I’ve never celebrated Halloween. Ok, maybe once, but only as an excuse to throw a massive party and dress up as Magenta from Rocky Horror (who hasn’t?) and maybe when we were young my brothers and I might’ve taken great pleasure scaring kiddies away when they appeared on our doorstep demanding sweets. Oh and maybe watching Halloween annually and scaring myself shitless (doesn’t get old, even after 12 years of watching it). But that doesn’t really count right?

I see it as merely a marker to see in Autumn and, as always, a great excuse to get boozing with your buddies! I’m not going to go to a themed party this year but I am definitely going to have a horror movie marathon with plenty of wine. The Scream trilogy (the 4th doesn’t count, plus it’s not in my box set) and the aforementioned cult classic if you’re interested. I will take advantage of all beautiful pumpkins around and make a massive risotto and also the hundreds of Halloween themed sweet/chocolate multipacks and eat myself into a sugar coma. Scary hey..

But what to drink you hesitantly whisper? As it’s still October is feels too early to mention the ‘C’ word (not that ‘c’ word..) and thus too early for mulled wine, once November hits I’ll be all over it. But it’s definitely cold enough for warming (but alcoholic) drinks. Why not try Winter Pimms – you can either use the real stuff (available in all supermarkets) or just use normal Pimms that’s leftover from Summer. Just add hot apple juice (or hot cider if you’re feeling naughty..) and orange zest, I also like to add a cinnamon stick for an extra kick. I don’t have any actual medical confirmation of this but as everyone seems to have a cold at the moment I’m pretty sure a drink like this would help soothe those scratchy throats. No promises though..

In terms of wine, now that the nights are drawing in and it’s turning chilly outside I go for spicy warm reds. Shiraz is spicy, rich warming and delicious. Try to stay away from the Hardy’s, Jacob’s Creek and Banrock Station stuff as it’s mass-produced and can be a little bland. Sainsbury’s are doing a great Taste The Difference Barossa Shiraz thats deep and meaningful. Waitrose do a St Hallett Shiraz which is pretty good too. Both are way under tenner and will leave you feeling warm inside and hankering for more.

Whatever you do this Halloween just remember a few things, have a murderously good time, don’t answer the phone and never ever call out ‘who’s there’…

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