For the past couple of years, pairing Girl Scout cookies with booze has gained popularity. And though I love Thin Mints, I've never paired them with wine. The folks at Vivino created a handy infographic to share their favorite wine-and-cookie pairings.
I chatted with Tracy Byrnes — Vivino partner and a wine expert who is also the founder of Wine on the Street — about some of the pairings and the process of coming up with them. She partnered with Jessica Norris, wine director at Del Frisco's in NYC, and together they did the enviable work of tasting cookies and drinking wine until they came up with some complementary pairings.
"When you're pairing wine and cookies," Byrnes said, "you don't want to take away from either of them. Wine and cookies make people happy, and you don't want to screw that up."
Thin Mints pair well with Brunello, a wine made from Sangiovese from the Italian region of Tuscany, particularly a 2010 Brunello.
"Italy had an amazing year in 2010, and the 2010 Brunello is bold and has fabulous tannins and medium acidity. It stands up to the chocolate and mint in the Thins Mints," said Byrnes.
As for the Somaoas and Spanish Rioja pairing, it's the bargain of the bunch.
"An aged Rioja is a great bang for your buck, and its earthy characteristics work with the caramel and the coconut in the cookie," said Bynes.
Pairing the cookies with wine is also an opportunity to try something new like an Italian Roero Arneis that is nice with the Lemonades. The dry Italian white wine complements the the "smack-you-in-the-face sweet and lemon" of the cookie. Another excellent complement is the the gluten-free Trios and the Washington state Syrah.
"The jammy Shiraz and the chocolate chip, peanut butter oatmeal cookies are like a PB&J," said Byrnes.
While her favorite pairing was the Thin Mints and Brunello, Byrnes said she's also a big fan of the Trefoils and German Reisling pairing. It's a pairing "you could have for breakfast." Cookies and wine for breakfast? I'm in.
These pairings aren't the only ones that work, though, because everyone has their own preferences. Byrnes says everyone should do their own tastings to see what they enjoy. The infographic and the pairings are a great starting point, though.
For those of you who would rather skip the Girl Scout cookies because you are understandably not thrilled with some of the ingredients, check out these homemade versions of Girl Scout cookies. You can replicate Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and more in your own kitchen and then pop a cork and enjoy a glass of wine with your homemade cookies.
(And by the way, I agree with fellow blogger Jenn Savage, who wrote earlier this month that parents need to stop selling Girl Scout cookies. Parental help and supervision is important, but the girls should be doing the work. When I do see a Girl Scout working hard to sell cookies, I'll be buying some Thin Mints!)