Your wine gift pack features a beautiful, traditional-method sparkling wine paired with this custom recipe for upscale popcorn topping from Chef Brad Long:
By Chef Brad Long, Café BeLong
Popcorn and sparkling wine is a classic pairing. This rich, buttery topping is the perfect pair with the palate-cleansing zest of the bubbles.
1 lb. Salted Butter
1 medium Shallot finely diced Salt to taste
Freshly-popped, plain popcorn
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pot until the butter foams, falls and the solids begin to brown. This process can vary from butter to butter and non-salted or cultured butters will perform differently and give slightly different results but can still be used none-the- less. Don’t walk away from this process as it may take a few minutes for the butter to melt, foam and fall but once it starts browning it will be all over in a matter of seconds – if you go too far it will burn and turn the butter black.
When it begins to brown you can not only see this happening in the pot but you can also smell the distinct hazelnut aroma that makes it so appealing to go through all this fuss. As it fully browns, remove from heat and immediately pass through a fine strainer into a medium sized bowl containing the shallots. The hot butter poured over the raw shallots will cause them to lightly cook (the liquid will boil immediately as the butter is several hundred degrees) so they will foam up – beware not to do this too quickly or it will foam over the top of the bowl.
Drizzle a few ounces (or more, to your taste) over your freshly popped popcorn and add salt to taste – if you used salted butter you will need less on the popcorn and vice versa. The remainder will solidify again and should be kept in the fridge but it can be warmed easily in a pot or microwave and used for another batch, or so, of popcorn.
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut
This sparkler is a perennial crowd-pleaser, packing an incredible Champagne-like profile of bright citrus fruit and generous soft yeasty-biscuit notes. Blindfolded, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Henry of Pelham has been a leader in great sparkling wines for decades, and their flagship Cuvée Catharine — aged 30+ months on lees — is a joy to behold.
Riedel’s “O” Champagne Glass is an elegant yet casual way to enjoy sparkling wine. After all, there is something worth celebrating every day. As with all wine glasses, Riedel recommends filling it only a third full, so that the Champagne/sparkling wine aromas are evident.