December 22, 2021


Christmas goodies and wine? Of course, says Sue-Ann!

This morning, I had a bit of fun thinking about what wines go with which Christmas cookies.  It was especially fun since I was on 105.1 FM “The River” with my good friends Rob White and Tami Jenneret – a pair of exceptional radio personalities … and lovers of great wine!

Truth #1 – it was their idea.
Truth #2 – I haven’t slept in a week thinking of the great cookie and wine combinations!

So, what did we come up with?

 

Cookie

 

Wine

Why

Shortbreads

Sparkling Wines

Shortbreads have so much butter that coats the palate.  The acidity and effervescence of sparkling wine will cleanse and hydrate the palate from the shortbread.

Gingersnaps

Gewürztraminer

“Gewürz” means “spicy” in German.  The spicy, clove, ginger note that is found in these wines will nicely link with the complex ginger and spice flavours in gingerbreads or gingersnaps.  Look for Gewürztraminers with some residual sugar.

Cherry bombs
Thumbprint cookies with maraschino cherries

Rosé

Rosé wines have a red berry note that pairs so well with other food with berries like cherries, raspberries, cranberry, etc.  Rosés with a smidgen of residual sugar and either zippy acidity or elevated in alcohol will help make this pairing sing due to the similar flavours.

Milk chocolate

Baco noir

Milk chocolate has a low cocoa content.  Baco has a low tannin level.  So, the astringency links up between each.  Milk chocolate also has milk solids that coats the palate.   Baco has elevated acidity for a red wine that will cleanse the palate.  A double win!

Dark chocolate

Bordeaux Reds

Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content that requires a wine with a higher tannin level to match the astringency.  Add to that, Merlot often has a flavour that reminds people of chocolate, so it links up two ways.  The dark berry characters of ripe and developed Cabernet francs and Cabernet Sauvignons are a refreshing fruity contrast to the gritty texture of dark chocolate.

Figs / dates
Fruit cake

Appassimento
Vin du Cure

Dried fruit and highly intense fruit cakes need a wine with impact.  Wines made from dried /raisined grapes like Amarone / Appassimento / Vin du Cure wines pair perfectly.  They often have a bit of sweetness to match the sweetness of the cake/fruit and similar fruit flavour sensations that complement each other.

Peanut butter balls

Nothing

Maybe wine doesn’t pair with everything!  Peanuts / peanut butter notes in a wine are a major fault / flaw.  I can’t think of a single wine that I’d want to drink with a “peanut-butter-dominate” anything.  If chocolate wraps around the peanut butter, then see above.  If it doesn’t, then get out the spirits.

Almost any other cookie

Icewine

The wine, in most instances, should be sweeter than the food.  Icewine will always make that happen.  They are fruity, zippy, rich, seductive with luscious sweetness.  We would also pair Icewine with any of the above-mentioned cookies.


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