Gladiators! Get Ready For Scandal’s Return with Wine & Popcorn Pairings
Want some really good TV-watching snacks for the return of Scandal on Thursday night? It’s handled.
In honor of Olivia Pope’s favorite food and drink of choice, the editors of PEOPLE Great Ideas compiled our best wine and popcorn pairings. From sweet and savory to cheesy and bubbly, there’s a combo here for just about every hungry Gladiator.
“I am not a wine snob. I don’t care if vino comes from Italy, New Zealand, Brooklyn or a box — good wine is good wine. But when it comes to popcorn, my inner-snoot cannot be contained. The best kernels (made on the stove — none of this microwave nonsense!) should be fluffy, well-seasoned, not greasy and still taste like, well, popcorn. One of my favorite recipes is this Parmesan, Parsley and Maldon Salt Popcorn. The combo of salty parm, fresh herbs and earthy truffle oil hits all the right notes. It also just happens to pair well with a bubbly Pronto Lambrusco I have chilling in my fridge, which happily satisfies both sides of my personality.”
—Sonal Dutt, PEOPLE senior food & lifestyle editor, @sonal_dutt
“As summer turns to fall I spend more time on my couch watching TV and my go-to indulgence is often a generous glass of Pinot Noir or Malbec paired with some kind of sweet-meets-savory treat, like a sea salt brownie. The trouble with snacks like these is that they disappear too quickly: I can easily polish off a brownie before the opening credits are over (don’t judge!), and that always leaves me bummed. Enter this Spiced Chocolate Popcorn Crunch, also known as my dream TV food. It’s sweet and salty like the brownies I love, but can be savored slowly as I sip (and, okay, refill). It gets a touch of heat from cayenne pepper and tastes great with Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir, my new wine crush that’s almost frighteningly inexpensive but fruity, drinkable, and comes with a cool reusable cork that’s perfect for lightweights like me who can’t finish a bottle in a sitting.”
—Lexi Dwyer, PEOPLE.com contributor, @lexidwyerink
“I firmly believe in always keeping wine and popcorn stocked in my kitchen. This comes from hosting countless (often impromptu) girls nights. My go-to recipe is this Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn. It’s a delightfully decadent way to dress up plain old popcorn and is always a crowd pleaser. To balance the sweetness, I pair it with a dry wine like this Manu Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It’s crisp, refreshing and often, already in my fridge!”
—Michelle Ward, PEOPLE staff food & lifestyle writer
“I know Olivia Pope is more of a red wine kinda gal, but I cannot resist a glass of bubbly. To celebrate the return of Scandal, I’ll be popping a bottle of Vina Sympatica Sparkling White, it’s reasonably priced, floral and light and perfectly effervescent. I’m a savory snacker, so for popcorn I have to go with this amazing recipe that calls for Brown Butter and Parmesan. I recently discovered the brilliance of browning butter; it adds a richness that can only be described as borderline sinful — pairing it with Parmesan and a glass of bubbly is the perfect date night, for myself.”
—Morgan Gibson, PEOPLE associate food & lifestyle editor, @morgangibson
“I’ve recently been turned on to Sancerre, a French Sauvignon Blanc that is a little out of my budget. Though more times than not, I find an excuse to treat myself and if I’m spending the money I better have the right food to go along. The classic pairing with Sancerre is goat cheese so I’d add some goat cheese to this already delicious Lemon-Parmesan Popcorn recipe and dig right in. Bon appétit!”
—Ana Calderone, PEOPLE editorial assistant, @ana_calderone
“Even though it’s starting to get chilly here in New York, I’ve been sticking with white wine. (Unlike Olivia Pope, I don’t possess the uncanny ability to wear all white and never spill red wine — especially with all the plot twists on Scandal.) With that in mind, my wine pick is One Woman Grüner Veltliner. It’s from a winery on the North Fork of Long Island, and it’ll go perfectly with this Gouda Garlic Popcorn. Smoked Gouda is one of my favorite additions to a cheese plate, so I’m happy to have it on my popcorn as well. And you can never go wrong with garlic. I’ll also be adding a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper.”
—Kristin Appenbrink, PEOPLE.com contributing editor, @kristinapp