Let’s be honest — Halloween isn’t just for the kids. Plenty of adults like to dress up, eat, drink and be scary, too.
Lucky for us, a handful of San Luis Obispo County producers make frightfully delicious wines perfect for All Hallows’ Eve.
Here are a few killer bottles to scare up before the big night.
Pick your poison and have a Happy Hallo-wine!
6990 Estrella Road, San Miguel
Paula and Rob Campbell-Taylor were dead serious when they started Graveyard Vineyards, named for the 150-year-old cemetery at the bottom of the hill where their winery sits.
A decade and many awards later, they’ve started having fun with the name — especially at Halloween.
Conjure images of graveyards with bottles of Mortal Zin, Psycho Sirah and Tombstone red, white and pink, or summon a skull from the trick of the eye on the label of the Sweet Illusions cream sherry. And don’t miss the newest addition: the Edvard Munch-inspired Scream, featuring a ghostly glow-in-the-dark apparition.
As the Campbell-Taylors say, this is “wine to die for.”
2020 Nacimiento Lake Drive, Paso Robles
Chronic Cellars salutes the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos with labels depicting fanciful skeletons ideal for Day of the Dead celebrations. Dead Nuts and Sofa King Bueno make a festive couple, while Purple Paradise and Spritz & Giggles blend kindly and spooky.
A past Halloween party lives on with Unteachables, emblazoned with skeleton versions of founding brothers Josh and Jake Beckett and the artist behind their linocut labels, Joe Kalionzes.
2995 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, and 870 Price St., Pismo Beach
For a more classical take, look to the reserve line at Sans Liege, wrapped in haunting images from Dante’s “Inferno.” The closer you look at the collages of Gustave Dore’s 19th-century engravings, the eerier they feel.
Harrowing winged creatures, shadowy figures, writhing bodies and sinister demons blanket bottles of The Adversary, Call to Arms, En Gedi and The Prophetess, while prisoners waste away in a sliver of light on Pickpocket. Gripping, unconventional storytelling in the tasting notes adds another element.
3005 Limestone Way, Paso Robles
Sometimes the simplest designs make the boldest statements.
The scorpion adorning Fableist’s new zinfandel is downright creepy. Pair it with the axe and bundle of switches on the tempranillo and sauvignon blanc to deliver a starkly ominous message.
Each wine represents a classic fable — and if that doesn’t strike you as foreboding, remember that those tales get rather dark. Remember the scorpion who stings the frog as they cross a river, dooming both to drown?
Shadow Run Vineyards
2720 La Panza Road, Creston
A single raven silhouetted in the sky, shadows stretching out across a dim landscape. You’ll find these classic images reminiscent of a spine-tingling Edgar Allan Poe tale among the offerings at the Evans family’s small operation in Creston.
Quaff the Raven as you quoth Poe’s “The Raven.” Or prepare to set out after dark with Moon Shadow’s twisted tree and lone figure casting spooky shadows under a moonlit sky. Either way, you’ll set the stage for an unsettling evening.
Rabble Wine Co. And Tooth & Nail Winery
3090 Anderson Road, Paso Robles
Scenes of destruction unfurl across Rabble’s labels, making them a must-have for apocalyptic gatherings. Woodblock prints from the 1500s depict nature’s wrath: tempests, volcanoes, tsunamis, dragons, medieval cities in flames. Harbingers of doom take the form of Medusa and siren mermaids.
Another winery label, Tooth & Nail, showcases struggle with menacing animal prints from John James Audubon. The castle-themed winery provides a suitable setting for Halloween outings.
Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or stay updated by following @sallybuffalo on Instagram and Twitter.