Holiday cookie wine pairings: Holiday cookies exchanges made more festive


Forget the glass of milk with your holiday cookies. Holiday cookie wine pairings make the holiday cookie taste even better.

As the year comes to a close, holiday cookies are everywhere. From the holiday cookie exchange to Santa’s cookies, everyone has indulged in a cookie or a few. While a glass of milk is always a good beverage pairing with cookies, the holiday season offers more adult libations. These holiday cookie wine pairings can make any holiday cookie taste sweeter.

While there are many types of holiday cookies, these holiday cookie wine pairings will focus on just a five common holiday cookies, sugar cookies, gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles and thumbprint with jam. Although everyone should drink a wine that they enjoy, some types of wine can taste better with holiday cookies.

Holiday cookie wine pairings, photo by Cristine Struble

Here are a few wine suggestions to drink with you’re eating a few holiday cookies.

Sugar cookies

Who hasn’t rolled out (or sliced) some sugar cookie dough over the holidays? From the elaborately decorated sugar cookie to the slightly misshaped ones, only the delicious sweet taste matters. Usually, sugar cookies have a lot of sugar and are very sweet.

This type of cookie needs a light wine to balance all the sugar. A prosecco or cava is a lovely choice. The small bubbles yet light, somewhat fruity tastes from a sparkling wine balances the sugar in the cookie.

Gingerbread cookies

Even though you might feel bad biting off that gingerbread man’s leg, the gingerbread is a classic holiday cookie. The warm spices from the cookie highlight the comforting holiday flavors. While some people perfect a bold, robust red wine, a sweeter wine also works.

Pairing a gingerbread cookie with a sweet, dry wine, like a Riesling, is smart. The sweetness from the wine balances the warm spices in the cookie. Like adding salt to a cake, the Riesling brings out the sweetness in the gingerbread cookie.

Chocolate Chip cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? While the consistency, soft or crunchy, can be debated, the classic chocolate chip cookie is always a popular cookie choice. The vanilla and molasses, not to mention the chocolate chips, lead the wine pairing to a bolder, darker red wine.

Pairing a chocolate chip cookie with a bold, robust cabernet sauvignon makes sense. The big, bold tannin forward wine can balance the chocolate chip cookie. But, if you prefer a lighter wine, a moscato would work too. The light, crisp and sweet moscato can play off the richness of the molasses. Also, some moscatos have citrus notes. Citrus and chocolate often play off each other.


Truthfully, a snickerdoodle is basically a sugar cookie with a lot of cinnamon. The warm spice, cinnamon, is a popular holiday flavor. Finding a wine to complement the slightly chewy, comforting cookie isn’t too difficult.

A nice wine to pair with a snickerdoodle is a mild Chardonnay. Many chardonnays have a slightly oaky flavor. The woodsy flavors play off the warm cinnamon. Also, the buttery notes in a chardonnay work with the cinnamon, too. Pour yourself a glass and try it.

Classic Thumbprint with Jam

Skip the extra royal icing, the classic thumbprint with jam is a lighter option for the sugar cookie. From a tart raspberry to a citrusy apricot, the classic thumbprint with jam is both sweet and bright. The fruit flavors work well with a dessert wine.

A great wine pairing choice would be a Moscato wine. This type of wine is a sweeter, white wine. Slightly bubbly, this type of wine plays off the fruit jam.

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These holiday cookie wine pairings are just a few suggestions for the holiday season. When it comes to wine, everyone should drink what she likes. Trying new combinations can be entertaining, too.

Raise a cookie and a glass to another festive holiday season.