(photo courtesy Hidden Valley).  (photo courtesy Coupons.com). Go whole-hog with a pairing flight (photo courtesy Skinnygirl).
For the Oscars on Sunday, how about some popcorn pairing fun?
If you typically watch the show with a bowl of popcorn, consider moving past the beer and soda in favor of wine pairings.
Wine and popcorn? Why not?
It’s another opportunity to see how your palate responds to different flavor pairings.
As with all foods, wines are paired to the seasonings of the dish. That big combo can of three flavors—buttered, caramel and cheese corn—enables you to try three different wine pairings, with more flavor pairings below.
WHAT WINE GOES WITH POPCORN?
As with beer, sparkling wine goes with anything, whether white (cava, prosecco), rosé sparkling or red sparkling (such as brachetto d’asti or lambrusco). (See the different types of sparkling wine, and rosé sparklers).
But you can also create a pairing party. Your personal preferences take precedence over “logical” recommendations below. If you prefer pinot grigio or rosé, serve it!
Buttered Popcorn: Look for a buttery wine—chardonnay or grenache. Rosé is another option.
Caramel corn: Pick a dessert wine, like moscato; or a wine with caramel notes such as Montilla-Morales, or late harvest Pinot Noir.
Cheddar or Parmesan Popcorn: Strong cheese flavors require a robust wine, such as cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel or an oaky chardonnay.
Chile Popcorn: For Cajun, chipotle, jalapeño, etc., gewürtztraminer, riesling or sauvignon blanc pair with heat. On the red side look at malbec or pinot noir.
Dark Chocolate Popcorn: Calling the dessert wines: banyuls, late harvest zinfandel, maury, port, shiraz, vin santo.
Global Spices: With curry, harissa and other strong flavors, try gewürtztraminer, riesling or sauvignon blanc.
Kettle Corn: Try an off-dry/semi-dry (slightly sweet) or sweet wine: demo-sec champagne, lambrusco semisecco, sercial madeira, sweet riesling.
Milk Chocolate Popcorn: Look for montilla-moriles, moscatel de setubal, sherry (amontillado, cream or PX), port, vin santo.
Salted Caramel Or Chocolate: Dry sparkling wine works here, or one of the suggestions for chocolate-wine pairings.
Salty Popcorn or Bacon Popcorn: Like lots of salt? The best pairing is beer or a Margarita.
Truffle Popcorn: Earthy truffles like an earthy wine: barolo,cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, syrah, tempranillo.
White Chocolate Popcorn: Dessert wines are called for, especially brochette d’acqui, ice wine, lambrusco, muscat/moscato, port.