Everybody loves the idea of pairing chocolate and wine, and with good reason. But the flavors of chocolate and wine aren’t always that compatible and the culprit is the chocolate. Chocolate actually has very intense flavors but it’s often sweet, bitter, acidic or fruity. That means that a wine, especially a dry table wine as opposed to a sweet dessert wine, needs to be similarly intense if it’s going to pair well with chocolate. A light red or a white wine won’t taste like anything after a bite of a good quality chocolate. Instead, look for fruity, intense wines like my 2012 Dry Creek Zinfandel or my 2012 Sonoma County Red Blend. But because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you should try my Carneros Sparkling Rose with the following recipe for Chocolate Popcorn!
Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, stir in the sugar. When combined, stir in popcorn. Cover, and shake the pot constantly to keep the sugar from burning. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 to 3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat and continue to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and allow it to cool. When cool, use your hands to break up any clumps.
To make the sauce: Place the sugar, corn syrup, water and chocolate in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted.
Drizzle chocolate sauce over popcorn until popcorn is evenly coated. Let cool until chocolate has harden. Then place in a bowl and enjoy!