Jeff’s Corner 3-5-21

Hey, Hey, Hey,

Over the years I’ve written about many, “I can’t believe I get paid for this” moments while working at Grape Creek, but not many can compare with sitting down to an assortment of Girl Scout cookies and pairing them with our wine.

After celebrating National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend February 19-21, I can see no better time to tackle this very serious endeavor. But first, as I like to say, a little history.

Girl Scout cookies are a big deal; in a typical year, 1 million girls will sell 200 million boxes for 800 million dollars. In 1917, just 5 years after they were founded, the first GS cookies were sold by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma in the high school cafeteria.

In 1936, the Girl Scouts licensed cookie making to commercial bakeries, and they were no longer baked in home. In 1951, there were only three types available: Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints.

In the 1990’s, to eliminate inconsistencies, production was limited to two companies, ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. What’s confusing, however, is that they make the same cookies under different names. For example ABC makes Shortbread, which are called Trefoils by Little Brownie.

We are going to take a very scientific approach and taste the cookies from light to full-bodied. The cookies I’m tasting are from the ABC Bakery, and all white wines are the 2019 vintage and reds the 2018.  

Our Cuvee Blanc is a seamless match with the Shortbread cookie. The delicate sweetness of the shortbread is delightful with the tropical fruit and butterscotch profiles of the wine, while the clean, crisp acidity compliments the rich, buttery texture of the cookie.

Lemonades is a new GS cookie for me, and a very welcome discovery. I tasted it with our Muscat Canelli, Cuvee Blanc, and Viogner- Viognier was definitely my favorite. The lemon grass and citrus notes of the wine really highlight the tangy lemon-flavored icing wrapped around a thin wafer of shortbread, and the richly layered mouthfeel of the wine accented the subtle complexity of the cookie.

Thin Mints (originally Cookie Mints, then Chocolate Mints, and finally Thin Mints in 1963) are my all-time favorite, and, the best seller, account for about 25% of sales. When I was a kid, I’d shove 2 or 3 in my mouth at a time! Our Merlot is magic with these little morsels. The rustic spiciness of the wine is awesome with the perfect balance of chocolate and mint in the cookie. Sweet oak and soft tannins cleanse the palate for a perfect finish.

S’mores were introduced in 2016, and became the most successful new cookie in GS history. Our flagship Bellissimo is a worthy match, with its notes of cinnamon, dried cherry and vanilla complimenting the crème icing and outer layer of fudge. The bright, clean palate is a delightful contrast to the crumbly graham cookie center.

Caramel DeLites (also called Samoas) are, to me anyway, the most complex GS cookie, and I called on the cleanup hitter and paired them with our Port. The rich caramel, toasted coconut, and fudge are beautifully accented by the vanilla, hazelnut, and almond flavors of the port. Be careful with this pairing!

We’ll see you soon, I need a nap…