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7 of the Best Holiday Cookies & the Wines that Pair Best With Them

The start of the holiday season brings with it tons of enjoyable things like decorating the Christmas tree with loved ones, driving around to see houses decorated with glowing lights, or seeing the menorah all lit up. But the best part of the holiday season? National Cookie Exchange Day. 

In case you’ve never heard of it, December 22nd is National Cookie Exchange day. This is a time when you can exchange festive cookies in decorative tins or boxes and share your favorite cookie recipes with your friends and family. On National Cookie Exchange day, no cookie is a bad cookie. This year especially seems like a good time to pair your favorite cookies with a glass of wine, and I’m so excited to have as many cookies as my heart desires.

You might be thinking there’s absolutely no way that the cookies and wine are the best part of the holiday season, but hear me out: it’s 2020, and a lot of us spent this year inside, perfecting our baking skills. While some stress-baked bread, others worked on desserts which means that by now, those baked goods probably taste the best they ever have. Even if you’re like me and didn’t hop onto the baking bandwagon until a few months ago, you can still buy freshly baked cookies. Now imagine biting into one of those delicious, warm cookies with a chilled glass of wine to accompany it. I don’t know about you, but nothing sounds cozier to me than that. Plus, having a glass of wine with your cookies feels like a sophisticated bump up from having a glass of cold oat milk.

Wine expert Cassandra Rosen of Tussock Jumper Wines has two tips to keep in mind as you pair your cookies and wine. According to Rosen, you’ll want your wine to have enough body and structure to match your cookie. If it’s a simple cookie, go for an equally uncomplicated wine, with enough acidity to balance the sugar in the cookie. 

Another rule of thumb is to pair sweeter wines with sweeter cookies. Typically, a wine that is as sweet – or slightly sweeter – than its food counterpart with complementary flavors (citrus, spice, chocolate, berries, etc) will create a great pairing. 

Here are seven of Rosen’s specific recommendations for pairing wine and cookies, but now's a great time to experiment for yourself, and come up with some new favorites all on your own! 

Butter Cookies + Prosecco

Italian butter cookies could only be perfect with one thing – their bubbly Italian counterpart, Prosecco. The crispness of the wine cuts through the cookie's richness, and the creamy citrus and apple flavors complement the butter flavor.

Chocolate Chip Cookies + Pinot Noir

The trick to pairing chocolate with wine? Simplicity. A less intense red, like a Pinot Noir, pairs best with the typical semi-sweet chips, and the dark berry and spice flavor in the wine goes great with a chocolate dessert!

Almond Crescent Cookies + Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigios often have stone fruits or almond flower flavorings in addition to soft notes of citrus, which is perfect to balance our the almond in these cookies. 

Gingerbread Cookies + Riesling

A semi-dry Riesling is perfect with the spicy, sweet flavors in a cookie like gingerbread. The higher acidity and residual sugar content brings out the flavors of the ginger and molasses, elevating them to their full potential. 

Chocolate Crinkles + Red Blend

A cookie full of such rich, sweet flavor deserves a wine of equal standing. A red blend brings together the best of several choice wines, and pairs perfectly with a chocolate dessert. 


Jam Thumbprints + Prosecco

A jam thumbprint – or Linzer cookie – pulls in most of its flavor from the jam-filled center. A bubbly dessert wine that shares flavors with your chosen jam will pair best!

Snickerdoodles + Moscato

The cinnamon spice in a snickerdoodle pairs perfectly with flavors like orange or lemon cream, notes you'll find in a variety of moscatos.

I hope you take some time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your cookies and wine. Happy holidays!

Camille is pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She has bylines in the Nonahood News, Her Campus, Screen Queens, and Shifter Mag. In addition, she has worked with "The Cypress Dome," and "The Florida Review." She is enthusiastic about Latina/o/x issues, fitness, writing, and reading. She is on Instagram and Twitter: @camilleeejoan
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