The team aimed to gussy up the classic comfort of popcorn at the movies with a few bubbles and some fancy flavorings. Viviani created three popcorns for the picking with profiles to complement the sweet acidity of the Italian Prosecco: Lemon & Black Pepper, Truffle Oil & Parmesan, and Caramel & Pancetta. Let me assure that sparkling wine was simply an added bonus to these devourable pops, as my hoarding instinct had me stacking as many as I could muster for the seated screening. The truffle oil’s unmistakable tongue trademark was further enhanced by the powdery Parmesan cheese. And the burnt saccharine caramel was expertly juxtaposed by the swine’s salty bite. By movie-end, I had downed at least six buckets worth of these pillowy pops of decadence and was only disappointed by the deficit of to-go bags. Though if you did want to savor these snacks at home, little recipe cards were provided for the taking (but we all know it never tastes the same when we make it for ourselves).
And while it may seem like a new idea to Americans, Viviani boasts that he has long enjoyed Santa Margherita wines since his days in Italy before their partnership, and proudly serves them at his LA restaurant Firenze Osteria. Popcorn is old-fashioned and so is the movie, he said, so the addition of the Prosecco is an attempt to make wine more accessible to everyone (er, the legal-drinking everyone). But why the bubbly? He asserts that you can drink it with anything and at any time of the day; a versatile wine to say the least. Cheers to that.
Besides popping up for “Prosecco and Popcorn,” Viviani has other promoting ventures to attend to. His television exposure does not end with Bravo’s “Top Chef” as he is in the works of his own production where he will be “cooking up a storm and rebranding this country one meal at a time.” Until then, event attendees may remember him with an effervescent sip, salty lips and a Roman Holiday.