Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Popcorn Pairings (Yes, With Wine) #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza
v. January 2017 = Our Very Own Virtual Popcorn Stand

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Popcorn Day (which is January 19th) by serving up popcorn as creatively as we can.

I'm hosting and here's the challenge I shared with the crew...

"National Popcorn Day is celebrated annually January 19th. It can be sweet, savory, buttered, plain, and even shaped into balls. “Corn,” the word, in England, simply referred to grain. With maize being the prominent grain the Americas, “corn” really did refer to corn!

As early as the 1700s, popcorn was used in headdresses worn during Aztec ceremonies honoring Tlaloc, their god of maize and fertility. Early Spanish explorers were fascinated by the corn that, when heated, burst into a little white flower.

Today, Americans consume 13 billion quarts of popcorn every year. Not surprisingly, a majority of the popcorn produced in the world is grown in the United States with Nebraska leading production in their corn belt.

It can be sweet, savory, buttered, plain, and even shaped into balls. So, bring your most fun, creative – or just your favorite – twist to eating popcorn."

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

POP on Over to These Posts...

We always start our popcorn creations with Premium Crimson Popping Corn from Rancho Gordo and good quality butter. We usually use Kerrygold, but I decided to try the Welsh Salted Butter from Trader Joe's this time. 

I don't own a microwave, so whenever we make popcorn, my son brings out his air popper. It's quick and easy!

I started with plain, air-popped corn. Drizzled it with melted butter and tossed the popped corn with different flavorings. Easy peasy.

Plain Ol’ Popcorn  + Prosecco

The first pairing was popcorn, butter, and salt flakes with some Italian bubbles. Simple pleasures! Cin cin.

Parmesan + Viognier

The second pairing was popcorn, butter, grated parmesan, and wild fennel pollen paired with a California Viognier. The sweetness of the Viognier, something akin to ripe apricots with a hint of jasmine, was countered by the salty earthiness of the aged cheese and herbaceousness of the fennel pollen.

Not surprisingly, my favorite pairing was with a red wine, also from California. The spiciness of the popcorn matched the weightiness and spice of the wine. Cheers!

Za'atar + Zinfandel

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that I always have on hand. It's a breeze to make and adds something fabulous to olive oil for dipping and - I've just discovered - sprinkled over buttered popcorn!

This makes about 5 tablespoons and you'll only use about 1 tablespoon for the popcorn, so keep it in a sealed jar for future use.

Za'atar Spice Blend
  • 2 T fresh thyme, pulled off the stem and minced
  • 2 T sesame seeds, toasted (I use both white and black sesame seeds)
  • 2 t ground sumac
  • 1/2 t flake salt

  • 1/2 C unpopped popcorn
  • 2 to 3 T salted butter, melted
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 2 to 3 t za'atar spice blend

Za'atar Spice Blend
In batches, blend and crush the spices with a mortar and pestle. Leave some sesame seeds whole.

Pop your popcorn. Place half of the popcorn in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with half the melted butter. Spinkle with 1 to 1-1/2 t za'atar. Place in the second half of the popcorn. Drizzle with the remaining butter and remaining spices. Gently toss with a spatula to mix but taking care not to crush any of the popcorn.

Serve alongside a glass of Zinfandel.

I selected a 2013 Zinfandel Toucan Vineyards from Saucelito Canyon. This is made from centrury-old vines. This one exemplifies the nuanced complexity of Zin that I adore! And it was a delightful match with the Za'atar Popcorn.

Have you ever paired popcorn with wine? What did you think??


  1. I sometimes drink wine with popcorn but I really like a Whiskey and Vernors (a Michigan gingerale) with my popcorn. Great post Cam, thanks for hosting.

  2. Ooh, I like that you made your own za'atar blend! Thanks for hosting this fun party.

  3. I don't drink wine, but your popcorn sounds great. Thanks for picking a fun thing for us to celebrate!

  4. Wow! you'll had a popcorn feast and enjoyed it wine ... great. Thank you for hosting this event.