Holidays, New Mexico, Wine, Wine Pairing

Forget the Milk and Cookies

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!  You may have noticed, as I have, over the years that everything tastes better at the holidays. You can make the same recipe throughout the year, but it just tastes different at a holiday meal. Different as in better! Of course, there are many recipes that we ONLY make at Christmas time—that’s how it is with cookies. I love to bake cookies, but I can’t afford the time or calories to make them during the year, so during the holidays, I’m a cookie-baking fiend. What could be better after dinner (or for breakfast) than a Christmas cookie perfectly paired with a great wine?

I thought it would be fun to offer you a few of my favorite Christmas cookie and wine pairings for the holidays. If you make A LOT of cookies, but don’t want to buy a mixed case of wine, no worries! At the end of this post, I recommend the most Christmas cookie friendly red and white that will work well with a broad range of recipes.

I’m recommending wines from New Mexico wineries. Most of them have shipping options, but a couple of them do not. If all else fails, you can always find similar wines at other wineries or at a  wine and spirits shop. You can also email me for other suggestions.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are a classic all year round. Pair your chocolate chip cookies with the Caballo Cabernet Sauvignon from Shattuck Winery. I use the same cookie recipe at Christmas but substitute M & Ms for the chocolate chips. In that case, go for a Malbec from Noisy Water.

Butter Cookies also called Shortbread Cookies pair perfectly with a California style Chardonnay. They need the creaminess of a Chardonnay—especially one that has been slightly aged in oak. I recommend Heritage Chardonnay from Lescombes Family Vineyards

Spritz Cookies are so fun to make. I just color the dough and put them through a cookie press. Easy little bite-sized cookies for the holidays. If you put out a plate for Santa, make sure to leave him a glass of dry Riesling. I love the dry Riesling from Jaramillo Vineyards as well as the 1725 Dry Riesling from Vivác Winery.

Sugar Cookies are my absolute favorite. There has always been an argument in my family over whether to decorate with sugar and sprinkles or make the Royal Icing. I prefer sugar and sprinkles on my sugar cookies and love pairing them with Pinot Grigio from Luna Rossa or Pinot Gris from Sheehan Winery. Occasionally I break over and frost my cookies. When that happens, I choose a semi-sweet Gewurztraminer from La Viña Winery or a Sparkling Demi-Sec from Gruet. If you really want to be adventurous, try the Angel Wings mead from Shattuck Winery.

Peanut Butter Cookies are one of my children’s favorites. I bake mine in a mini muffin tin and press a miniature peanut butter cup into the middle immediately after they come out of the oven. These little treats are great to snack on after dinner with a little glass of Port or other dessert wine. Try the St. Clair Port or the St. Clair Kiva from Lescombes Family Vineyards.  Plunder by Black’s Smuggler is a port-style wine using their own proprietary spirits.

Gingerbread Cookies are another Christmas classic. I pair mine with a bold 2019 Red Zinfandel from Noisy Water. If you want something a little more mellow, get the 2018 Zinfandel from Pasando Tiempo Winery.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are my husband’s favorite. The sweetness of the raisins and the warmth of baking spices make this cookie perfect for dry-semi-sweet Riesling like the one from Jaramillo Vineyards or the Wines of San Juan.  This year I’m going to serve La Bolsa White from Embudo Valley Vineyards.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar make a great relaxing afternoon treat with a glass of any one of the many Merlot options from Sheehan Winery.

Jam-filled Thumbprint cookies with any red or black fruit jam will pair so well with a Pinot Noir like the one at La Esperanza. If you like stone fruit jams in your cookies, go for a Symphony wine like the one from Mesa Vista or a Moscoto from Black’s Smuggler

Pecan Tassies are a southern holiday treat. Think Pecan Pie in a bite sized cookie.  I can’t wait to pair mine with the recently discovered Bourbon Barrel aged Baco Noir from El Alamo.  I also enjoy eating them with Luna Rossa’s Nebbiolo.

I have a large family so I can justify buying a case or two of wine for the holidays, but for my readers who enjoy a glass of wine every now and then throughout the holidays, but don’t want to keep a lot around, I recommend keeping your offering to a red, a white, and a sparkling. For red, have a Merlot on hand, it will pair nicely with most of the bolder, chocolate cookies. Riesling is so versatile, that it never hurts to have one ready to go. I recommend an off-dry Riesling for maximum versatility. Chardonnay is is also a great, versatile option but try to get one somewhere between a California style and Chablis style (minimal oak, minimal malolactic). For sparkling wine, go just a hint sweet. A Brut that may have a hint of sweetness or a Sec. I wouldn’t go full out sweet on my sparkling wine if I’m going for versatility.

If you want your wine to last longer, make sure you keep it in the refrigerator.  I would also highly suggest that you invest in a VacuVin wine preserver. You can get them from Amazon, Walmart, and any number of places for under $20. (Note: They don’t pay me to say that. I just really like using mine when there is half a bottle or less that I want to hold over for another day or so.)

I really want to thank all of you for reading Wine of Enchantment. I love talking about all things wine in general and New Mexico wine specifically. I’m looking forward to the holidays and the start of a promising New Year. I pray that all of you have a very blessed Christmas surrounded by those you love and that you holidays will be filled with inner peace, joyful laughter, and great wine!

If you have time over the holidays, grab a glass of your favorite wine and check out my ARCHIVE for posts you may have missed. Merry Christmas!

Until next time….