It's not that I want to wish my summer away. Believe me, I definitely do not want that. But I am jonesing for Fall TV. Character-driven dramas like Scandal and Shameless. Quirky, smart sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and New Girl. And perhaps a reality show or two that if I don't mention can remain my secret shame.
No matter what I'm watching, though, I take my snack cue from one of my favorite TV characters, Olivia Pope. Yes, gladiators, you know what I'm talking about: wine and popcorn. Wine and popcorn is Olivia's nightly ritual, a snack for someone whose job it seems is to save America, one episode at a time.
When I learned that Skinny Pop Popcorn had put together a pairing guide that I would be able to share with my readers, it was kismet, almost as if they could see into my living room. Thank goodness I'm not too paranoid!
My usual pairing is Whirley Popper-popped corn topped with melted butter and kosher salt, paired with a full-bodied red. Since I can't afford high-end Bourdeaux (à la Ms. Pope), I tend toward Cabernet Sauvignons. But I was inspired by the Skinny Pop guide (above) to try something new. Here's what happened.
Pairing Suggestion #1: White Cheddar and Chardonnay:
I'm not entirely into white wines, but this pairing reminded me of a summer picnic. Crisp, buttery wine? Check. But instead of cheese and crackers, I had chewy, cheesy popcorn. Wine and cheese, but more fun. This may become my summer re-run go-to.
Pairing Suggestion #2: Naturally Sweet and Banyuls:
I bought some kettle corn at the farmers' market recently, which has the same flavors as Skinny Pop's "Naturally Sweet," made with cane sugar and salt. Banyuls is like port, so I tried it with a sip of Evenus Zinfandel Port, which is slightly syrupy with lots of dried fruit flavors (dates, raisins, prunes). This port is sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the sugary popcorn played up the sweetness very well. I liked this pairing a lot, and think it would be a perfect night-cap.
Pairing Suggestion #3: Original and Malbec:
I made a batch of salted popcorn (sans butter) and left my Cab behind to try it with an Argentinean Malbec (Alamos, 2013 to be exact). The wine had a lot going on...black fruits, chocolate, pepper are some of the notes I got. It was perfect with the plain, crunchy, salty popcorn. This one was the closest to my "usual," but I have to admit, I like it more! Fall TV, I'm ready for you!
The Verdict? Wine and popcorn make a perfect pairing but the possibilities are endless. Use the guide and try something new yourself. I think Olivia would be proud.