Shockingly perfect pairings

Popcorn and sparkling wine? Guacamole and Riesling? Check out these six excellent irreverent matches

Who said food and wine had to be so serious? Try these six excellent irreverent matches.

Buttery popcorn and a California sparkler. Bring on the fruit with an appley, all-Chardonnay bubbly like Schramsberg's 2001 Blanc de Blancs (California; $33).

Guacamole and Riesling. It sounds odd, but a crisp, barely off-dry Riesling like the 2004 Lemelson (Willamette Valley, OR; $20) just works with the lime-laced avocado dip.

Cheeseburgers and Petite Sirah. Throw your best ground beef on the grill and match it with a smoky, berried wine like David Bruce's 2003 Petite Sirah (Central Coast, CA; $20).

Peanut butter cups and Zinfandel Port. Testimony from one Sunset taster: "The Sobon wins with the Reese's, and I don't even like Port." Sobon Estate Zinfandel Port 2003 (Amador County, CA; $15, 500 ml.).

A Reuben sandwich and Pinot Noir. Minerals, berries, and spice keep Talley Vineyards' 2003 Estate Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley, CA; $32) in lockstep with this deli classic.

Baked Alaska and sweet Muscat. The charmingly retro dessert is worth rediscovering with a bottle of Eos "Tears of Dew" Late Harvest Moscato 2004 (Paso Robles, CA; $22, 375 ml.).

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