I grew up on that kind of popcorn you buy in a box then put in the microwave. I still love that kind in a pinch, but in the past few years have started experimenting with recipes found around the web (my go to is usually one with a little olive oil and rosemary, so good). Pair them with wine... do I even need anything else for dinner? The answer is no. A few weekends ago Ryan and I had a little tasting night with these pairings. It was fun for an easy date night in, and would be great for a girls night too! Here is what we paired and the recipes...
Pinot Grigio x Jalapeno Lime Popcorn
This was my FAVORITE. I could've eaten every. single. kernel. I actually made a bit less of this one because I was scared it was going to be too intense. In the end it had just the right amount of spice and flavor. If I had to tell you to make only one, it would be this one. Pair it with a light wine with fruity notes and you have the perfect combo
How to make the jalapeno popcorn (serves 6-8):
- 1/4 olive oil, extra for popping the popcorn
- 2 tbs. chopped jalapeno
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 2 tbs. lime zest
- Add oil and jalapeno to a small pot and cook until oil begins to sizzle, continue cooking for about 5 minutes, remove and cool.
- Strain oil from jalapenos and set aside
- Toss freshly popped popcorn (i popped mine in olive oil) in the cooled oil, lime zest and add salt to taste
Set up a quick bar cart for your date night or girls night in!
Moscato x Spicy Chipotle
Such a great combo. If moscato is a little too sweet for you, I'd recommend trying a prosecco or any other favorite sweet bubbly. The refreshing bubbles in your wine paired with the spicy chipotle and pepper is the perfect contrast.
Make the spicy chipotle popcorn (serves 6-8):
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp ground chipotle
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbs butter
- salt + pepper
- Add oil, popcorn, chipotle and paprika to a large pot. Cover and heat over a medium flame
- Cook until there are 2-3 seconds between popping, remember to gently shake the pot while kernels are popping to avoid burnt pieces.
- Add popcorn to bowl and heat the butter in the same pot until melted.
- Drizzle butter over finished popcorn and add salt and pepper to taste
Cabernet x Sweet Strawberry Popcorn
Holy moly was this a rich combo! A heavy (er than white) red with a super sweet dessert popcorn was delicious, but definitely something to be consumed in moderation. This would be a nice small treat to serve after dinner while you are still enjoying your wine. The best part about this one was that you could prepare in advance and serve later. The other 2 would be best served fresh and warm. This recipe makes popcorn that is more like caramel corn chunks! Was worried when I saw the recipe (jello, what?!) but glad I did. Two thumbs up;)
Here's how to make yours (serves 6-8):
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tbs honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3.5 oz. box of strawberry jello
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees, line a pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- Add butter and honey to a sauce pan and heat until butter is melted, add sugar and jello.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for around 5 minutes.
- Immediately pour the mixture over the popped popcorn and toss, then spread the mix in your lined pan
- Bake for around 10 minutes or until the pieces begin to look golden brown
- Let cool then break into small pieces
This was a fun little experiment to try new pairings. We get so stuck in our routines (glass of chardonnay and chunk of gruyere please) that it's fun to break out of the box with new combos. I will definitely be adding the jalapeno pairing into my rotation for simple entertaining or happy hour. If you guys try this out, let me know what you think of the pairings!
Skinnygirl wine + pairings provided in consideration for this post.