Cookie is a happy word, isn't it? Add the word "gourmet" in front of it and the happiness just ramps up another notch or two. But...what if you added the word "wine" to those two words? OK, calm down now. You need to read the rest of this.
What if...you could buy some gourmet cookies that were specifically crafted to go with different varieties of wine? I was very intrigued by the whole idea of choosing a certain cookie to sip with. I don't normally eat cookies as I drink wine. I eat crackers and cheese, appetizers, dinner or nothing. But cookies and wine? This all came about because I recently won (yes, I won something!) a box of Cookies and Corks Sparkling Wine Pairing cookies. The box contained three different flavors of cookies that were made to pair with sparkling wine. There was Parmesan Thyme, Zesty Lemon and Sea Salt Chocolate Oatmeal. The cookies came with suggestions of what exact kind of sparkling wine each would go nicely with (Brut, Prosecco, Demi-Secor or Brut Rose). I wanted to give each cookie its due, without giving me the mother of all headaches, so I decided to go with a lighter bodied sparkling white, Barefoot Pinot Grigio Sparkling Champagne, which gave me some dryness as well as some citrus flavor and lots of those bubbles!
The cookie box suggested "sip, nibble, sip" as the best way to enjoy these cookies, so I committed this mantra to memory and began my test.
First up was the Parmesan Thyme cookies. Sip. Nibble. They were very herby and earthy - no getting around the "thyme" part of the ingredient label. They were also very dry. Sip. Um, well. I would have to say that the bubbles turned the thyme taste into a grassy flavor. And while I have nothing against it as a ground cover, I don't like to eat grass.
Moving on, I opened the Zesty Lemon cookies. Sip. Nibble. WOW! The bubbles exploded again in my mouth and the lemony flavor really came through. Sip. These cookies took out any of the sweetness in the wine and made it into a dry bubbly. Nibble. The lemon jumped around my mouth and once again amped up the bubbles - I could feel them on the inside of my lips (hmm...I would have to say that's a phrase I never thought I'd write, ever). This would be a great cookie on its own too.
Next up were the Sea Salt Chocolate Oatmeal cookies. Sip. Nibble. The chocolate soared with the sweeter flavors of the wine. Sip. The bite of the sea salt made my tongue tingle when the bubbles hit it. Nibble nibble nibble. Let me just say this right now: I would die for these cookies. They were my absolute favorites. I would eat them any time, anywhere and would gladly hide them from the rest of my family, no guilt whatsoever.
But the winner of the "pairing" had to go to the Zesty Lemons. They really did bring out the best of the bubbly without overpowering it or losing their flavor.
This would be so much fun to use at a wine tasting party! I could see so many wild conversations since you aren't just tasting wine - you're adding the cookie factor in as well. And if you love your cookies as much as you do your wine, you're in for a fun night!
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