Perfect Pairings: Popcorn and Wine
Popcorn and wine are the new key ingredients in the recipe for rest and relaxation, and for a perfect night in. Discover your favorite crunching and sipping combinations curled up on the couch savoring the luxury of taste. Get the New Recipe for R&R Ever since Scandal’s Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) paired popcorn and wine, everyone – including the foodiest foodies-has had to admit there’s something to the super indulgent combination. When you think about it, it makes sense. At the end of the day or on a lazy weekend night, few things are more comforting than curling up with a glass of red wine or a big bowl of popcorn – so why not combine the two? Why Wine & Popcorn Go Together – The Science Many studies show that slowing down and savoring a glass of wine at the end of the day is genuinely stress relieving. So far, science has only corroborated that the resveratrol found in red wine helps our bodies deal with stress, but surely it’s only a matter of time before they confirm that bubblies, whites, and rosés help, as well. Meanwhile, the crunch of popcorn assists you in relaxing your facial muscles while the popcorn’s carbohydrates release the neurotransmitter serotonin. Of course, as with all wine and food pairings, there has to be a method to the madness. Blending a rich, buttery popcorn with an oaky California Chardonnay might be a little overwhelming to some. You’ll want to pair your new tastes based on what you like as well as tried-and-true flavor combinations that go best together. Thankfully, they all go well with a relaxing night in giggling with friends, having a nostalgia movie night, or snuggled up solo under a blanket reading a bestseller. Your Go-to Popcorn & Wine Pairing Guide While Olivia Pope goes for reds, the reality is that every kind of wine has the potential to make a great match for your favorite popcorn. Read through the four pairing combinations below with classic popcorn flavors (buttery, cheesy, spicy, sweet). Try the one that sounds best to you – then, in the spirit of adventure, try them all. The Classic Combination o Buttery popcorn with red or white wine, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. We recommend finding a medium-bodied cab or a French Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio are also good pairings for butter popcorn. o Shake It Up Tip: If you want to shift into a higher gear, pick up a Merlot to savor with your buttered popcorn; it’s making a big comeback. o For the Fun-Lovers: Sparkling wine works well with butter-flavored popcorn. Go with a true sparkling wine, not necessarily a Cava or a Prosecco. The Go Bold Combination o Robust cheddar-flavored popcorn pairs masterfully with an intense Cabernet Sauvignon. Fuller-bodied Chardonnays are also a good choice because they can compete with the big cheese flavor. o Shake It Up Tip: Find a rich Rosé or a Grenache to try with the cheddar instead. Look for a Rosé that’s made with cabernet or sauvignon grapes. o For the Fun-Lovers: Grab a nice bottle of fizzy Lambrusco, chill it, and enjoy it with your popcorn. The Heating Things Up Combination o Nothing cuts through delicious Hot-Cheese flavored popcorn like a super-acidic wine. Sauvignon Blanc is the white for the job while on the red side you can’t go wrong with a classic Pinot Noir. Both wines are comparatively light-bodied and extremely versatile. o Shake It Up Tip: Try a dry Riesling or a spicy, red Zinfandel or a Malbec instead. Note that it’s important to make sure your Riesling is a dry one that’s not as sweet. o For the Fun-Lovers: Pop open a bubbly bottle of Spanish Cava or a nice Champagne to really get things moving. Crisp and acidic, these two sparkling wines can easily take the heat. The Sea Salt Satisfaction o The Reduced Fat Sea Salt option brings traditional favorite tastes to life. Make it sing with a Pinot Noir or a Malbec if you prefer red; if you’re a white wine fan, try Sauvignon Blanc or the French version, Sancerre. o Shake It Up Tip: Give the Merlot and the Rosé another try as they have the same versatility as the aforementioned wines. o For the Fun-Lovers: Try an Italian Prosecco or a sparkling Rosé. Like the popcorn, they will make your mouth water. If you want to experiment with your wine and popcorn combos, grab some lightly salted popcorn, a few wine varietals, and call friends over for a taste-test. Start by figuring out which wines you like the most and explore popcorn combos that can be your go-to for those moments when you want to indulge – including that oh-so-precious “just you” time.