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

Sunset  –  January 17, 2006

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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