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At Ward on Wine, the only thing that truly scares us – at Halloween or anytime of the year – is a hastily vinted, cheaply priced bottle of wine. But there’s nothing like a good creature feature this time of year, and there’s plenty of fun to be had watching scary movies while everyone is out trick-or-treating. Here are six classic horror films, with a suggested wine for each one for sipping with your eyes covered.


Dracula (1931)


Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula is

the vampire by which all other vampires are measured. Lugosi’s “undead fiend,” is both beguiling and seductive, especially when he’s offering his guest a “very

old wine” in a silver goblet. Another takeaway: Never accept a pour from someone who tells you, “I never drink …” then pauses with an evil leer, “wine.” You’ll be drinking your own wine — with a cross around your neck and all the lights on. We suggest a rich, full-bodied red like Vampire Pinot Noir from California’s Central Valley.

Frankenstein (1931)

This movie practically invented the horror genre: Grave robbers at night; a mad genius doctor; a laboratory in a dark castle in a thunderstorm; an innocent meeting a monster and it not turning out so well; angry villagers with torches and pitchforks. The entire film is a metaphor for life triumphing over death, good defeating evil. And quite possibly the greatest, most frightening and most sympathetic movie character of all time: Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster. Our suggestion for a movie chock-full of thrills and chills: Boneshaker Zinfandel, from Lodi, California.

Jaws (1975)

Before you start thinking this movie doesn’t belong on this list, think again. Any movie that makes swimming at the beach in three feet of water, 10 feet from the shore, a horrific experience deserves to be watched on Halloween. Tell us you don’t have this movie in the back of your mind every single time you go to a beach – even at a freshwater lake like Lake of the Ozarks, where there’s no rational reason to be afraid. Yep, thought so. The shark, by the way, likes red meat. So what wine goes with “Jaws”? California’s Carnivor Cabernet, of course.

The Shining (the-shining1980)

Stanley Kubrick did of masterful job of bringing the Stephen King classic novel to film, and Jack Nicholson made us all believe anyone could descend into madness – if we were stuck in a Colorado hotel with Shelly Duvall for the winter. Plenty of horror to go around in this one, but for our money the evil twins scare the beejeebies out of us. “Hello Danny, come and play with us … forever and ever and ever.” Just be careful if you find yourself speaking backward words to your index finger in a voice that comes from the back of your throat. The wine to watch this movie with: The Velvet Devil, from Washington’s Columbia Valley. Or, in Overlook Hotel-speak: The Lived Tevlev.



Yep, Steven Spielberg knew what scared us all right. A young, normal family in a suburban house that could be any house in America in the early 1980s. Oh, but it was built on a graveyard! Just don’t turn on the television Carol Anne, because there were scarier things inside the Freeling family TV than having only three major networks from which to choose. After watching this movie, this Ward on Wine contributor vowed to 1) never have a stuffed clown on my bed; 2) never leave steak out to thaw on the kitchen counter; and 3) never work in real estate. See it again this Halloween at your own risk, and have on hand plenty of Ghost Pines Chardonnay, from wine country of California.

Se7en (1995)

“This isn’t going to have a happy ending,” Detective Somerset, the Morgan Freeman character, says at one point in the film. And he’s right. If you’ve never seen this movie, well, we’re not going to ruin the ending other than to say you might want to brush up on your knowledge of the Seven Deadly Sins. And Brad Pitt is in it, so there’s that. The wine you’re going to want by your side when you’re pulling a blanket over your head: Seven Deadly Zins, from the Michael David Winery in Lodi in California’s Central Valley.

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