from straw to light gold (photos #4 and #5).

    While wheat beers may seem similar, there’s a bit of difference between them.

  • American Wheat Beer: Whether clear or cloudy, American wheat beers have a more noticeable hop character than a witbier or hefeweizen.
  • Bière blanche: The French-language name for wheat beer (blanche means white).
  • Hefeweissbier or Hefeweizen: Hefe is the German word for yeast, indicating that the beer is bottle-conditioned (unfiltered), and might have sediment.
  • Kristallweissbier or Kristallweizen: Kristall is the German word for crystal. It indicates a Weissbier that is filtered, removing the sediment.
  • Dunkles Weissbier or Dunkelweizen: A dark version of a wheat beer. Dunkel is the German word for dark.
  • Hefeweizen. Hefeweizen is a type of German white beer, more than 50% wheat-based. Hefeweizen means “yeast wheat” in German. The aromas and flavors include banana and clove, and sometimes vanilla, which are created by the Bavarian yeast strains used to ferment them. Weiss beers can be clear or cloudy, with colors from gold to amber to mahogany.
  • Weissbier. The term for white beer in Bavaria and Austria.
  • Weizenbier, or Weizen: The term for wheat in the western and northern German regions. Weizen is German for “wheat.”
  • Weizenbock: A wheat beer made in the bock style originating in Germany. (Bock is a dark, bottom-fermented, lightly hopped style).
  • Witbier. The Dutch term for “white beer,” witbiers use a significant portion of wheat in the beer. Witbiers are typically brewed with coriander and citrus or other spices, which complement the bready, bright wheat notes. They are always cloudy.


    [1] Schöfferhofer grapefruit wheat beer (photos #1, #2 and #3 © Schfferhofer).

    [2] Have a passion for passionfruit Schöfferhofer.

    [3] Pomegranate, a popular fall flavor in foods and drinks, is a best-seller year-round.

    [4] A glass of conventional wheat beer (photo © Kriss Szkurlatowski | Stock Xchange).

    [5] Allagash, an American wheat beer (photo © Allagash Brewing Company).




    Apple Salad Recipes For National Apple Day

    [1] Sweet and crunchy apple, celery and peanut salad. The recipe is below (photo and recipe © Gelson’s Markets).

    [2] Sliced apples go right into the salad. The dressing keeps them from browning (photo © Stemilt).

    [3] A spinach, apple and goat cheese salad with pecans. You can add cheese and nuts to just about any apple salad (photo © Evolution Fresh).

    [4] Beet, spinach and apple salad. Here’s the recipe (photo © Butterball).


    October 21st is National Apple Day. Our tip is: Make an apple salad. It’s easy to make (or buy) an apple pie, or have a glass of apple cider or mulled cider, or an Appletini. But try something different. Some of our favorite apple recipes are apple sorbet and baked apples; and while they aren’t labor-intensive, they do take some effort.

    Here’s an idea that tasks very little effort: a green salad with apples.

    The salad recipe below, from Gelson’s Market, combines crisp apples, crunchy celery, pungent scallions, roasted peanuts, fresh parsley, and slivers of red jalapeño.

    The result: a blend of sweet, nutty, and spicy flavors with outstanding crunch.

    It’s tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, a simple but yummy dressing that helps the apples hold their color.

  • This is a delicious side salad with grilled fish, meat or poultry, and a nice appetizer salad with some added blue cheese, feta or goat cheese.
  • To turn it into an entrée salad, add a light protein, like a rotisserie chicken.
  • We had some leftover leg of lamb, which, perched on top of the salad, was a delicious pairing.
    Tip From Gelson’s: This salad travels really well. The lemon dressing keeps the apples fresh. Take it on outings, bring it to work for lunch.

    There are more apple salad recipes below.

    The history of apples.

    If you’re a fennel fan, you can exchange it for all or some of the celery. If you don’t like peanuts, substitute cashews or pecans.
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 large celery stalks, sliced ¼-inch thick, diagonally
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
  • 2 SweeTango apples, halved, cored, cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges (substitute Honeycrisp*)
  • 1 red jalapeño, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided (we used honey roasted peanuts)
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

    1. SOAK the celery and scallions in ice water for 20 minutes. This makes the celery extra crisp and encourages the scallions to curl.

    2. DRAIN the water, dry the veggies on paper towels, and transfer them to a large salad bowl.

    3. ADD the apples, jalapeños, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, black pepper, and lemon juice, as needed.

    4. ADD half of the peanuts, half of the parsley leaves, and the olive oil. Toss to combine.

    5. GARNISH the salad with the remaining peanuts and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Chill until cold before serving, about 15 minutes.

  • Apple & Chopped Fennel Salad
  • Apple, Lardons & Watercress Salad
  • Beet, Spinach & Apple Salad With Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • Fennel Salad With Apple, Blood Orange & Verjus Vinaigrette
  • Gruyère Soufflé With Endive & Apple Salad
  • More Fall Salad Recipes

    *The SweeTango is a cross between the Honeycrisp apple and the Zestar. Both Honeycrisp and SweeTango were developed by the University of Minnesota.




    Mummy Toast Recipe For Halloween Breakfast

    You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this recipe for Mummy Toast. There’s an over-easy egg hidden underneath the mummy’s wrappings. It sits on a bed of jam, but you can use ketchup if you prefer.

    This recipe is from Hello Fresh, which has three more fun and easy egg recipes for Halloween.

    We used Gruyere, but you can use Cheddar, Swiss, or any cheese that can be cut into thin slices.
    Ingredients For 2 Pieces

  • 2 slices toast
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 round olive slices for eyes
  • Cheese, cut into thin strips

    1. CAREFULLY crack the eggs into a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Cook until the egg whites are set but the yolk is not yet hard. Use a spatula to flip and cook to your desired doneness. While eggs are cooking…

    2. SPREAD the jam onto toast. Top with the eggs, then layer strips of cheese across the top to make it look like mummy wrappings.

    3. PLACE the olive “eyes” toward the top to serve as the eyes. One eye should be partially tucked underneath the cheese—it looks extra creepy!.

    We had a Virgin Mary: “bloody” tomato juice seasoned with lemon juice, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.


    [1] Mummy toast. I want my mummy! (photo © Hello Fresh).

    [2] We love a spicy Virgin Mary with breakfast and brunch. This blend, with horseradish, looks creepy enough for Halloween (photo © Sid Wainer | Facebook).




    Gourmet Halloween Chocolate From L. A. Burdick

    [1] Burdick Chocolate’s Coffin Assortment for Halloween (photos © Burdick Chocolate).

    [2] Enjoy them while you listen to the Monster Mash.

    [3] Ghostly mice.


    Creak open the lid of L. A. Burdick’s Chocolate Coffin Assortment to discover a frightfully delicious array of chocolate bonbons from one of our favorite artisan chocolatiers. The 20 pieces include:

  • Ghost: hazelnut dark chocolate with a hint of orange zest, enrobed in white chocolate.
  • Halloween Mouse: dark chocolate ganache with cinnamon and port wine, toasted almond ears, white chocolate enrobing.
  • Plum: dark chocolate ganache with dried plums and Hungarian aged plum brandy, garnished with slivered almonds.
  • Pecan Bourbon: pecan-bourbon dark chocolate ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate.
  • Licorice Caramel: fresh licorice root caramel, garnished with Cyprus black sea salt.
  • Raspberry Caramel: French raspberry caramel.
  • Calvados: dark chocolate ganache blended with French apple brandy.
  • Mulled Wine Gingerbread: mulled wine and gingerbread dark chocolate ganache.
  • Honey Walnut: ground walnuts with honey in chocolate ganache.
  • Cranberry Pâte de Fruit: a cranberry gel enrobed in dark chocolate, garnished with cocoa nibs.
  • Richelieu: dark chocolate ganache blended with gianduja and cherries marinated in housemade cherry brandy.
  • Earl Grey: dark chocolate ganache infused with Earl Grey tea.
  • Mango: dark chocolate ganache blended with mangoes.
  • Mint: dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh mint leaves.
  • Macallan: dark chocolate ganache and pistachio marzipan blended with 12-year-old Macallan.
  • Talisker Hazelnut: dark chocolate ganache with Talisker Scotch whisky, currants and gianduja.
  • Brazilia: dark chocolate ganache with espresso and anise seeds.
  • Kenyan: dark chocolate ganache infused with Kenyan coffee.

    The Coffin Assortment is available now through November 5th.

    Get yours here.

    You can also head to Burdick Chocolate stores in Boston, Cambridge MA, Chicago IL, New York City and Washington, D.C.




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