Photo: travelingmcmahans, Flickr
I have a feeling I'm not alone in one of my Christmas-cooking traditions. As the cookies are rising in the oven -- a mix of sweet and savory recipes, some frosted, others not -- I'm sipping a glass of wine. Now, while it's true you could drink any wine with a cookie and it's all good, why not have fun with it? Here we bring you a cheat sheet with wine and Christmas-cookie pairings, designed to celebrate (and not cover up: hello, jug wine?) the nuances in each grape varietal. (Click on the cookie names to link to recipes.)
Rum (or Bourbon) Balls
If you're going to bite into a sweet that's got this much alcohol, then you need to have an equally high-alcohol beverage. A late-harvest Zinfandel or late-harvest Riesling will do the trick.
Frosted Sugar Cookies
With this type of cookie, there is so much going on (cake flavors in the cookie, sugar-shock in the frosting) that you can choose either a red or white wine as a pairing. A Riesling from Washington State or a jammy Shiraz with black-pepper notes from Australia will do just fine.
The rich raspberry notes in a glass of Zinfandel would go with this type of cookie no matter if it's blueberry, blackberry, cherry, strawberry or raspberry preserves you've jammed into the dough.
The cedar nose on a glass of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon will make you feel all Christmas-y inside -- trust us -- when you pair that with peppermint flavor. Or, for a white-wine alternative, a glass of zesty Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, with a crisp mouth feel, will help the peppermint linger on your palate.
The baking-spice aromas of a Central Coast (California) Pinot Noir are a match made in heaven. We're pretty sure that "Miles" in the film Sideways would agree.
Planning to add fudge to your baking agenda? Break out the port. The two will work fantastically together to introduce bolder flavors of chocolate into your mouth.