13 Snack Pairings for Smuggled Wine at the Movie Theater

People bring wine into movies. It’s fine. We’re all adults. I tell myself Jackie Onassis also did this, but hers was probably less smuggling it in and more, “I have this bottle of wine, who corks it here?” as she’s at the box office. Red wine works best because then it can be room temperature and you don’t have worry about it losing it’s chill (something you never have to worry about with me), although the thought of someone bringing in a silver bucket full of ice for their white wine has carried me through this entire week.

Some things I kept in mind about the snacks for the movie were: noise level, odor, ease of travel/handling, and how tidy you can keep it. Not only that, I’ve tailored which movies will pair best with your wine/snack pairings! Look at us go!

Greek Style Cheese Pies


Wine: Red Zinfindel (high alcohol content, high tannin to cut fat)
Movie: Ghost Busters (2016)

An all female comedy blockbuster including a woman of color and an openly queer woman, and a movie that’s not even out yet but that men already hate? It’s time to celebrate with something that’s technically a pie and a wine that’ll get you drunk!

Easy Chocolate Truffles


Wine: Vintage Port (sweeter finish, intense tannin)
Movie: Carol

Port always reminds me of the 50s with its small pour in a tiny glass. And with something like 20% alcohol content in 3 to 5 ounces, it doesn’t take much to make things go a little fuzzy.

Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini


Wine: Bordeaux (best in youth)
Movie: The Witch

Black Phillip wants you to Live Deliciously.

Parmesan Pepper Curly Kale Chips


Wine: Pinot Noir (light, low tannin, aromatic)
Movie: Fashion icon Iris Apfel’s documentary

What a smart, healthy decision you’ve just made. This one’s basically a cleanse! Enjoy the flowery aroma coming from the screen and from your glass.

Homemade Caramel Corn


Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon (not too sweet, not too acidic)
Movie: The Boss

Originally I was going to just pair every single one of these snacks with Cabernet. What a hoot that would have been! It especially makes sense here, though, because of how well balanced everything is – the sweet and salty popcorn, the tangy and sweet wine, and the humor and genuine emotion in the movie about a fiercely independent business mogul who loses her fortune and finds herself starting over with a scrappy startup of Girl Scout-esque baked goods. Also, do the Girl Scouts still offer their tins of tri-flavored popcorn? What a beautiful gift to give someone and I’m being dead serious.

Tropical Trail Mix with Ginger and Coconut


Wine: Syrah (sweet and spicy)
Movie: The Handmaiden

This “gothic lesbian revenge thriller” movie is apparently going to put you through a marathon of emotions for 145 minutes, so you’ll need to fuel up with proteins, carbs, and a little sugar.

Baked Sweet Potato Chips


Wine: St. Laurent (dark, earthy notes)
Movie: Katherine Heigl’s answer to Jennifer Aniston’s Cake

St. Laurent has been described as Pinot Noir but darker, and here its earthiness pairs well with that of the sweet potatoes. This would be the perfect combo for Katherine Heigl’s film comeback in a grittier roll than we’re used to seeing her in, and it would follow her real life story line of an actress who was once in a string of blockbusters and only a few years later finds herself doing cat litter commercials to make ends meet. She’d deserve an Oscar nod but would lose it to Brie Larson???

Maple Glazed Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas


Wine: Pinot Noir (maple notes)
Movie: Futuristic Romantic Drama starring Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett

Chickpeas as a snack – a delicious one – upends everything you know to be true and sort of makes you think, “What else is possible?” The matriarchy? The eradication of capitalism? Then your mind goes, “These energy pods are from the future.” Then the maple flavor of the wine and the glaze mimic/pair with each other so well that suddenly Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton appear in front of each other. Add that all together and you have a love story set in a post-apocalyptic, matriarchal society in the throes of civil war. It’s like Cold Mountain but queer.

S’more Cookies


Wine: Merlot (a friend of milk chocolate)
Movie: A special midnight screening of Waiting to Exhale

S’mores bring two things to mind: being up late and fire. Make sure you save a bite or two for the end of the movie so when you watch Angela Bassett burn a car you can get that charred marshmallow essence.

Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels


Wine: Tempranillo (low tannin)
Movie: Second run theater one time showing of As Good As It Gets

This one is about masking an assaulting presence. The salty, dusty pretzels (Jack Nicholson) are going to dry out your mouth, so you can’t have a wine that’ll do that, too. In order to create a palatable experience you’ll need a wine that’ll go basically undetected (Helen Hunt).

Lemon-Lavender Blackberry Ricotta Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Movie: Independence Day: Resurgence

An upgrade to a childhood classic.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Dough Bites


Wine: Tawny Port (wide range of notes)
Movie: Mother’s Day

Look, I don’t know why you’re at this movie. Maybe you’re in town visiting family and this seems like the safest outing for everyone. But between the notes of fruit, smoke, nuts, wood and chocolate in the wine, and then throwing in a peanut butter taste, there is a lot going on. Not as much as Gary Marshall has insisted on in every single one of his movies in the past decade, but at least take comfort in the fact that your unlikely pairing actually comes together in the end.

Plantain Chips


Wine: Tawny Port (a friend of fruit)
Movie: Outdoor screening of Sliding Doors

This pairing calls to mind Gwyneth Paltrow, a person who I bet effortlessly considers fruit a snack when they want to “cheat” and knows just how to set up a picnic spread in a way that asserts dominance. This is some different plane of existence shit, something that you can watch in real time with this film.

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. This was incredible and now I’m hungry

    Will not be changing my hater stance on red wine tho

    Also I double taked at your author blurb and now I need you to describe as only you can the variety of places you have lived


      • The condensed version could probably be whichever place has the best intersection of affordability (for ppl with no degree) cute queers, and public transportation

        Have yet to find a list of affordable cities that take my Gay, anti car needs into account

    • Well, if you carry a purse or handbag (or just wear something with large pockets!), you could saran wrap them beforehand. And preferably securely so that they don’t make a mess in your purse, handbag, or pockets, of course! =)

    • I’m imagining a flat-bottomed purse or bag and tupperware, myself. Or really tupperware and anything. Like the sandwich containers, which could probably hold a bunch, and could theoretically maybe be tucked into a giant sweater if you’re not a purse person. Or I have some smaller rubbermaid ones that that can fit a slice or two of zucchini bread really well so I bet they’d hold one and fit in a large pocket without danger of smooshing. But you have a whole movie, so maybe the bag and bigger container, I think.

    • I once smuggled empanadas into a tennis match under an oversized hat. Well, the hat wasn’t even that large, just the size of my head + 2 empanadas.

  2. If you want to drink chilled white wine, you could buy a bucket of popcorn, then dump all of the popcorn in the trashcan, and then fill it with ice at the ice dispenser. #winegenius

      • So, in this scenario, is movie theater popcorn the snack pairing or is there a second snack after you’ve quickly finished a whole bucket of popcorn? Asking for a friend.

        Actually, I don’t even really like white wine that much (but of course I will still drink it, I will drink any wine that’s put in front of me). Plus, I feel like Black Phillip would want me to drink reds.

  3. *hands movie ticket over to be ripped, is covered in goat cheese and smells like the oil on sundried tomatoes, ilthis

  4. Relevant to all of your interests: I am 32 and have started buying Senior priced tickets at the machine and none of the high school kids who have ripped my tickets have even batted an eye. And I’ve saved like EIGHT DOLLARS so far.

    • I hope you have a response saved up for when someone eventually challenges you. Like, you will stare into their eyes, dead serious, and whisper “there is no such thing as old age, only sorrow” before sauntering past them as they gawp, bamboozled.

      • Hehe wow Sally, that is so much better than my plan, which is “oh crap, really? I didn’t know how to work the machine,” which not only would be a pretty valid response, it might actually convince them I was over 55

        Oh dear, sorry, that was only *joke* ageism.

  5. Holy crap i have been using the machine to buy tickets for years. I never thought of that. You are awesome.

  6. Mmm chocolate peanut butter dough bites… [drools on the keyboard] [dries out keyboard with a hairdryer]

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