SyrahPopcornSome times it is the simple things in life that bring pleasure. Although I love to cook, there are nights when I just don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and a big bowl of popcorn is what I crave. Quick, simple and satisfying.

I am a huge fan of truffle oil (well truffle anything but it is usually the oil that I have in my pantry). I add a teaspoon to the oil that I use to pop the corn and it adds such a lovely, earthy flavor. Then after all the kernels have popped, I add just a little salt. I stopped making microwave popcorn years ago — the stove top method takes very little time and results in popcorn that is not only better tasting but also better for you.

Just because I skip a fancy dinner, doesn’t mean I am skipping wine. I decided to try the 2013 vintage of Robert Hall’s Syrah. The wine is loaded with ripe blackberry, plum, black cherry and cocoa with a touch of smoke and spice. It has a nice, rich mouth feel with just the right amount of acid on the finish. It paired perfectly with my truffle oil popcorn. I’m not sure if that was due to the earthy truffle flavors, but let’s face it when you find a really good pairing there is no point in questioning why it tastes so good.

Here is a little more information about the 2013 Robert Hall Syrah from winemaker Don Brady: “Our 2013 Syrah is a product of Paso Robles grown across the appellation. The bulk of the fruit from two of our Hall Ranch vineyards; the majority originates in the stony decomposed granite soils of our “Bench Vineyard,” the next component is crafted from the loamy soils of the “Terrace Vineyard.” The combination of these two vineyards, and others located south of the winery, yields a wine that shows the rich opulence of Syrah brought to rich maturity in the rolling hills of Paso Robles.”