Skip to content

January, 2022

wine and movie


Several contemporary films address the topic of sustainability in a way that makes the issues clear and compelling. Some are documentaries, others are more allegorical. To educate yourself, consider curating your own sustainability film festival. Over a single evening or a weekend, you can become more informed and conversant on the issues. Here are a few selections from a Harvard University graduate. As she reminds us, knowledge is fundamental to making our society more sustainable. Why not invite a few friends for an evening of popcorn, wine, viewing and discussion? 

The Pour

How do you like your Chardonnay? More than most wine varieties, Chardonnay reflects not just the location where the grapes are grown but also the stylistic decisions of the winemaker. The grapes do best in the state’s cooler growing regions, like the Russian River Valley and Carneros in California North Coast, or cooler parts of the Central Coast, such as Santa Maria Valley. Some winemakers use oak-barrel fermentation and aging to give their Chardonnay more richness and texture. Others prefer a leaner, crisper style, achievable through fermentation and aging in stainless tanks or in previously used oak barrels that are essentially neutral. Ask your wine merchant to recommend a California Chardonnay that suits your style preference. 

The Recipe

Popcorn Trio

When it’s movie night at your house, make sure the snacks belong on the highlight reel. With this trio of wine-friendly flavored popcorns, the treats may steal the show. Make one, two or all three if you’re feeling ambitious.  

Wine suggestion: California Chardonnay or California Pinot Noir

popcorn and wine


Pimentón Popcorn 

  •  Stovetop Popcorn from ¼ cup popcorn kernels 
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), hot or mild, or paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 

Put the hot popcorn in a serving bowl. Add the butter, pimentón and salt and toss well.

Porcini Butter Popcorn 

  • Stovetop Popcorn from ¼ cup (55 g) popcorn kernels 
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons porcini powder or mushroom powder (see Note) 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 

Put the hot popcorn in a serving bowl. Add the butter, porcini powder and salt and toss well.  NOTE: You can find porcini powder at spice shops and well-stocked supermarkets, or you can make your own by grinding dried porcini to a powder in a spice mill. 

Brown Butter and Parmesan Popcorn 

  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter 
  • Stovetop Popcorn from ½ cup (110 g) popcorn kernels 
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue cooking, swirling the pan often, until the butter stops foaming and hissing, a sign that most of the moisture has evaporated. At that point, the melted butter will begin to turn golden-brown and smell nutty. Remove from the heat. Put the hot popcorn in a serving bowl and pour the warm brown butter over the popcorn, leaving any dark solids at the bottom of the pan. Add the cheese and salt and toss well.  


General stovetop popcorn preparation: Put 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 3 to 4 popcorn kernels in a heavy saucepan. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and place over medium heat. When the kernels pop, add ¼ cup (55 g) popcorn kernels and recover, leaving the lid slightly ajar so steam can escape. Cook over medium heat, shaking the saucepan occasionally, until you no longer hear kernels popping. Makes about 7-1/2 cups (1.75 liters). 


Wine Institute is an association of California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact