wine and holiday cookie pairings

Wines To Pair With Holiday Cookies

The holiday season just isn’t the same without cookies. But if you think holiday cookies are only for kids (and Santa)—think again! The right wine pairing makes any holiday cookie a delicacy. Yes, any!

With so many types of holiday cookies, it’s important to know just which varietal to pair with it. So before you reach for the cookie jar this holiday season, read up on these holiday cookie and wine pairings.

  1. Sugar Cookies & Prosecco

    The simplicity of a sugar cookie, spritz cookie, or even a shortbread cookie are the most versatile when it comes to wine pairing. These cookies pair well with simple, light, and even sparkling beverages. A decent Prosecco will bring light fruity flavors to your cookie. If the wine has “dry” on the label, that’s a bonus. Also go for Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, Moscatos, or a Dry Sparkling Rosé.

  2. Jammy Cookies & Moscato D’Asti

    Jammy cookies are varieties like thumbprints and Linzer Tarts. These get most of their flavor from fruit jams or preserves, which can be so saccharinely sweet that anything you try to pair them with just doesn’t hold up. The best match is a Moscato D’Asti. The vaguely fizzy wine from northwest Italy has flavors of orange blossom, honeysuckle and nectarine. Its sweetness is a wonderful complement to fruit preserves.

  3. Gingerbread & Rutherglen Muscat (or a Syrah)

    The flowing rule of thumb applies to spicier cookies in general, including Mexican chocolate or anything of the pumpkin spice variety. A great choice for these cookies is a Rutherglen Muscat. This rich, sweet Australian wine is fortified with brandy and aged in oak barrels, giving it a dark brown color and flavors of toffee, dates, raisins, molasses and orange peel. All of which match up deliciously with wintery-spiced cookies.

  4. Nutty Cookies & Madeira

    Cookies like pecan sandies or walnut snowballs pair amazingly well with the dessert wine Madeira. Madeira carries the strength, sweetness and nutty flavor to pair exceptionally with nutty cookies. Madeira deliberately oxidizes as it ages. This gives it almond flavors and retains a great acidity that makes it a perfect pairing for rich nutty desserts.

  5. Chocolate Cookies & Banyuls

    Many believe that Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel make the best wine pairings for chocolate. While they do hold up well, one underrated pick is the Grenache-based Banyuls from the South of France. It’s a naturally sweet wine, meaning its sweetness comes from halting fermentation by fortifying it with neutral grape spirit. Banyuls can have notes of strawberry, cherry, plum, orange peel and even espresso. All of which pair deliciously with chocolate. We recommend Cave De Rasteu’s.

  6. Short Bread & Chardonnay

    Chardonnay works with buttery cookies while a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc refreshes the palate between bites.

  7. Peanut Butter & Port

    Port has the richness to stand up to this savory sweet cookie. Try Cockburn’s Bicentenary Vintage Port.

That’s it for now, cookie connoisseurs!

Before your next holiday celebration—whether it’s a party for 2 or for 72—be sure to pick up your holiday celebration supplies from your local Spec’s. Our “wine elves” can give you all the best recommendations you never knew you needed. Cheers!


Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.