The Ultimate Cookie & Wine Pairing Guide


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Shortbread and Territorial Vineyards “Spoiled Rotten” 2013
When I initially received this fun assignment from Snooth, the first wine that came to mind to pair with my favorite of cookies - the shortbread cookie - was a locally produced unique straw wine made from Sauvignon Blanc. Produced by Oregon's southern Willamette Valley super-star winemaker and New Zealand native, Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines, I watched (in awe) over several months time as Ray created this incredibly labor-intensive dessert-style wine that, simply put, is made from harvested ripe grapes that have been dried in the heat and kept from molding by ventilation provided by straw matting - the first of its kind to be produced in the Pacific Northwest. Only a few cases were made and it's not easily found, so it was suggested to me that I try another superbly unique wine produced by Ray for locally known grower, wine bar and winery owner, Alan Mitchell of Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Territorial Vineyards 2013 Equinox Vineyard Late Harvest Chardonnay called "Spoiled Rotten." Spoiled Rotten is made from 100% naturally botrytized grapes - a true TBA (trockenbeerenauslese) wine (Trockenbeerenauslese is a sweet white wine made from select grapes that were picked after the regular harvest and were affected by noble rot.) A totem of climatic conditions need to coincide in order to produce a high-quality 100% botrytized wine, and in 2013, the southern Willamette Valley just so happened to provide these conditions. With the growing season coming to an abrupt close in September, which accrued an amazing 7.5 inches of rainfall (6 inches above average), almost an entire block of Chardonnay at Equinox Vineyard was lost to the mold known as noble rot. But then something extraordinary happened: 18 days in a row of beautiful blue skies and sunshine; as well as, warmer temperatures and an ideal breeze. Perfect conditions for noble rot to dry up and work its sensational magic, sugars concentrated to phenomenal heights while the shriveling grapes began imparting beautiful botrytis complexities. It's been 20 years here in the southern Willamette Valley since conditions were just right for the production of a true 100% botrytized wine, so I reveled in astonishment as I sipped the truly unique Spoiled Rotten. Intense (yet elegant on the nose and palate) aromas and flavors of orange peel, honey, dried apricot, butterscotch and nutmeg filled the bowl of the glass.  Amazingly balanced with its racy acidity, the finish was ever-lasting and absolutely begs for another sip. Its texture is rich and lush, but doesn't overpower the elegance. Much like the straw wine would have been, Spoiled Rotten was incredibly delicious with my favorite shortbread cookies. If visiting Eugene, Oregon, Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company wine bar is located in Eugene's most funky and eclectic neighborhood called the Whiteaker, dubbed "the Whit" by locals. It's where Eugene's hipsters and hippies go to see and be seen, and its bungalow and Craftsman era homes (full of individualized and amazing character) share the same tree-lined streets with some of Eugene's finest breweries and restaurants. More on
Julia Crowley, The Real Wine Julia

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  • So where are the cookie recipes for those cookies not commercially made? I'm hungry!

    Jun 01, 2016 at 6:13 PM

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    2199456 13

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    May 19, 2018 at 4:31 AM

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