THE PERFECT POPCORN PAIRINGS
Let me just clear something up. I was doing popcorn and wine FAR before Olivia Pope. I’m fairly certain that Shonda Rhimes came into my college house and stole that idea after spying on me. I don’t have any proof, but there’s really no other explanation, right?
Ok fine I guess people have done that in the past, but I like to think I knew about the secret first.
Really, though, I consider myself an expert on this particular subject. Popcorn is my absolute favorite food and has been since I was a wee tot (see image for proof).
I’ll be real with you now, I eat it for dinner at least twice a week if not more (sorry, Mom). I’ve been experimenting with popcorn and wine combos for years now, and I wanted to pass along my findings. Get ready to pop the cork and pop the corn (wow, I’m sorry for that…).
Your next girl’s night/Oscar watching party just got one million times better…. You’re welcome.
Champagne pairs perfectly with salty and fatty foods (re: french fries, fried chicken, grilled cheese). With that in mind, Champagne (or Prosecco/Cava) is the perfect companion of popcorn with a healthy heaping of butter (whether real or fake). Pro tip: try to sneak a half bottle of Champagne into a movie theater for authentic movie popcorn, but remember to be sneaky (beware of loud cork popping sounds, they will ask you to leave.)
Since PN has those spicy and herbal notes and is a bit lighter than most reds, a cheesy, herby popcorn is ideal. Trust me on this one, guys. Tia Mowry (of Sister-Sister notoriety) has a great recipe if you want to get ~fancy~ with it, but I would use less garlic so as to not overpower the wine. Or you can do what I do and just dump EVOO, parmesan, and Italian seasoning over a bowl of stovetop popcorn and call it a day.
Riesling is practically built for spicy foods. When I do this pairing, I usually just sprinkle some salt and cayenne pepper on some stove top kernels, douse it in sriracha then call it a day, but here’s a really good ~professional~ recipe for those of you who have the time and energy to follow a recipe. Add some value to your bride price.
Shoutout to my roommate for this baller pairing. That crazy gal eats popcorn with Worcestershire sauce (DON’T KNOCK IT TIL YOU TRY IT I PROMISE) which got me thinking: that’s basically like steak popcorn and you know what goes great with steak? Cab. Perfect for hearty wine lovers and ballsy food pairers. You could even sprinkle some pepper on it, I don’t know, get creative, go crazy!
Kettle corn may be my least favorite popcorn (sorry please don’t kill me), but I know there are people out there who obsess over it, so I felt inclined to include this pairing. Chenin Blanc is one of my favorite off dry and aromatic wines. Since it can occasionally err on the side of “sweet”, pairing it with a slightly sweet kettle corn is ideal (but you don’t want the kettle corn to out-sweet the wine, so consider adding a dash of salt to balance it out).
Now, there are many different styles of Merlot, so don’t hold me to this, but I think that since Merlot is usually fruit forward, full-bodied, lighter in tannins, and higher in acidity, it goes well with food that is rich and slightly sweet (i.e. Chicago Mix. Nailed it.) And for those of you who are unfamiliar with Chicago Mix, get to a store ASAP and purchase yourself some. Cheddar cheese + caramel popcorn is the actual bee’s knees (it’s probably the definition of the idiom, look it up).
Let’s make this an interactive deal. If you have tried some fun variations and pairings, hit a sister UP. I’m always on the lookout for pairings of my two favorite things, all suggestions are welcomed. Bring it.