What are the things everyone wants most during the holiday season? If you said cookies and wine, you are correct. 😉
Lucky for us, we have our very own sommelier on staff. Samia Naciri, our Director of Operations, is Level 3 certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. If that wasn’t enough to convince you of her qualifications, she grew up in France and lived in Napa for a while, so she’s sure to have learned a lot more than the rest of us, simply through osmosis.
Pairing cookies and wine can be tricky. Because the cookies are sweet, you’ll want to pair the cookies with a sweet wine, and not everyone loves sweet wine. According to Samia, “you have to give it a try as it actually enhances the flavors of the cookie.”
You had us at enhanced cookie, Samia.
“Pedro Ximenez, for example, is a sweet wine from Spain which has flavors of raisins, dates, dried figs, chocolate, which will pair amazingly well with our Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin cookies,” she said.
We asked her what wine would pair best with our seasonal flavors, as we all want the perfect combos at our Christmas parties!
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE WITH…
A Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
For our fan favorite Chocolate Peppermint Candy Cane, she recommends a full bodied, dry red. Specifically, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. The high tannin content enhances the flavor of the mint.
Try: Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A South African Cabernet Sauvignon
If you want to really enhance the mint flavor, you could go with a South African Cabernet. These are also dry, full-bodied, and tannin-heavy, but they also often have a minty finish.
Thelema Mountain Vineyards offers a Cabernet Sauvignon titled “The Mint”. The minty finish likely comes from, “airborne transfer from the Eucalyptus trees, which border this specific Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard, to the grape berries. It is believed that the berries outer wax layer could absorb Eucalyptol, a compound responsible for the aroma, released into the air by the trees. It subsequently becomes dissolved during the fermentation process, which takes place on the skins, inevitably giving the wine a “minty” character unique to this vineyard.”
Try: Thelema Mountain Vineyards "The Mint" Cabernet Savignon
GINGERBREAD & PUMPKIN PECAN SPICE WITH….
A German Riesling
For our spicier cookies, Samia recommends, “white wine, with more floral and spicy notes.”
Like a Reisling! Rieslings aren’t tannin-heavy like the Cabs. Instead, they offer a crisp, sweet, floral flavor that compliments the spices in our Gingerbread and Pumpkin cookies well.
A French Viognier
Viognier is a dry, white wine known to be fruity and floral in taste. Sounds delicate, but it is a bold and flavorful wine that can hold its own with the spices in our cookies.
A Chenin Blanc
Some Chenin Blancs are sweeter than others. For a cookie pairing, you’ll want to lean away from the lighter, dryer Chenin Blancs and more toward the sweeter ones that balance the spices better.
Try: Rudera Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc
A California Zinfandel
White wine not your thing? That’s ok, these cookies will pair with a Zinfandel as well.
Zinfandel is more bold than a Riesling, but sweeter than other red wines. It works well with many spices, including many that are found in our gingerbread and pumpkin cookies, like Ginger, Clove, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.
CINNAMON SPECULOOS CRUNCH WITH…
Our Speculoos cookies are spicy, so they would go well with many of the wines that would work for Gingerbread or Pumpkin. But we have the say, the crispy texture of these cookies makes them a perfect pair with hot tea.
An English Breakfast Tea or a Japanese Cherry Blossom Tea both are bold enough to hold their own with the cookie, but not so bold as to drown out the complexity of the cookie flavors.
Try our holiday cookie flavors, including pumpkin, gingerbread, peppermint, and speculoos!