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.