October is the perfect time to binge watch (again) season three of Netflix’s Stranger Things. I mean, what could be more Halloween-adjacent than a little weird and retro romp through Demagorgon-infested Hawkins, Indiana? Exactly.
Season three of Stranger Things brings the advent of The Mall, that glorious beacon of the 1980s. It’s new, it’s flashy, it’s...strange! Everyone in Hawkins loves it and the Starcourt Mall is really the center of some of the juiciest, most climactic moments in the season.
In the final scenes of the season, the Stranger Things gang splits up into smaller groups to more effectively kick the Mind Flayer's butt. Each group gets a code name to communicate with the others over walkie talkie: The Griswold Family, The Scoops Troop, and Bald Eagle (of course!). So, in the spirit of trying new and strange things, I’m recommending a super off-the-beaten-path wine to pair with each of the Stranger Things factions that face the Mind Flayer in this spooky and totally rad show.
*All of the wines listed below (and more) can be found in the Wines Without Borders section of the Sip Better SHOP
Before the show starts, pop the cork on this to prime your palate:
2017 Kobal Furmint | Podravje, Štajerska, Slovenia
This white is a pleasant and perfect balance of richness and refreshing acidity, characterized by herbs, tropical fruit and floral notes. This light wine is perfect for starting off a marathon of TV time that's headed down a dark and spooky road.
After you polish off the Furmint, move on to the main characters below!
The group: Mike, Will, Lucas, Eleven, Max, Jonathan and Nancy
The wine: 2009 Chateau Musar | Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
This Chateau Musar is a blend of the grapes Obaideh and Merwah. Much like the The Griswold Family group, these two grapes have different personalities that still pull together beautifully in the end. Obaideh is a grape with a high natural sugar and low acidity. It gives this wine a creamy edge and notes of golden honey. Meanwhile, Merwah brings lighter and more citrusy aspects to the blend. Together, they have the potential to age very well. This wine will stick around and won't be beaten down! And you could say the same for the kids in this gang, as well. They are brothers and sisters, by blood and by choice.
The group: Steve, Robin, Dustin and Erica
The wine: 2014 Zlatan Pošip | Korčula, Croatia
This Croatian white is dense and full-bodied. Rich apricot, zesty citrus, nutty almond (hello, Dustin!), and notes of pineapple and anise are just a few of the flavors and aromas you'll experience in this distinctive white wine. It sounds like a strange flavor profile, but The Scoops Troop is also an unlikely combination of kiddos that works incredibly well. This foursome is made up of some of the show's goofiest and most loveable characters (hellooooo, Dustin!), as well as whip-smart little Erica. The rag-tag group gets into lots of scrapes, but that's why they're so memorable. Just like this dynamic wine!
The group: Joyce, Hopper and Murray
The wine: 2015 Rodica Refošk | Istria, Slovenia
A rustic yet classy red is the perfect wine to represent the three "adults" in Stranger Things. This wine is plush and stuffed with comforting notes of red berries, shot through with a peppery, herbal streak that's reminiscent of a dark and dramatic forest. How fitting for the trio that spends a lot of time tramping through the woods to get to their kids! The competing notes of gentle berries and zippy herbs make a great metaphor for Joyce's sweet, maternal demeanor and Hopper's hot-headed but loving stoicism. This is definitely a wine to save for the finale.
Enjoy the adventure and Happy Halloween!