Edgar Allen Poe died on October 7, 1849, 5 years after publishing “The Raven.” With the recent “The Raven” movie, it’s clear the most famous bird in history inspires Halloween costumes, films, and even winery names today. Teaming up with Poe-inspired Ravenswood winery, style expert Simon Doonan (Creative Ambassador for Barney’s) thinks so, and he’s created a series of How To tips for Halloween entertaining.

 

Simon’s tips range from décor to menu – and of course bear his signature wit. In collaboration with Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson, whose Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel, is a perfect component for a Poefully dark and sinful Halloween party, he devised these “DOs and DON’Ts,” relying on Peterson’s flair for the dramatic to help animate tablescapes.

 

SIMON SAYS …

DO enjoy it!

Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday because it is all about self-expression and fun… and some quality hooch. Nobody dreads Halloween. People always feel good about Halloween. It’s a great time to express your personal style and your sense of fun.

DO impersonate!

What better time to pay homage to your heros and anti-heros: I’m talking Ziggy Stardust, Winston Churchill,Kermit or Kim Kardashian and yes, Mr. Gothic glamour himself, the late great Edgar Allan Poe.

 

DO let rip!

Halloween is a great time for a little hedonism, by which I mean knock back the Ravenswood (how Poe-tastic is that Raven-embellished label?) and have a good time! A really, really good time.

DO look stylish!

Halloween is also the perfect opportunity to step up your fashion quotient: Higher heels,

daring chapeaux, tighter frocks…and that’s just the men.

 

DO decorate!

Make the effort to change the decor of your pad in some way. Start by dimming the lights and

stringing up a few fake cobwebs, and then go for it and start channeling your inner Edgar Allan: stuffed ravens, cardboard coffins, paperskull lanterns, dangling skeletons, leaping spiders. Then see how long you can leave it up. (I’ll wager you won’t last until Thanksgiving.)

 

DON’T not carve pumpkins!

A little crafty creativity is an important element in very party.

Pumpkin carving always produces strange trippy results, especially after a few vats of Ravenswood.

DON’T forget to flaunt yourself.

Halloween is a great time to show off your hidden assets. If you have a great pair of legs then flaunt them in a mini-length ghost costume. Maybe your day-job does not allow much cleavage. If so, then Halloween is the time to give the girls an outing!

 

DON’T play dorky music.

Halloween is not the time for Burt Bacharach. It’s all about a goth-punk-disco mix: The Cramps, Joy Division, Bauhaus and, yes, a little Metallica for good measure!

 

DON’T scare the crap out of your kids with too much gruesome horror.

As much as you might like vampires and corpses, your kids need a kinder and more caring approach.

How about dressing your brat as The Paparazzo from Hell or The DJ from the Crypt? Or A Toddler with a Tiara?

 

DON’T get scared … of the kitchen.

You’d be surprised how some seasonal fruit, nuts and a well-named Halloween hors d’oeuvre – a chicken breast can so easily morph into “medallions of blanched raven” – can get people into the spooky spirit of the holiday.

www.RavenswoodWinery.com