Pairing: microwave popcorn versus Viognier. | Food blog


In this column we seek the help of experts to pair wine with ordinary dishes.

Every now and then we yearn for those days when complex processes could be put aside with a flippant phrase: ‘greed is good’, ‘just say no’, ‘go back’ or ‘read my lips, no. new taxes. “

Yes, the 1980s, when the misinformation (ketchup is a vegetable) was delivered in a calming tone and we were alerted to dinner by the ping of a microwave.

At snack time, people would throw a bag of popcorn into the unit, relax and watch Michael Jordan run with the basketball on the cable while counting the seconds between pops or sniffing that telltale aroma. as the grains turned to lava.

Fortunately, it is possible to relive some of these memories. Microwave popcorn still exists, proudly bearing the Orville Redenbacher name. But don’t lean on an 80s wine to accompany the ride.

Lambrusco? Blue Nun? Gag. As philosopher Billy Joel so wisely said, the good old days weren’t always good.

Fortunately, these days we’re in a good position to strike a popcorn deal.

“Chardonnay is a given because of the buttery flavor of popcorn,” observes Claire Sutton, sommelier and owner of Sovino Wine Bar & Merchant in Monterey.

Not wanting to take the easy way out, Sutton weighed the profile of microwave popcorn – the ‘natural’ buttery aroma, the salt, the potential for sour and sour notes if left too long under. pulsed electromagnetic beams.

“It’s fun,” she said.

Sutton decided that a woody wine would be the best fighter. “This gives the wine a round texture,” she reasoned. “You need it with popcorn. “

She recommends an Albariño from Comanche Cellars. Which would be great. But there was an empty place on his shelf, of course. She therefore opted for a Viognier Sarah’s Vineyard 2017.

It is a convincing wine with unexpected twists. As an introduction, he welcomes you with impressions of fresh peach, orange blossom and honeysuckle on the nose. Still, it draws you further, offering notes of sliced ​​pear, apple peel, melon and mash.

The wine is rich in sensations, spicing the palate with ripe stone fruit balanced by dried apple slices and melon zest, interwoven with vanilla, earthy spices and river rock. Throughout is a zing of citrus and the ease of fresh pear. He’s a good Viognier.

Combined with the best natural flavors of Orville Redenbacher, the Viognier Sarah’s Vineyard becomes lighter, juicier, rinsing out the “butter” that clings to your throat. The trace of nutmeg felt on tasting alone is more pronounced. This creamy richness of oak lingers on the finish.

Meanwhile, the popcorn is leaner to taste, with a sparkle of salt and a toasted swirl.

Sutton points out that because of its versatility, popcorn could accommodate other wines, some with an opulent vanilla and caramel could give a touch of caramel corn, for example.

“So I’ll do it later,” she said.

For the rest of us, it’s time to let go of the past. Microwave popcorn went from $ 53 million in retail sales when it became widely available in the early 1980s to $ 250 million three years later, at least according to the Popcorn Institute (academics will dig anything).

But they say millennials tend to mess things up, right? Vacant department stores. Cable TV off.

The microwave popcorn may still be around, but …

Almost ten years ago, AdAge published a report suggesting that people no longer had the patience to wait those grueling two minutes for the kernels to burst. Smarter forms of popcorn, pre-popped and in ready-made bags, are now reaching nearly $ 700 million in sales.

No matter. The Viognier is ready for anything with popcorn and artificial flavor.

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