Before tackling his latest wine pairing challenge, Kabir Amir had never even heard of Girl Scout Cookies. But after diving into eight boxes of the beloved treats sold every year by neighborhood girls clad in sashes and vests, the Afghanistan native was pleasantly surprised to find they tasted way better than the processed supermarket varieties he was expecting.
When it came time to pick wines to match, Amir and his wife Swati Bose, co-owners of Flight Wine Bar in Chinatown, said their strategy was to taste the cookies first and think about the flavors, matching weight to weight and acidity to acidity. While the easy way out would have been to choose dessert wines for all of them, they knew that all that sugar would grow tiresome on the palate rather quickly. Instead, they started opening some unexpected bottles, including a dry Spanish red, a PX sherry and an Italian sparkling blend made with a misunderstood grape. Each had a good amount of fruit (remember: fruity wines aren’t necessarily sweet) and decent acidity, both to cozy up to and foil the sweetness in the cookies.
If you want to recreate your own cookie and wine party at home, Bose suggests offering a sparkling rose or Champagne and a dessert wine, like tawny Port or Madeira. Or, do an all bubble pairing with their lambrusco / pinot noir blend, a sparkling riesling or Cremant d’Alsace and a Blanc de Blancs Champagne.
So is the entire concept of pairing Girl Scout Cookies with wine just a gimmick, or is there some validity to it? “Part of it might be a fad, but I like to think that wine drinking is becoming an everyday thing and people are exploring it more,” Bose says. “This was fun for us, we learned what these wines are capable of.”