Popcorn and wine are both delicious and versatile foods, which makes them a great pairing for any occasion. While most people think of popcorn as a snack that goes well with beer or chocolate (and who could blame them?), it pairs well with many different types of wines. Here are some tips to help you choose the right wine to go with your favorite popcorn flavors:
1. Pair Spicy Popcorn With White Wine
Spicy popcorn is a great way to start a wine-pairing party. White wines are known for their ability to cleanse the palate. This means that they’re perfect for countering the heat of spicy foods, like Buffalo chicken wings or jalapeno poppers.
White wines are usually served at cooler temperatures than reds, so if you want to pair your spicy popcorn with white wine, it may be nice to serve it alongside another dish that has been prepared on the grill—like steak or pork chops—to keep things warm while you enjoy your beverages.
2. Pair Buttery Popcorn With White or Red Wine
If you're looking to pair your popcorn with wine, look no further than buttery popcorn. This variety of popcorn has a distinct savory flavor that pairs well with both white and red wines.
Butter is the secret ingredient that makes this pairing work so well. The saltiness of the butter complements the acidity in white wine, while its sweet caramel notes complement reds' fruitier flavors.
3. Pair Sweet Popcorn With Sparkling Wine
Sweet popcorn pairs well with sparkling wine because the two have similar flavor profiles. While some people may think of a cheese plate when they hear the phrase “sparkling wine,” sparkling wines can be paired with a wide variety of dishes. Spicy foods, like Thai curries or chorizo sausages, are good pairings for dry sparkling wines due to their complexity and acidity. The dryness in both the wine and food will help cleanse your palate between bites.
Sparkling wines also pair well with sweet snacks like chocolate-covered pretzels or fruit (think apples). These snacks play off one another by adding different textures and temperatures to an already-complex bite. For example, if you were pairing your popcorn with a sweeter white wine instead of bubbly champagne (which has a very low alcohol content), it might be too much on its own. That's why we recommend using something light like Moscato d'Asti—it has just enough sweetness without feeling cloying after several sips!
4. Pair Toffee Popcorn With a Red Blend
Toffee popcorn pairs well with a full-bodied red wine that has notes of vanilla, caramel and spice. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all delicious choices for this pairing. Avoid using a dry white wine with toffee popcorn since it will overpower the sweetness of the treat.
5. Pair Caramel Corn with Port
Caramel corn, because it's sweet and rich, pairs beautifully with port. Port is a sweet wine made from grapes, and it has a high alcohol content. If you're not sure what type of port you have in your cupboard, chances are it's ruby or tawny—the drier the wine, the higher its tannin levels. This means that dryer versions will be more likely to pair well with salty snacks like popcorn while sweeter versions will be better at cutting through the richness of caramel corn.
You Can Pair Almost Any Type of Popcorn with A Wine!
Well, you can pair almost any type of popcorn with wine! Some wines will pair better than others, depending on the flavor profile of your popcorn. The key to pairing wines with popcorn is finding one that complements the flavors in your snack. Here are some tips for selecting wine and food pairings:
Try different types of wine (e.g., red vs. white) as well as different varietals within each category
Consider whether you want to go sweet or savory
Experiment with different serving temperatures
Popcorn is a delicious snack, and it can be paired with a variety of wines. Try different combinations and see what you like.