Perfect Pairing: Petit Manseng & Cayenne Curry Popcorn

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On the few weekends I’m not traveling you’re likely to find me out in the Shenandoah at my favorite wineries. Last weekend was no exception. I was out at my absolute favorite Virginia winery, Glen Manor Vineyards, tasting their current selections.

They have one wine this year, the 2012 Petit Manseng, which is extremely well done, but as a sweet wine, not for me. I make everyone who comes with me try it for the first time, but it’s the one wine I won’t re-sample.

One of the owners though, now a dear friend, is renowned for verbally pairing the wines with the perfect food. You may never be able to replicate what she describes, but after tasting one of the wines and hearing her description, you’ll spend the rest of your life hoping to experience that combination.

I will always remember trying their 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and hearing her talk about pairing it with shucked salty oysters fresh from Maryland.  I wanted nothing more from life than to try the two. This spring (review forthcoming), 4 years later, I finally did!

This weekend, as I passed on the Petit Manseng, she worked her magic. “This wine would go particularly well with popcorn seasoned with curry and cayenne pepper.” I could actually picture this pairing, and I was excited!

She went on to describe how you could pop the corn in a brown paper sandwich bag, thereby forgoing the pre-packaged butter seasoning (saving money and calories), and then melting and infusing butter with lots of curry and cayenne before pouring it over the popcorn.


So I bought 2 bottles of the almost sold out vintage and promptly bought some popcorn. The first time I just tried spraying olive oil on the popcorn before seasoning it and it was good with the wine, but not amazing. Yesterday I actually melted and infused the butter. A matter of 2 minutes. WOW.

Cayenne Curry Popcorn Glen Manor Wine

Disclaimer: Even if you don’t like sweet wine, even if you don’t like cayenne pepper, I highly recommend this pairing! If you don’t have access to Glen Manor wines then you need to come visit Virginia. If that’s not possible then hunt down the most flavorful Riesling you can find! We receive no affiliate credit if you wind up buying wine or doing an incredible pairing, but we hope you’ll invite us over or at least share the recipe.


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  1. PH

    September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Some friends of mine have enjoyed getting every space stamped in a wineries passport issued by a regional tourist bureau. I wonder if there’s one for Shenandoah?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      September 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      That’s a good question! Did that in Dry Creek, and my mom did it up by Cooperstown

    • Keri Anderson

      September 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      As far as I know there’s no standing passport option. Occasionally a group or region will do something for an event. I will caution folks that the Virginia wine country is still young and many wineries are still mediocre and over priced.

  2. Tiff

    September 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Sounds yummy! =)

  3. Ed Matthews

    October 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Too funny! Surfing along and I see the title to this post and think, “I did this pairing for the Glen Manor wine dinner here at the restaurant!” I am glad to see that the idea is being passed along: it is a really fun pairing! Glen Manor is one of a handful of must-visit wineries in our area. Go visit as soon as you get a chance.

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