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2022: A tale of Two Harvest from Winemaker Mark…

By Mark Clarin of McGrail Vineyards

Winemaker, Mark Clarin, shares an insiders view of the 2022 Grape Harvest in the Livermore Valley!

Mark’s Memoir

The 2022 vintage has been a classically different vintage from the other 43 I have lived through. I had hopes in January and the preceding December of having a decent rainfall year, but February came along and dried out and this trend continued through spring and into summer. We managed a few classic April showers but that didn’t really make up for the deficit. Then, we had frost after bud break on the Lucky 8 Vineyard which affected primarily the Grenache Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

The growing season was warm but not really hot for the most part. And then, Labor Day weekend showed up with a heat spell that broke records. We hit 114 degrees in Livermore and had about 5 days of extreme heat.  In a matter of a few days, vines that normally ripen over several weeks, were ripe and ready to go. And, the vines that were behind, began stalling out.

Heat wave ends, rain follows

As the heat wave ended, things seemed to be going back to normal, and then we had a rain and hail storm September 18-20th.  Fortunately, our two vineyard properties managed to miss the hailstorm and the weather finally mellowed out.  With the weather normalizing, it gave us a little break between the early and late ripeners and allowed us to wrap up the last ¼ of our vines calmly for one of the craziest vintages I have seen!  Even though September proved to be challenging in the vineyard, the fruit is tasting delicious. 

One thing to note was that the Estate Cabernet started pushing buds, before the Lucky 8 Vineyard, including the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Very unusual as Cabernet is traditionally a later ripener. 

Mark Clarin, Winemaker

CBS came by for a visit and had a quick interview with our team picking. Check out the interview HERE

9-19-22 The weather cooled down and we actually have rain for the past two days. We harvested most of the Estate Cabernet before the rain and will finish on the 21st. The rain and cool weather have helped us keep the fruit from drying up. At this point, it seems as though we will finish harvest by the end of the following week.

9-21-22 We had a crazy scare last night as we were heading out to pick the last of the estate vineyard. I was at home cooking dinner and a torrential rain cell came through my neighborhood. I panicked and called my viticulture partner and we raced out to the vineyard to halt the picking. By miracle, the vineyard was dry and in great condition for harvesting. We processed the fruit from there and the clone 30 from lucky 8. I think Jim was watching out for us.  

9-26-22 I checked the remaining vineyards as we were scheduled for Wednesday harvest on a couple blocks. I called it off. The cool weather and the rain from the prior week seems to have put those blocks back to “normal”. We will continue to pump over our fermenters and possibly press some before the next harvest day. 

10-5-22. We started pressing off our Cabernet fermenters this week. The wines are spectacular with intense color and flavors. The vineyard continues to progress at an excruciatingly slow pace. So, we are taking advantage of the situation to get a head start on barreling down wines. 

10-19-22 The tale of the 2022 vintage is the continued struggle to get pickers, so we organized our own group of pickers utilizing tasting room staff and family members. This turned out to be the hottest day of October hitting 95F.  I thought I was going to die and am in awe of the professionals that do this everyday. It took us until 1:30pm to pick a whopping 1.3 tons. I think there were 6 of us to start and 4 for the duration. Not ideal but we managed. 

10-20-22 Heather rallied about 15 people for pick day 2 and we picked 2 tons before noon. Things are looking up. We just might finish harvest yet. Only about 25 tons to go. Oh my! We really are so fortunate for our great community. We had wine club members, tasting room team members, friends, neighbors all show up to pitch in and help.

10-21-22 We filled barrels with our Cabernet that we pressed last week. In the meantime, we are continuing our sampling of the vineyard and coordinating the next harvest dates.

10-23-22 I’m starting to feel like we will never be done with this crush. We pressed off the Touriga and Souzao grapes and put that to barrel on the 24th. On Wednesday we had about 15 people in the vineyard to pick the Petit Verdot form Lucky 8 and I also found pickers to pick the Merlot, Malbec and Cab Franc from Lucky 8 on Thursday the 27th.

10-28-22 PICAZO Merlot came in on Friday leaving 2 blocks to go and now I feel like we are going to make it. As my friend and colleague Randall Grahm told me when I went to work for him; “with winemaking we are in a constant state of flux”. 

10-31-22 It’s Halloween and I reminisce about being finished with harvest in years gone by. We harvested 4.4 tons from the C. Tarantino Vineyard today. All in all a beautiful day and we were finished long before donning our masks and costumes for the evening’s festivities.

11-1-22 LAST DAY of harvest 2022. We harvested 17.25 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 15 from the Lucky 8 property. The vintage has presented many challenges so far, with hot weeks, cold weeks, rainy weeks and cool months. Of course the last day has to start out warm, switch to cold and windy and then dump a bunch of water on our heads. Except we were able to pivot and move the sorting equipment into the building, out of the rain and reasonably dry. We started harvesting at 4:30 am and wrapped up the processing by 5pm. I was waiting for brix and color. We got 25.4 brix coming in. I’ll let you know how it colors up but I’m confident. 

A Tale of Two Vintages – 2022

By miracle, the vineyard was dry and in great condition for harvesting. We processed the fruit from there and the clone 30 from lucky 8. I think Jim was watching out for us.  

Mark Clarin, Winemaker

We managed to still have great phenolics, good acid, and we are optimistic about 2022’s harvest.  The yields on a few varietals are light, but the quality is present. 2022 Grape Harvest in the Livermore Valley is like none other.

More information about us HERE.


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Holy McGrail Members Lounge Livermore Valley

Members Lounge

We are thrilled to welcome our Holy McGrail Wine Club Members to our brand new lounge, located in the barrel room at McGrail Vineyards.

Holy McGrail Wine Club Members

The Members Lounge has been updated with farm-style tables for you and your family to enjoy McGrail wines

Members Lounge is open to Wine Club Members and up to 5 guests at any given time. Our farm tables are communal and available first come, first serve. Please note that the Lounge is setup to enjoy wine by the glass or bottle.

For wine tasting, please book a reservation on the patio or taste at our front bar before or after enjoying the lounge.

Our members lounge is located in our barrel room and is open on non-event, weekend days.  We have communal seating at farm tables available on a first come, first serve basis.  This room is open to Holy McGrail Wine Club Members.  We do not make reservations for this room as it is designed for those on property before or after their tastings.  Please make sure to book a tasting on the patio or at the front bar before or after you enjoy the lounge.  While we love your furry friends, only service animals are allowed.  Children are welcome to join their parents in the members lounge, but must remain seated.

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This was our first wine release party at the vineyard and we had a wonderful time. Delicious wine, yummy pizza, and loved the saxophone music! Thank you.

Karen Huff, Club Member
November 2022 New Releases Livermore Valley

New Release Wines for November 2022

By Heather McGrail of McGrail Vineyards

Heather McGrail shares our newest released wines all from the Livermore Valley!

Our Family Release

We are so excited to share the family series of wines with you. Each of these wines are named after grandkids, besides the James Vincent, which is named after my Father, the co-founder. We hope you enjoys these as much as we do.

Charlie Rae Chardonnay

A favorite of mine! The Charlie Rae Chardonnay is named after my sweet and spunky niece, Charlotte Rae. The California style Chardonnay is rich, creamy, buttery, but balanced by bright fruit. This wine stands alone, but I recently enjoyed it with baked brie wrapped in phyllo dough, apple slices, and candied walnuts.

Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon

Charlie’s older brother is Austin James and he is the 2nd oldest Grandson in the family. This fruit driven Cabernet has black cherry, boysenberry, and blackberry. The fruit elegantly blends with the milk chocolate and vanilla notes and is decadent! I recently paired this with the most delicious Chocolate Cherry brownies, try this one!

Chocolate Cherry Brownies paired with Austin James Cabernet

Chocolate Cherry Brownies with Austin James Cabernet

Cook time: 40 min

Servings: 10

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 ¼ Cups Sugar
  • 1 tbs Canola Oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • ½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs Cornstarch
  • ¼ Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Frozen pitted cherries
  • A handful of fresh cherries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F & line a 9 x 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar with a hand mixer on high until the mixture is smooth. Next, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix all together.

3. Add flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt and mix again until well-combined, making sure your batter is smooth and free of clumps.

4. Fold in your chocolate chips and frozen cherries *Reserve a handful of each to add on top

5. Use a spatula to transfer the batter into your lined pan, smoothing it out to spread the batter evenly throughout the pan. Place reserved cherries, fresh cherries, and chocolate chips on top

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Pair with our 2020 Austin James Cabernet! Enjoy!


Shamus Patrick Red Blend

Shamus Patrick is named after the oldest grandson. This Bordeaux style blend is a gem! Perfect food pairing wine that starts with purple fruit notes such as plum and blackberries. Rose petal, sandalwood, and mulled wine spices are all evident if you have the patience to allow this complex wine to open up. I love to pair the Shamus Patrick with fettuccine pasta with beef and mushroom ragout!

James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon

The James Vincent is named after my later father, Jim McGrail. This was the first vintage after his passing and I truly believe he had a hand in it from up above. It is one of my favorite vintages, elegant, bold, and velvety tannins. This wine opens with dark cherry, cassis, violet and vanilla. As the wine opens a bit you get more complex flavors and the toasty notes start to shine. Year after year, James Vincent continues to be one of our favorite wines! Pair this wine with a delicious filet mignon or a ribeye steak.

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Our recent vintages inspire me. Each year our farming techniques make tiny tweaks and each year we learn a little more about the land, the irrigation, and better practices.

Mark Clarin, Winemaker
Wine at Home

Strawberry Basil Chicken & Kylie Ryan Rosé

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

With strawberry being the overwhelming flavor on the palate for most vintages of our Rosé, I thought it was about time to incorporate actual strawberries into one of my Rosé pairings. That strawberry component was even more noticeable for me in this new 2020 vintage than it’s ever been! The composition of our newest Rosé varies drastically from that of years past, but it somehow is very reminiscent of our recent vintages. To be exact, our 2020 Rosé is 59.74% Merlot, 28.76% Malbec, 7.5% Grenache Blanc, and 5% Sauvignon Blanc; this is pretty different to our all-red 2019 and 2018 vintages, which were three equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec. Adding those extra bits of Grenache Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc will inevitably incorporate gorgeous tropical fruit and herbal notes, which coincide with the basil and balsamic in this strawberry basil chicken dish. Overall, it’s an elegant and delightful pairing.

strawberry basil chicken

Strawberry Basil Balsamic Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8 oz. small ciliegine mozzarella balls, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar glaze (slightly thicker and sweeter than regular balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. Georgia peach white balsamic glaze (I used Gourmet Blends’ version, but Amazon has some highly rated alternatives)
  • 4 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat grill on medium.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chopped strawberries, chopped mozzarella, and balsamic glazes. Stir well.
  3. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Grill chicken breasts over medium heat (about 250 degrees F) for 10-12 minutes, or until they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  5. Plate cooked chicken breasts.
  6. Add chopped basil to strawberry and mozzarella salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
  7. Evenly spoon strawberry and mozzarella salad over chicken breasts.
  8. Serve immediately with a side of toasted bread and of course a few glasses of our delicious Kylie Ryan Rosé!
strawberry basil chicken

Please let us know if you end up making these pairings and if you have any feedback! We’d love to hear it.

Cheers and enjoy!

Wine at Home

Grilled Beef Tagliata Over Arugula & Timeless Cab

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

This recipe is so simple and easy to make, but so refreshing in the way that it’s actually a phenomenal pairing and full of amazing flavor. Fresh arugula, herbs, parmesan, and Meyer lemon are classic Italian ingredients that can truly bring a dish to life. With just minimal ingredients, this beef tagliata dinner can bring out the best of our Timeless Cab. Speaking of “the best,” our Timeless is actually the best of our favorite vintages from our estate property. The Lot 567 version is a combination of our 2015, 2016, and 2017 estate Cabernet Sauvignon all blended into one bottle. It’s fantastic!

grilled beef tagliata

Grilled Beef Tagliata & Arugula Salad

Makes about 2 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 8 oz. beef sirloin steaks
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste
  • 4 cups organic arugula, cleaned and dried
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Take steaks out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  2. Heat grill on medium.
  3. In a food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and thyme. Process until broken down into paste.
  4. Liberally season steaks with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Using a basting brush, evenly coat steaks in herb paste.
  5. Grill steak for three minutes on each side, then another three minutes on each side (a total of 12 minutes per steak and 6 minutes per each side of steak). This is how I grill a steak that has a medium thickness to achieve a medium-rare doneness. Steaks can be cooked for a longer or shorter amount of time to achieve desired doneness. Allow steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
  6. Place two cups arugula on two plates. Sprinkle half of your parmesan on each. Mix together your lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl, then drizzle half on each plate. Season your salad with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Once steak has rested, slice into 1/2″ pieces. Place each steak on each plate.
  8. Enjoy salad alongside a couple glasses of McGrail Timeless Cab!
grilled beef tagliata

Please let us know if you end up making these pairings and if you have any feedback! We’d love to hear it.

Cheers and enjoy!

Wine at Home

Mini Beef Wellington & “the Good Life” Cabernet

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

This mini beef Wellington pairing suggestion was made by Heather McGrail as we tasted the new release wines for our February 2021 quarter. Heather, who was on a low-carb diet at the time was craving beef Wellington, which is how this pairing came to fruition. I have to say, it’s a fabulous pairing. The umami of the mustard, mushroom, and shallot match the heartiness of “the Good Life’s” palate, while the fat in the filet mignon and the puff pastry tames the tannins in the wine. It’s practically a perfect pairing.

Mini Beef Wellington Pairing

Mini Beef Wellington

Makes about 4 servings.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large shallot (about 2 oz.), minced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 16 oz. cuts filet mignon
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 flaky pastry circles (net wt. 16 oz.), about 9″ in diameter each
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
Mini Beef Wellington Pairing

DIRECTIONS:

Mini Beef Wellington Pairing
  1. Remove filet from refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature.
  2. Heat a medium-sized, non-stick pan on medium heat.
  3. Add minced shallots and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and thyme. Cook until the majority of mushroom liquid has evaporated and mushroom mixture has browned slightly (about 7-10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Season filet with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  6. In the same pan used for mushroom mixture, heat olive oil on high heat. Once oil is hot, sear cuts of filet on both sides for about 1 minute for each side. Remove from heat. Allow to rest.
  7. Brush each filet with dijon mustard.
  8. Using a floured flat surface, lay out each puff pastry circle.
  9. Take about half of the mushroom mixture and lay it out flat on the center of a puff pastry circle.
  10. Place a filet in the center and fold flaps of pastry over the meat, like you would fold a burrito, so the meat is completely covered. Use your fingers to seal the pastry together.
  11. Place on an oiled baking sheet with seam side on the bottom.
  12. Repeat steps 9-11 with your second pastry circle and filet.
  13. Optional: If you have extra puff pastry, use it to create fun designs to place on top of your pastry-covered filet. I used some pie crust cutter stamps that look like leaves and acorns on my beef Wellington.
  14. In a small bowl, whisk and egg and water together to create egg wash.
  15. Using a basting brush, brush egg wash onto puff pastry.
  16. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Place on a plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
  17. Enjoy with a bottle of our amazing A Jó Élet, or “the Good Life,” Cab!

Please let us know if you make this fancy comfort fare at home! I’d appreciate feedback and would love to hear from you.

Cheers and enjoy!

Wine at Home

Jägerschnitzel and Jägersoße and C. Tarantino Cabernet

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

I think I always say this, so excuse me if I sound repetitive, but I really love our C. Tarantino Cab. It’s just different from our other Cabs, but specifically in that it’s made with a different clone of Cabernet than what’s planted on our estate or our Lucky 8 Vineyard. Even though the vineyard in which these grapes are grown is only a mile from our own estate, the soil is very different, which makes the wine different. It’s always incredibly balanced, but the acidity is so great, which makes it fantastic for pairing with food. That’s not say it’s difficult to get down on a whole bottle of this; it’s incredibly smooth and drinkable, with soft tannins. I just love it.

Like one of my favorite wines, German food is also a comfort to me. While tasting the newest vintage of our C. Tarantino Cab, Mark, Heather, Jen, and I were brainstorming what we thought would be the best pairings for each of our new wines. Jägerschnitzel and Jägersoße, pork schnitzel with rich mushroom gravy, immediately came to mind. I hope you all are able to enjoy this pairing as much as I have!


Jägerschnitzel & Jägersoße

***I have placed the mushroom gravy ahead of the pork schnitzel because it should be made prior to making the schnitzel***


Jägerschnitzel and Jägersoße

Jägersoße – Mushroom Gravy

Makes about 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion (about 6 oz.), sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 tbsp. salted butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a large, thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Once up to heat, add bacon and fry until cooked through. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions and cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook until browned.
  3. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add butter. Stir. Add flour and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes or until it has been mixed into mushroom mixture well.
  5. Add thyme and red wine. Stir. Allow to wine evaporate for about a minute.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar, broth, pepper, and salt. Stir continuously until most of the liquid has evaporated and gravy has become thick. Reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to simmer for about 5-10, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove gravy from heat, but keep it warm. Immediately start on your pork chops to enjoy with your gravy (recipe below).

Jägerschnitzel – Breaded & Fried German Pork Chop

Makes about 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Canola oil or avocado oil for frying the pork chops
  • 4 boneless pork chops, about 8 oz. each
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 large eggs
  • Optional: Fresh parsley as a garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cover pork chops completely in plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound pork chops until they are about 1/4″ thick.
  2. Season pork chops with paprika, onion powder, pepper, and salt.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg(s).
  5. In a deep pan or griddle, heat oil to 330 degrees F. The oil should sit about 1/6″ deep in the pan.
  6. Take each flattened pork chop one-by-one and placed on a plate. Use a basting brush to coat pork chop in egg.
  7. Dump the flour mixture on another plate and dredge each egg-coated pork chop in it. Be sure to shake any excess mixture from pork chop and do not push mixture into pork chop.
  8. As soon as the pork chop has been coated in flour mixture, place it directly in the hot oil. Fry each pork chop for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until a golden-brown. Immediately place on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb any extra oil.
  9. Serve each pork chop with a spoonful or two of mushroom gravy and a glass of McGrail C. Tarantino Cabernet.
Jägerschnitzel & Jägersoße

Please let us know if you make this classic German dish of Jägerschnitzel and Jägersoße at home! I’d appreciate feedback and would love to hear from you.

Cheers and enjoy!

Wine at Home

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards & Winery

Being stuck at home can be mundane. Here is the ultimate time-passing trifecta: binge-worthy shows, alongside gourmet popcorn and wine pairings! Cheers!


About These Gourmet Popcorn Recipes

I think it might be important for me to preface these recipes by saying I created most of them using plain popcorn kernels in a microwaveable popcorn maker. I understand that not everyone has one of these in their homes, but if you love popcorn as much as I do, I highly recommend purchasing one. They vary in price, depending on the seller, but most are between $12 and $30 online. Mine has been around since the 1990’s, so it’s a justifiable purchase, if you choose the right one. An eight pound jug of Orville Redenbacher’s unpopped popcorn kernels can be purchased on Amazon for $11.49 and will last you 3-4 months (even if you are an avid popcorn eater) or longer. I’d say it’s a pretty reasonable investment overall.

If you choose not to purchase a popcorn maker and unpopped kernels, a microwaveable bag, or bags (dependent upon the recipe), of plain popcorn may be used in their place. I do not recommend using plain pre-popped popcorn because the consistency and quality is just not the same.


I also want to say thank you very much to my brave taste testers, Andy and Tina Halvorsen, for their honest input on each of these pairings. Cheers!


Binge-Worthy Television, Gourmet Popcorn, and Wine Pairings

Similar to our Worldly Wine & Picture Pairings blog post, the overarching theme of this one is based on the fact that people are stuck at home right now, probably spending a lot of their time drinking their stash of good wine and binging streamable shows and movies. I know this is something I often find myself doing when I’m not working. There are so many excellent shows that are easily streamable on various networks, it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose which one to watch. I’ve done the work for you, by pairing these gourmet popcorn and wine pairings with a television genre and several show suggestions for each. All you have to do is choose your favorite wine or your favorite T.V. genre, then whip up your popcorn recipe and choose a show! Simple enough, right?

Why did I choose popcorn to pair with these wines and T.V. shows? Well, everyone likes popcorn. Unlike its Jelly Belly flavor, actual popcorn is loved by all. It’s also effortless to make and so versatile; there’s practically a million different ways to jazz it up. Most importantly, it’s the best snack to mindlessly stuff your face with when watching T.V. and movies. Gourmet popcorn and wine pairings could be an entire meal if you’re willing to let it be.

Keep reading for all of our wine and popcorn pairing recipes OR tap the button below for our Binge-Worthy Television, Gourmet Popcorn, and Wine Pairings blog post.


All Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings Recipes


A Jó Élet, “the Good Life,” Cabernet Sauvignon & Spiced Mexican Chocolate Almond Popcorn

Makes about 7 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

ALMONDS
  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
POPCORN
  • 1/4 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
SPICED MEXICAN CHOCOLATE
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate flavored melting wafers
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. almond cocoa spread
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup 72% cacao dark chocolate chips

Directions:

ALMONDS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl or Ziploc toss all ingredients, coating almonds evenly in spice mixture.
  3. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  4. Bake for ten minutes, then remove from oven, and allow to cool.
POPCORN
  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over popcorn. Gently toss to coat popcorn evenly with olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  4. Sprinkle spice mixture over popcorn and gently toss to distribute.
SPICED MEXICAN CHOCOLATE
  1. In a microwaveable bowl, heat melting wafers on defrost setting. The instructions on melting wafer package said to melt on defrost for 30 seconds to a minute, but it took me almost three minutes to get them completely melted. Make sure to take out and stir about once per minute.
  2. Once melting wafers have melted and are still hot, add cocoa almond spread and cinnamon. Stir well.
  3. If chocolate mixture has begun to harden, microwave on defrost for a little longer.
  4. While still hot, drizzle chocolate mixture over popcorn. Quickly sprinkle dark chocolate chips over popcorn, so they begin to melt. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in melted chocolate.
  5. While still warm, sprinkle spiced almonds over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn until almond slivers stick to melted chocolate.
  6. Serve warm with a glass of our delicious Good Life Cabernet Sauvignon!

Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon & Smoked Paprika BBQ Bacon Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pieces thick sliced bacon
  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. bacon grease
  • 1 tsp. dry mild BBQ rub (I used Kinder’s)
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place bacon slices about an inch apart on lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake bacon slices for about 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees F. Make sure to keep an eye on it. Bacon should be as crispy as possible, but not burnt. Save 1 1/2 tablespoons bacon grease to use later. Mince sliced bacon.
  4. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  5. Melt butter. Add bacon grease to melted butter so it becomes liquified. Stir.
  6. Drizzle about half of butter mixture over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each drizzle to evenly distribute butter mixture throughout popcorn.
  7. In a small bowl, combine dry BBQ rub, onion powder, paprika, dry oregano, and pink Himalayan sea salt. Mix together.
  8. Sprinkle about half of dry seasoning mixture over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each sprinkle to evenly distribute seasoning mixture throughout popcorn.
  9. Sprinkle with minced bacon. Gently toss to distribute.
  10. Enjoy right way with a glass of our Austin James Cab.

C. Tarantino Cabernet Sauvignon & Sun-Dried Tomato Parmesan Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dry garlic & herb dressing seasoning
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a food processor or blender, blend together olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes, until a paste is formed. Wait a few minutes for the oil to settle before removing from blender or food processor. Use a spatula to scrape out as much olive oil as possible.
  3. Drizzle about half of olive oil paste over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each drizzle to evenly distribute olive oil mixture throughout popcorn.
  4. In a small bowl, combine nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and dry garlic & herb dressing seasoning. Mix together.
  5. Sprinkle about half of dry seasoning mixture over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each sprinkle to evenly distribute seasoning mixture throughout popcorn.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and pepper. Gently toss to distribute.
  7. Enjoy right away with a glass of our amazing C. Tarantino Cab!

Charlie Rae Chardonnay & Salted Caramel & Butterscotch Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 4 tbsp. salted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips
  • optional: 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on 2 lined sheet pans.
  2. Preheat oven to 230 degrees F.
  3. Heat butter in a small pan over medium.
  4. Once melted, add brown sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Turn heat to low. Simmer for four minutes. Be sure not to stir.
  6. Quickly whisk in vanilla and baking soda.
  7. Immediately pour over popcorn on sheet pan, then toss to coat evenly in caramel.
  8. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, tossing once or twice to further coat popcorn in caramel mixture.
  9. Remove from oven. While popcorn is still hot, sprinkle with butterscotch and optional white chocolate chips, so they begin to melt. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in melted chocolate.
  10. While still warm, sprinkle pink Himalayan sea salt over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn.
  11. Enjoy with a glass of our delicious Charlie Rae Chardonnay.

Colton’s Cabernet & Herbs de Provence Asiago Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. dried herbs de Provence
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • rosemary and olive oil asiago cheese, finely grated (I used Trader Joe’s version, but I think other brands may be easily found at various grocers)

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. Drizzle about a third of olive oil over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each drizzle to evenly distribute olive oil over popcorn.
  3. Repeat step 2, but instead of drizzling oil, sprinkle the dried herbs de Provence seasoning.
  4. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and gently toss to distribute.
  5. Serve warm with a sprinkling of rosemary asiago. You may use as much or as little as you prefer.
  6. Enjoy immediately with a glass of our Colton’s Cabernet Sauvignon!

Gracie Sparkling Brut & Orange Lavender Vanilla Honey Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. dried culinary lavender
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • vanilla bean, cut down the middle
  • 2 tbsp. organic honey
  • 1/2 tbsp. orange zest

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. In a small pan, heat coconut oil on low, until it is melted.
  3. Add lavender, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Stir. Allow to cook in coconut oil on low for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add honey and stir until it is melted into coconut oil.
  5. Add orange zest. Stir.
  6. Using a mesh strainer, strain debris from coconut oil mixture. Do not allow to cool.
  7. While coconut oil mixture is still hot, drizzle over popcorn on sheet pan, evenly coating popcorn in mixture. Toss popcorn together while mixture is still hot to further distribute coconut oil mixture.
  8. Optional: Garnish with more orange zest or 1/2 teaspoon finely minced culinary lavender.
  9. Serve with a glass of our Gracie Sparkling Brut!

James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon & Dark Chocolate Coconut Cashew Popcorn

Makes about 14 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup 72% cacao dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews, chopped
  • pink Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. In a small pan, heat coconut oil on low, until it is melted.
  3. Add shredded coconut flakes. Allow to cook in coconut oil on low for about 3-5 minutes, or until slightly brown, stirring attentively.
  4. Remove from heat. Once coconut oil and flakes have cooled for about 1-2 minute, add vanilla extract.
  5. While coconut oil mixture is still hot, drizzle over popcorn on sheet pan, evenly coating popcorn in mixture. Toss popcorn together while mixture is still hot to further distribute coconut oil mixture.
  6. Quickly sprinkle dark chocolate chips and chopped cashews over popcorn, so they begin to melt. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in oil and melted chocolate.
  7. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and gently toss to distribute.
  8. Serve with a tasty glass of our James Vincent Cab!

Kylie Ryan Rosé & Classic Kettle Corn

Makes about 14 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil on medium.
  2. Stir in popcorn kernels, sugar, and sea salt.
  3. Once popcorn begins to pop, continuously shake the pot to ensure popcorn does not burn. When popping has slowed to about every 3 seconds, remove pot from heat.
  4. Pour popcorn in a bowl or over a lined baking sheet, breaking up any clumps.
  5. Enjoy with a chilled glass of our Kylie Ryan Rosé!

McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve & Black Pepper BellaVitano Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup black pepper BellaVitano cheese
  • pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. Drizzle about half of olive oil over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute oil throughout popcorn. Drizzle second half of olive oil mixture over popcorn. Toss again.
  3. Sprinkle cheese over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  5. Enjoy immediately with a glass of our McGrail Cab Reserve.

McGrail Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon & Savory Sharp Cheddar Mustard Onion Thyme Popcorn

Makes about 19 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. dry thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. garlic and herb dressing seasoning*
  • 1 tsp. green onion dip mix*
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups honey mustard onion pretzel pieces, smashed into small pieces
  • extra sharp cheddar, finely grated

*you may use 2 teaspoons of either the garlic and herb dressing seasoning or the green onion mix if you wish not to use both.

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, olive oil, and mustard. Stir to combine.
  3. Drizzle about a third of olive oil mixture over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute oil throughout popcorn. Drizzle another third of olive oil mixture over popcorn. Toss again. Drizzle last bit and toss again.
  4. In a small bowl, combine thyme, garlic and herb dressing seasoning, green onion dip mix, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  6. Add pretzel pieces. Mix.
  7. Sprinkle cheddar over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  8. Enjoy immediately with a glass of our Clone 8 Cab.

McGrail Clone 15 Cabernet Sauvignon & Pomegranate Balsamic Aged Gouda Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate balsamic vinegar reduction (I used Gourmet Blends’ version, but Amazon has some highly rated alternatives too)
  • aged gouda, finely grated
  • pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute oil throughout popcorn.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute throughout popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle aged gouda over popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  5. Add pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy immediately with a glass or two of our Clone 15 Cab.

McGrail Family Chardonnay & Asian-Inspired Vegan “Chicken” Ramen Popcorn

Makes about 15 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 tsp. vegan chicken-less seasoning salt (I used Trader Joe’s version)
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 7 oz. dry uncooked Japanese style ramen noodles, smashed
  • 1 cup dry roasted unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted pistachio meats
  • 1 cup sesame stick snacks, smashed into small pieces
  • 1 cup Japanese rice crackers, smashed into small pieces
  • 2 cups garlic ginger wonton strips

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. Melt butter on the stove or in the microwave. Add sesame oil and stir.
  3. Drizzle about a half of butter and oil mixture over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each drizzle to evenly distribute oil mixture over popcorn.
  4. Repeat step 3, but with vegan chicken-less seasoning salt and sesame seeds.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently.
  6. Enjoy with a tasty glass of our McGrail Family Chardonnay!

McGrail Malbec & Dark Chocolate Berry Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 3 oz. organic raspberry 70% cacao dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. organic blackberry marmalade
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • pink Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl, heat organic raspberry dark chocolate on defrost setting until melted completely. Make sure to take out and stir about once per minute.
  3. Once chocolate has melted and is still hot, add blackberry marmalade. Stir well. If chocolate mixture has begun to harden, microwave on defrost for a little longer.
  4. While still hot, drizzle chocolate mixture over popcorn. Toss gently to coat popcorn with chocolate. Quickly sprinkle dark chocolate chunks over popcorn, so they stick to popcorn.
  5. Sprinkle pink Himalayan sea salt over popcorn.
  6. Enjoy with a glass of our yummy McGrail Malbec!

McGrail Merlot & Truffle Sharp Cheddar Parmesan Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. truffle oil
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated*
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan*

*I used 2/3 cups Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar cheese, finely grated, instead of both sharp cheddar and parmesan

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and truffle oil. Stir.
  3. Drizzle about a third of oil mixture over popcorn at a time, gently tossing popcorn in bowl after each drizzle to evenly distribute oil mixture over popcorn.
  4. In a small bowl, combine dried basil, onion powder, dried oregano, and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  5. Repeat step 3, but with dry seasoning mixture.
  6. Serve each bag or bowl of popcorn warm with a healthy sprinkling of cheese and pink Himalayan sea salt.
  7. Enjoy straight away with a glass of our Merlot!

Patriot Cabernet Sauvignon & Brown Butter Dark Chocolate Toasted Hazelnut Popcorn

Makes about 14 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 3/4 cup dry roasted unsalted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted hazelnuts, whole
  • 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 60% cacao dark chocolate chips
  • pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. In a small pan, heat butter on low. Allow to cook until it begins to brown.
  3. Add hazelnuts and brown sugar. Stir. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring attentively, not allowing ingredients to burn.
  4. While still hot, drizzle butter and hazelnuts over popcorn. Quickly sprinkle dark chocolate chips over popcorn, so they begin to melt. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in butter and melted chocolate.
  5. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and gently toss to distribute.
  6. Serve with a glass of our delicious Patriot Cabernet Sauvignon!

Peyton Paige Sauvignon Blanc & Hot Chili Lime Street Corn Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 4 tbsp. salted butter
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. low sodium chili lime seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chili and lime flavored rolled tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/2 cup giant Peruvian Inca corn snacks, smashed into small pieces
  • 2 cups chili and lime flavored rolled tortilla chips
  • 2 cups freshly grated cotija cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a small pan, heat butter on low. Once melted, add lime zest. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. While still hot, drizzle butter and lime zest over popcorn. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in butter.
  4. In a small bowl, combine chili lime seasoning and nutritional yeast. Mix together.
  5. Sprinkle chili lime seasoning and nutritional yeast over popcorn, so it sticks to butter on popcorn. Gently toss popcorn to coat evenly in chili lime seasoning mixture.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently.
  7. Enjoy right away with a tasty glass of our Peyton Paige Sauvignon Blanc!

Shamus Patrick Red Blend & Taco Popcorn

Makes about 10 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tsp. mild taco seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/3 cup salted giant Peruvian Incan corn, smashed
  • 3.5 oz. Santa Fe style tortilla strips
  • 1/3 cup salted giant Peruvian Incan corn, smashed
  • 1/3 cup oven-baked cheese bites, smashed
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Place in large bowl.
  2. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Toss gently. Spray again. Toss again.
  3. Sprinkle lime zest over popcorn. Gently toss to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  4. In small bowl, combine taco seasoning, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Mix well.
  5. Sprinkle dry seasoning over popcorn. Gently toss to evenly distribute through popcorn.
  6. Add smashed salted giant Peruvian Incan corn and oven-baked cheese bites to popcorn. Toss to mix.
  7. Serve warm with a sprinkling of shredded Mexican cheese blend. You may use as much or as little as you prefer.
  8. Enjoy immediately with a glass of our delightful Shamus Red Blend.

Slainte Red Blend & Peanut Butter, Chocolate, & Potato Chip Popcorn

Makes about 7 servings.

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate flavored melting wafers
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s baking pieces and candy
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted reduced guilt potato chips, smashed
  • pink Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare popcorn according to cooking directions. Lay out in a single layer on lined sheet pan.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl, heat melting wafers on defrost setting. The instructions on melting wafer package said to melt on defrost for 30 seconds to a minute, but it took me almost three minutes to get them completely melted. Be sure to take out and stir about once per minute.
  3. Once melting wafers have melted and are still hot, add peanut butter. Stir well.
  4. If chocolate mixture starts to harden, microwave on defrost for a little longer.
  5. While still hot, drizzle chocolate mixture over popcorn. Toss gently.
  6. Immediately sprinkle chopped peanuts, Reese’s pieces & candy, and smashed potato chips over popcorn, so they stick to chocolate. Toss popcorn to coat evenly in melted chocolate.
  7. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt.
  8. Enjoy with a glass of our Slainte Red Blend!

Did You Make Any of These Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings?

Which one(s) did you try? Which gourmet popcorn and wine pairing is your favorite? Did you try the gourmet popcorn and wine pairings while enjoying our binge-worthy show suggestions?

Gourmet Popcorn and Wine Pairings

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Wine Cocktails

Holiday Mulled Wine Recipe from McGrail

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

Regardless of the fact our winemaker isn’t always pleased with me when I make cocktails and other drinks that involve adding something to his wine, Mark and I both know some people LOVE that sort of thing, and in this business, it’s all about making customers happy. It’s fun, trendy, and just a change of pace. While discussing this sometimes sore subject with our SIP Club members, Mark mentioned having drunk Glögg (or did he call it Glühwein?) in his younger years.

What the heck am I talking about? Holiday mulled wine. Glögg and Glühwein are the Swedish and German names, respectively, for it. In Swedish, it translates to “glowing ember,” and in German, it means “glowing wine,” which seems to imply that this stuff can make you feel pretty dang good when you drink it. Mark recalled having a foggy memory after just one glass. Somehow he’s still quite fond of the stuff, but I’m curious to know exactly what was in it.

Traditionally, mulled wine contains baking spices, fruit, and wine, of course, and it’s typically drunk around Christmastime. It’s quite simple to make, but it sure can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside! This is an easy recipe I’ve made up using our Shamus Patrick Red Blend. We’re looking forward to sharing this with our SIP Club members this week!

Holiday Mulled Wine

Holiday Mulled Wine

Ingredients:

  • 750mL bottle McGrail Shamus Patrick Red Blend
  • 1 navel orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 black pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple or orange juice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup brandy, dark rum, or bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberries, as a garnish (optional)
  • extra cinnamon sticks, as a garnish (optional)
Holiday Mulled Wine

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan, combine Shamus Patrick Red Blend, orange slices, lemon slices, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black pepper corns, bay leaf, brown sugar, and optional juice and liquor. Stir to combine.
  2. Heat the wine over medium-high, until it just reaches a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Do not allow to boil, as this could cook out the alcohol. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes and up to three hours.
  3. Use a mesh strainer to remove all non-liquid ingredients from wine before serving.
  4. Serve warm in your favorite mug and garnish with cranberries or extra cinnamon sticks, while enjoying your favorite holiday movies.
Holiday Mulled Wine

What You Should Know About Mulled Wine

  • Glühwein is sometimes prepared “mit Schuss,” or with a shot, which is why I included the optional brandy or rum in the recipe.
  • If you somehow have leftover mulled wine, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and should ideally be consumed within three days.
  • To reheat the mulled wine, simply bring it to a simmer on low heat in a large sauce pan on the stove.
  • Fresh ginger, cardamom pods, nutmeg, allspice, and raisins can be added to mulled wine, depending on one’s personal preferences.

Holiday Mulled Wine

National Mulled Wine Day

Celebrate National Mulled Wine Day with us on March 3rd, 2021!


Please let us know if you make this warm holiday recipe and what your thoughts are! We love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Wine Cocktails

Holiday Sangria Recipe from McGrail

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

Regardless of the fact our winemaker isn’t always pleased with me when I make cocktails and other drinks that involve adding something to his wine, Mark and I both know some people LOVE that sort of thing, and in this business, it’s all about making customers happy. It’s fun, trendy, and just a change of pace.

Sangria is perhaps one of the most popular drinks to create with wine. Traditionally, sangria contains chopped fruit, red wine, and some kind of spirit. It’s quite simple to make, but it sure can make you feel fun and festive! This is an easy recipe I’ve made up using our Red Blend. I hope you enjoy this holiday sangria recipe!

Holiday Sangria Recipe

Holiday Sangria Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped honey crisp apples
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped Bosc pears
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped D’Anjou pears
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange slices
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 bottle of McGrail Red Blend
  • 3/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 6 oz. lemon lime soda
  • 6-8 oz. berry-flavored sparkling water
  • 6-8 oz. orange-flavored sparkling water
  • Rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large punch bowl or very large pitcher, combine cranberries, chopped apples, chopped pears, orange slices, lime slices, lemon slices, pomegranate arils, cinnamon sticks, cloves, Cabernet, brandy, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Stir.
  1. Chill for at least an hour. We’ve found that allowing it to sit overnight maximizes the fruit and spice flavors.
  2. Add ginger beer, lemon lime soda, and sparkling water. Stir.
  3. Serve over ice. Add rosemary sprigs and/or cinnamon sticks as a garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Please let us know if you make this holiday sangria recipe! We’d love to hear from you.

Cheers!