Local booth sales begin Saturday and pre-ordered cookies will be delivered shortly. Hank Zona tells us what to serve with those seasonal treats.
I was asked recently if there wasn’t anything I’d try to pair with wines, and my response was, "Off the top of my head, no...but if I think of something, I'll get back to you." I haven’t thought of anything yet, but I also at that time said I was going to do a Girl Scout Cookies and wine pairing, to see what, if anything, goes well with those treats that are all over the place right about now.
Sure, on the surface, it seems a little silly, but it's as good a foundation to discuss pairing principles as any. In this, the first of two articles, I’ll pair Lemon Chalets, Do-Si-Dos, Dulce de Leches, and Samoas.
Many of you have had tawny ports. A port is good wine to go with for some of these cookies, as is Madeira. Some of you may even have had a white port, which can be dry or off-dry, or a little sweeter than off-dry, akin to the drier sherry styles. But I am going to venture a guess that most of you have not had a white tawny port, because in all the wine shopping I’ve done, professionally and personally, I’ve only seen two of them on the shelves ever, one a sublime 30 Year White Tawny that I have referred to as Liquid Gold or the Great White Tawny (made one time only by a Portuguese producer and retailing around $80 a bottle if you can find it) and a 10 Year White Tawny that I discovered kicking around the wine shops on Ferry St. in Newark, for a much more reasonable, very nice quality to price ratio of $18, and, serendipitously, open on my kitchen counter.
So I whipped out a Do-Si-Do, took a sip of the white tawny and whoa...it really worked well! I then tried a Samoa...again, success! In fact, it may have been the best wine for the Somoas overall.
I had a recently opened bottle of Muscat Beaumes de Venise, a white version of a muscat, as opposed to the tawnier styles, or the orange muscat, one of my all-time favorite chocolate pairers, or the Moscato d'Asti, the frizzante style. Sweet, but definitely acidic, citrusy but floral, it went well with the Lemon Chalets.
Finally, I went to the last box of cookies to be road tested, the Dulce de Leche. These cookies rivaled the Samoas in sweetness, even without all that good sticky stuff coating them. The Vin Santo was pretty good with these, although Vin Santos rightful place is with biscotti. The sherry and white tawny though went very well with those, perhaps the white tawny best.
By the way, I'm not a wine snob, or a wine only guy, by any stretch. I still had one last thing to pour...bourbon. Just a few sips, OK, maybe a few more than a few...and the bourbon also was a really nice accompaniment with the Samoas and the Dulce de Leche. I'm seeing a potential Kentucky Derby Day bourbon tasting in the future.
Hank Zona plans wine and cookie events this year; contact him for more details. And if you need a sweet incentive, the attached logo is a "badge" you can earn, custom-designed for Swirl Wine Events.