By Alison Bailin Batz
There are only a few more weeks to help local West Valley Girl Scouts meet their Girl Scout Cookie Season goals. Need a reason to splurge on a few extra boxes this year? Try pairing them with Arizona beers and wines.
Likely, these mint-flavored (and vegan) chocolate-coated cookies don’t need an introduction. Whether enjoying from the box or out of the freezer, these classics need a wine that can stand up to the mint. Carlson Creek’s 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied, well-balanced bottle with clove and vanilla aromatics and cherry on the palate, does the job. If you prefer to pair with beer, consider Mother Road’s Lost Highway Double Black. The familiar mint sweetness of the Thin Mint cuts down the bitterness of this double black IPA to showcase the roasty, coffee aspects of the classic ale. The subtle aroma of orange zest in Lost Highway also enhances the dark chocolate in the Thin Mint cookie. And this sounds wild, but also consider Huss Brewing’s Papago Orange Blossom with Thin Mints. The hints of mandarin and citrus in the beer enhance the mint and the creamy vanilla finish of the beer is a perfect ending.
Look no further than PHX. Beer Co.’s Iron Horse Porter for a luscious beer pairing option. Brewed with chocolate malt to give a roasted but sweet finish, this imperial porter is the perfect pairing with Tagalongs. The sweet layers of creamy peanut butter bring out the chocolate notes of the porter. These heavenly layers of peanut butter with a rich, chocolaty coating also need a red. Chateau Tumbleweed has a port-style wine called Fort Stinkbeast that is ideal. It got the name because during fermentation it smelled of cough syrup. Thankfully, the final result is less medicinal and more baking spices and brandy, making it a perfect marriage of flavors with chocolate and peanut butter.
Crunchy oatmeal and creamy peanut butter filling combine in these luscious sandwich-style cookies. Given the peanut butter, one might be tempted to try another port-style wine — like with the Tagalongs — but given the depth of flavor that the oatmeal provides, first try them with the 2019 Javelina Leap Zinfandel or its jammy 2019 Prospectors Blend, which is 50% zinfandel luscious from start to finish. For beers, opt for Four Peaks’ Tandoori Raj. Raj’s bitterness balances the sweetness of the cookie, while the combination of tandoori spices and peanuts replicates familiar flavor combinations — peanut sauce is often used in Indian cuisine, and tandoori peanuts are a common snack.
Many pair these deliciously crispy cookies bursting with bright citrus flavor with pinot grigio. And while a delightful duo, consider a crisp viognier. We love LDV Winery 2015 Sky Island Viognier. Its nose of lemongrass and honeysuckle enhance both the sweetness and tartness in the cookie, and the refreshing flavors of pink grapefruit really make the lemon notes pop. Michael Waltrip Brewing Company’s Two-Time Blonde Ale is also a primo pairing. The blonde ale is light, flavorful and refreshing. It has hints of honey, tangerine and passion fruit. Bright Yellow with a frothy head that has a crisp, clean finish and zesty carbonation paired with Lemon-Ups lends complimentary flavors and warming character that will help emulsify the crisp lemon flavor. We also love the new Huss Brewing Co. Low-Lo Hazy IPA with Lemon-Ups given its ample citrus notes.
One’s taste buds are always in for a treat when enjoying Samoas, with their caramel and toasted coconut, not to mention drizzle of chocolate. Truth be told, most red wines pair with this crowd pleaser, but we tend toward syrah the most, especially the velvety Heart Wood Cellars 2018 Syrah. Mother Road’s Daily Driver Low Octane IPA is also a must. This surprising pair will have you dreaming of a tropical oasis. The hop derived citrus and lime notes of Daily Driver compliment the prominent coconut flavors of the crowd pleasing Samoas. Coming in a close second is its Juan Valdez Burro Brown Ale. What better way to enjoy a Samoa than dunking the crispy cookie in a nice cold pint of our coffee brown ale? The initial roasty aroma and hint of dark chocolate, followed by the strong flavors of coffee mixed with Nutella is a perfect match to cut the coconut and caramel sweetness of the cookie.
Girl Scout S’mores
There isn’t much better than these graham cracker-flavored sandwich cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling. Merlot, notably Alcantara Vineyards 2018 Merlot, is the perfect pairing, as it is as smooth as the cookie is complex. Similarly, a Kolsch-like Huss Koffee Kolsch, is sublime. This extraordinary blonde ale will fool your eyes but not your mouth, because it packs a surprising hazelnut and caramel coffee punch. Plus, it pairs nicely with the creamy marshmallow and chocolate.
Buttery with balanced sweetness, these shortbread cookies and chardonnay are made for each other. Grab a bottle of 2018 Pillsbury Wine Company Chardonnay, with its delicate white Burgundy-style estate-grown wine has hints of white flower, shortbread and citrus, for the win here. If chardonnay isn’t your jam, what about Four Peaks hAZy? Pair its tropical fruit flavors with the Trefoil cookie to recreate the experience of eating a fruit tart pastry. The beer’s mild bitterness also balances the sweetness of the sugary cookies.
Consider a sparkling wine for these buttery (and gluten-free) cookies with sweet, crunchy golden toffee bits. A fizzy local favorite: Callaghan Vineyards 2017 Barrett’s Rosé Sparkling Wine. For beer, you can’t go wrong with either Mother Road Ninth Anniversary Belgian Style Tripel or Michael Waltrip’s Vamanos.
To find Girl Scout cookies near you, visit girlscoutsaz.org/cookiefinder.