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updated: 10/19/2010 2:12 PM

Nothing scary about spirited wines

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Look no further than your favorite wine department for Halloween costume inspiration and a delicious party gift besides.

Fans of dismemberment are in luck with Owen Roe's "Sinister Hand, the label depicting a bloody hand, lobbed off by a homesteader and tossed ahead of competitors to touch and win property in a land-grab race.

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This Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend is both bright and savory with wild strawberry, black pepper and earthy complexity, a perfect complement to your host's meats, stews and rich poultry. After all, everyone needs a little hand in the kitchen. (Washington State, $24)

If Steve Martin's arrow through the skull gag leaves you in stitches, turn to Gerard Bertrand's Chateau Hospitalet Blanc, with extra-ripe pear and vanilla flavors and creamy texture, a rich cocktail and to pair with white meats, seafood and Asian cuisine.

And if bloody mayhem isn't your thing, maybe someone will want to play doctor in your hospital. (France, $20)

On a warm Halloween, don your fig leaf and grab a bottle of Charles Smith's "Eve Chardonnay, with ripe apple flavors and buttery texture, for cocktails, seafood and light meats. If the party is potluck remember, no one said Eve couldn't eat the snake. (Washington State, $12)

Original sin aside, most of us can relate to Shinas "The Guilty Shiraz with massive red fruit, chocolate, vanilla and smoky flavors and voluptuous tannin, sinfully delicious with red meats and even certain chocolates. (Australia, $24)

Your host or hostess will be happy to see you relishing in wine and food. As comedian Dennis Miller said, "Guilt is simply God's way of letting you know that you're having too good a time.

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