Stranded On a Desert Island?

/ February 24, 2016

If you are, then (1) isn’t nice you have Internet connectivity! And (2), aren’t you even more lucky that you have wine, Girl Scout cookies and ice cream with you! Those are also my go-to desert-island requirements. In that order.

But how to handle the wine and cookies!?!? Food and wine must be carefully paired, even when stranded. But all is well: I've got some good advice for Girl Scout Cookie and wine pairings! That should hold you until the orange helicopters arrive (or a couple of friendly Girl Scouts swim over to sell you more cookies).

You might have read about the suggested pairings on the Internet. I respectfully disagree with most of the sweet wine pairings. When a cookie or dessert is already sweet, the last thing you want to do is to pair it with a sweet wine. Yuck! [Did you read my ice wine article last month? If so, you’ll understand why.] The sweetness will cancel out, and you’ll be left with an overload of numbing sugar and a mouth full of cavities. Likewise, many dry red wines are also not suitable partners because the cookie will make the wine taste bitter. (There are exceptions.)

Instead, I’ve chosen the following pairings for reasons that are unassailable and too delicious to list. (Full disclosure: Many a cookie and multiple glasses of wine were sacrificed in the extensive research for this article.)

Thin Mints – a classic and everybody’s favorite cookie (frozen of course). The Folkway Merlot is a full bodied wine with sweet anise, plum and raspberry fruit intermixed with cocoa powder, coffee, cassis and hazelnut aromas and flavors. Fleshy and opulent, this Merlot will bring out the best of the chocolate and mint.

Do-Si-Dos – oatmeal on the outside and creamy peanut butter on the inside will stand up to a Rosé of Pinot Noir, such as the Sean Minor. This wine has cherry, strawberry, cranberry and ripe watermelon on the nose. On the palate is cherry and raspberry fruit. Spicy and crisp acidity linger for a lengthy finish. This refreshing wine makes this combo an adultified peanut butter and jelly treat!

Savannah Smiles – is a lemon flavored, powdered sugar-covered cookie.       To pair with the tart lemon flavor of the cookie, you want a wine that is on the drier side and not so tart itself. I recommend a Riesling-Kabinett. The Heddesdorff has a complex nose of woody acidic aromas. Supple off-dry palate complements this cookie and will put a smile on your face.

Trefoils – also known as the shortbread cookie with a buttery richness. I like a buttery Chardonnay or a sparkling wine for a great combination. The effervescence of a sparkling wine will cut through some of the richness of the cookie. Personally, I love the Molly Dooker sparkling wine, made with Chardonnay grapes and just a little whimsical.

Rah-Rah Raisin – one of the newer selections in the Girl Scout family, this cookie is made from whole grain oats and packed with raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chunks. You’ll want to enjoy this cookie with the Alasia Brachetto. Resplendent with typical Brachetto aromas of strawberry and grapes. On the palate the tingling spritz leads to a light, grapey, almost peppered strawberry flavor. The fizz and zesty acidity will balance the sweetness of the raisins in the cookie.

Samoas – a long time staple in the GS cookie lineup, the coconut and caramel flavors of this cookie go really well with one of my favorite wines, The Saved. A higher alcohol wine with red currant, black olive, vanilla and coconut flavors. The American oak imparts a finish of caramel, crème brulée and coffee which adds backbone to the cookie’s flavors.

Tagalongs – a chocolatey peanut butter classic, this one gave me some heartburn when trying pairings. Breaking my general dislike of pairing dessert with sweet wines, I liked either the Eden Vermont Cider and Orleans apple wine or the M Trignon Muscat with this cookie. The reason is that none of these wines is too sweet, yet the citrus, pear and floral notes of the French Muscat balances the sweetness of the cookie, while the organic cider’s acidity provides a lift to the weighty choco-peanut butter gravitas.

Toffee Tastic – sweet and buttery filled with tiny pieces of toffee crunch. Yummy with the Artesana Tannat [See my 2013 article on the women winemakers of this exquisite Uruguay winery]. The wine has smooth and complex flavors of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, smoky oak and spices, seamlessly nuanced in a long, generous finish.

Or, you can go bubbly all the way by pairing real Champagne with any of these delightful cookies. One of the oldest Champagne houses in France, Veuve Clicquot, is still making the king of wines after 244 years. Juliette Gordon would surely have approved 104 years ago!

Catherine Hester

About the Author

co-owner of Teller Wines in Lewes, DE with her husband Kevin, is a world traveler and shares their adventures at various wineries while offering thoughts on why she and Kevin order particular wines for their customers. Learn more about the Hesters by clicking here. View all articles written by Catherine Hester

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  1. Avatar Bob says:

    After reading Catherine’s description of The Saved I had to try it. Now it’s a favorite and I probably wouldn’t have tried it had I not read her article. All good. Thanks Foodie!!

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