We take movie night very seriously in my household. Some couples go hiking, some take classes together, some like to party out on the town—all fun things, but I think Stan and I are both happiest when we're snuggled up on the couch watching a good (or so bad it's good) film. But do you know what makes movie night at home even more delightful? Drinks and snacks!
It's no secret that I love to kick back with a nice glass of wine (or "night juice" as Stan calls it) at the end of a long week. I recently sampled some delicious Spanish wines from Ribera y Rueda, which immediately inspired me to start rummaging through my pantry and whip up some tasty snacks to go with them. The wines are quite lovely on their own, but what's movie night without nibbles? Less crunchy, that's what. Today I'll be sharing a couple of super-easy ideas for movie munchies that pair well with Ribera y Rueda wines—like so easy that they only take a few minutes, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Not having to change out of your jammies to get some spice you'll only use once simplifies things, I'd say. And if that's not stress-free enough for you, I'll also be suggesting a few titles available on Netflix that complement the wines too! Woo!
Before I get into the snack recipes, let me briefly explain what the wines are like and what sorts of movie "moods" they inspire for me.
Rueda Verdejo (white wine): Bright, crisp, refreshing. Goes well with lighthearted, snappy comedies, like:
- Clueless (1996)
- Legally Blonde (2001)
- New Girl (TV series, 2011-present)
Ribera del Duero Tempranillo (red wine): Bold, ripe, zesty. Goes well with dark but playful tiles, such as:
- Re-Animator (1985)
- The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
- Dexter (TV series, 2006-2013)
Rom-coms and horror films not your taste? You can always let the "random" button on InstantWatcher do the work for you. (Though no promises that Vanilla Ice Goes Amish or whatever other craziness it picks for you will go with your snack and wine selection. And yes, Vanilla Ice Goes Amish is a real thing.)
Let's start with a classic movie snack that pairs well with lighter, fluffier fare: Popcorn!
I'm sure I don't need to tell you how to make popcorn. Whether you're microwaving it or popping it on the stove, it's all good. But I do have a quick pantry hack for kicking it up a notch—here's what you need to gather:
- Popcorn (about 12 cups cooked or 1/2 cup unpopped kernels)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or powdered parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried dill (or 3 teaspoons fresh)
- Salt to taste (I start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there)
- Optional: Cooking spray
Mix together the seasonings in a small bowl, then pop your popcorn however you usually do. Place the popped corn in a massive bowl. I usually use an air popper, so I find it helpful to give to popped kernels a light dusting of cooking spray afterwards to help the seasonings stick. Once it's all sprayed up, delicately sprinkle the seasoning mix on top as you gently stir it around with a large spoon (to ensure that it all gets evenly coated). Congratulations, you've just made scrumptious herbed popcorn! True story: They charge like $5 per bag for this stuff at the store. It's no joke.
I really like dill as a popcorn topping because it tastes so bright and refreshing. And unsurprisingly, that brightness matches really well with Rueda Verdejo wine! Great for spring, summer and when you want it to feel like spring and summer year-round.
But what about those times when you're in a bolder mood, or just want something a bit more substantial? How about a smoky, slightly spicy (and super easy) black bean dip recipe? Sounds yummy to me. You'll need the following:
- 1-400g/15oz can of black beans (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1/3c whole corn kernels, cooked (canned or frozen is fine—but rinse them first!)
- 1/4c diced tomatoes (I used canned)
- 1 clove garlic, minced finely
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced finely (canned, in adobo sauce)
- 1 tsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle can)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional: 1/4 tsp Spanish-style smoked paprika
- Optional: Juice of 1/4 lime
Dump all of the ingredients except for the corn into a food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times, then purée until semi-smooth. Once you've reached the consistency you like, fold in the corn with a large spoon and garnish with a little bit more smoked paprika or fresh cilantro. ¡Ahí está! Serve warm with corn tortilla chips.
I really like chipotle and black beans with Ribera del Duero's Tempranillo because I feel like it matches well with the rugged and subtle spiciness of the wine. With that said I do urge you not to go overboard with the chipotle peppers—you want something smoky with a teensy bit of heat, not a full-on fireball!
Regardless of your specific film and snack preferences, Ribera y Rueda wines are a festive complement to any evening spent in. Winemakers in Ribera and Rueda (which are both located in the northwestern part of Spain) have been making wine for over 2,000 years, so I think it's safe to say that they know what they're doing. So grab a bottle and say "Sí" a delicious movie night in! For more information and pairing ideas, be sure to check out the Ribero y Rueda Tumblr page.
Do you enjoy movie nights in and/or TV marathons? Are you a bigger fan of red wine or white wine? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #SiWhatsNext #CG