Sagrantino: The Grape for Hallows’ Eve

Whether you are in the mood to celebrate Halloween or not, Sagrantino wines are perfect for a warm autumn meal and also come with a haunted history.

shutterstock_45016336Shutterstock: Maria Uspenskaya

Hailing from Montefalco, Italy the Sagrantino grape varietal has a creepier history than most drinkers may be aware of. With the rich and warming flavors floating out of the woodwork to accompany the cooler fall airs we can’t help but love the robust wines that also have a haunted background to match the Halloween spirit.

For centuries, wines made from the Sagrantino grape were harvested, bottled, and consumed by the Italian monks of Umbria. Literally translating to “sacrament” or “holy” the wines were used in religious ceremonies and celebrations including All Souls’ Day. As a day to celebrate and pray for the dead and honor the saints, the religious holiday close to October 31st went on to influence the Halloween festivities.

To round out our autumn harvest meals and celebrate the light-hearted, spooky event of Halloween we like to enjoy the “sacrament” of Montefalco with a glass of the blood-red Antonelli Sagrantino di Montefalco. The fall-harvested grapes create a full bodied wine that pairs beautifully with the medieval-inspired meals of the monks’ time. Just as the religious men of Umbira once did, cozy up after dark with roasted meats, stews, earthy game dishes and a bottle of this 100% Sagrantino wine, especially if you have just come in from a cold night of trick-or-treating.


For an even more appropriate sip, dive into the haunted cask cellars of Scacciadiavoli. The name of the vineyard translates to “the Devil banisher” in reference to a historic exorcist. The famed Montefalco man was said to drive away evil spirits by giving those inflicted Sagrantino wines. It seemed to actually rid the people of evil and so the vineyard of the area took on the powerful name. Ward off the evil spirits of the season with a glass of this tannic wine complete with notes of leather and a spicy finish. Gather your friends for aged cheeses paired with this bottles and horror movies or ghost stories to set the scene.

Annelise McAuliffe

Annelise McAuliffe

Mandatory family outings to the Detroit farmers' market and nightly home-cooked meals cultivated Annelise's respect and curiosity for food. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she spends her free time in New York City recipe testing, eating breakfast all day, and dreaming up international culinary adventures.

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