Bars to offer gourmet popcorn paired with Tio Pepe sherry

tio pepe popcorn

Bars and restaurants around the UK are set to offer Tio Pepe sherry paired with gourmet popcorn in a new campaign in the run-up to Christmas.

The sherry brand has teamed up with gourmet popcorn specialists Pop of Notting Hill whose director Matt Guarente has created three bespoke flavours to suit the dry but versatile profile of the fino.

The flavours are Succulent Pigs in Crispy Blankets, Golden Roast Turkey with Lemon and Thyme Stuffing, and Blue Cheese with Celery, which were among 100 flavours tested by Tio Pepe’s taste experts alongside chilled sherry.

The special menu is running at Bar 44 in Cardiff, The Larder House in Bournemouth, Ambiente in Leeds and Bar Pepito in London from Monday December 1 to Wednesday December 24.

Priced at £5 per person, consumers get a 100ml glass of Tio Pepe and three 30g servings of gourmet popcorn for sharing.

Matt at Pop said: “We knew at the first sip that the popcorns had to be bold, interesting and a conversation point. We wanted to create a series of flavours that can be savoured whilst being enhanced by the taste of the fino due to its palate cleansing qualities.

“We worked hard to get the balance right between the bitter and mellowness of the thyme, the correct amount of smokiness in the bacon and perfecting the strength in the Blue Cheese Popcorn – all whilst ensuring the flavours were big, bold, clean, flavoursome and authentic.”

With the Succulent Pigs in Crispy Blankets popcorn, Matt said: “Most people will taste bacon first – a natural ham stock with hickory smoke – then comes the unmistakeable flavour of the sausages with the signature mace, sage, and warm ginger and black pepper. The smoky and salty flavour matches perfectly with Tio Pepe’s dry notes.”

For the Golden Roast Turkey with Lemon and Thyme Stuffing flavour, Matt said: “The clean, sweet natural turkey base is a constant undercurrent but the lemon oil soon gives a citrus lift that compliments Tio Pepe’s savoury tastes, before the unmistakeable bitter, floral thyme comes in at the end.”

With the Blue Cheese with Celery popcorn, the saltiness of the stilton is a fantastic match to Tio Pepe, Matt explained. “The powerful front end of the strong cheese hits first then mellows on the palate, enhanced by Tio Pepe’s palate-cleansing properties. Then the toasty characters of the popcorn follow through, and every now and then a whole celery seed will make its fragrant presence felt too.”

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