As the makers of the excellent cookie known as the stroopwafel, we’ve been thinking about the idea of cookies and wine pairings. Here’s what we’ve been learning, and we’d love to hear from you about wine pairings you like and whatever wisdom you’ve learned.
The general rule for wine pairings is that the beverage should be sweeter than the food. That’s the rule because, when food is very sweet, it can make a wine taste sour.
Most wines taste sweet with salty food, but that sweetness is often lost when dessert is served. The way the taste changes is what makes pairing wine tricky.
Since they are not overly sweet, stroopwafels make for easier pairing. It’s easier to match this cookie with wine because it has a balance of flavors, a crunchy texture, and a moderate number on the sweetness scale! You can compare that to a sugar cookie that has a uniform taste, a soft texture, and a very high number on the sweetness scale.
Here are some basic rules, but remember that rules are made to be broken.
You can think of pairing cookies with wine from the perspective of the wine:
You can pair cookies with wine from the perspective of the cookie.
Making things more complicated, your neighborhood wine market or grocery store is packed with wines from around the world. There are so many varieties these days that color doesn’t tell you much.
You have only to pour a few red wines to see the complications. Reds aren’t even just red. They are almost black, purple, deep red, burgundy, light red, or truly pink.
The one thing these wines usually have in common is they have a high tannin content. This often means the taste is more bitter than white wine. This fact has long discouraged people from pairing red wines with cookies.
Yet there are more and more sweet red wines available. If the sweetness is more pronounced in red wine, then it might be paired with a cookie such as stroopwafel.
Rioja is a Spanish red wine that happens to be sweeter than many reds. The beverage absorbs the earthy nature of the oak barrels in which it is fermented. This combination of sweet and earthy makes it a possible match for the caramel and crunchy goodness of the stroopwafel.
White wines come in a huge variety, too. Fifty years ago, a connoisseur might have told us to go with white wine for our cookies. However white wines vary widely, based on the grape with which they are made and the process they are made.
A Riesling is usually clean and crisp. A Chardonnay is more likely to be sweet and buttery. The Riesling might wash out alongside a cookie whereas the Chardonnay might be sweet enough to be a good pairing.
Like the Rioja, many Chardonnays spend part of the fermentation process in oak barrels. This gives them that earthy hint that may make them a good match for stroopwafel.
Stroopwafels, as made in our 3Bros bakery, exude the fresh-baked taste. This may make it a good match for wines with hints of baking spices. You might try a glass of Gewürztraminer with its hints of honey, ginger, and other baking spices.
When you add chocolate to stroopwafels, the wine pairings change somewhat. You can go with a stronger red because chocolate pairs well with many reds, including Cabernet or Merlot.
The creaminess of chocolate helps it balance the tannins in full-bodied red wines. If it’s one of our dark chocolate-dipped stroopwafels, it is even more likely to match well with red wine. Less sweet, dark chocolate doesn’t need a super-sweet light wine to balance it.
We certainly haven’t time to try all of these ideas. We’ve been busy baking. So we especially welcome your suggestions on wine pairings with stroopwafel. Let us hear from you!
And don’t forget to stock up on the best stroopwafels made in America. We’ve got the variety and quality you want in a cookie.