There’s no wrong way to enjoy your Thin Mints or Samoas, but attempting to pair wine with Girl Scout Cookies presents certain challenges. These cookies have been American favorites for more than 100 years, but like many desserts, the sweetness from their sugar content can overpower wines’ fruity flavors, making an otherwise balanced bottle taste flabby or overly tannic. That’s no reason not to pair them, though.
Wine Enthusiast Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales explains that although sweet against sweet often clashes, the key is to select a wine that matches or exceeds the sweetness of the food you’re eating.
“It takes a little bit of time in training the palate to understand the perception of sweetness, and this is a really great exercise to start learning about sweet wine pairings,” she says. Whether your Girl Scout cookie of choice delivers sugar from jam, tropical coconut or even salty-sweet peanut butter, there’s a wine pairing that can help elevate its flavors.
Cabrales recommends choosing a wine that is fruity with low tannins, but not overly floral. (This can create a soapy flavor on the palate when combined with sweetness, which you want to avoid.) “Sometimes I look for something with salinity and minerality to elevate the sweetness of the dessert,” she adds.
Need to snag some cookies? If there are no scouts at your doorstep or in your social circle, consider buying your cookies from Troop 6000, a Girl Scouts program for children in the New York City shelter system.
Thin Mints with Zinfandel
A combination of mint and chocolate makes this cookie a more challenging one to pair with wine. A full-bodied, jammy red wine like Zinfandel is your best bet to match this cookie’s strong flavors. “Zinfandel feels like it has a confectionery, red-fruit component to it. The mint and chocolate bring you to a really luxurious French toast brunch moment,” Cabrales says. We love these California Zinfandels.
Peanut Butter Patties / Tagalongs with Cabernet Franc Ice Wine
Known by two names—Peanut Butter Patties when made by ABC Bakers and Tagalongs when baked by Little Brownie Bakers—these crunchy cookies are topped with creamy peanut butter and coated in milk chocolate. Cabernet Franc ice wine is red and sweet, Cabrales explains. When paired with peanut butter cookies, the combination “mimics peanut butter and jelly.”
She notes you can use this pairing with other peanut butter treats, like Do-Si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. “The peanut butter’s salinity will also enhance the sweetness of the ice wine, while the wine’s sweetness and acidity will help cut through the texture of the peanut butter,” she adds. Learn more about some of our favorite ice wines.
Caramel deLites / Samoas with Sauternes
Another cookie with two monikers–Caramel deLites baked by ABC Bakers and Samoas made by Little Brownie Bakers—this is a crowd-pleasing combination of coconut, caramel and chocolate with a Twix-like crunch. These coconutty cookies are a good match for peachy Sauternes, the legendary French dessert wine, Cabrales says. Try some of our favorite Sauternes bottles.
Raspberry Rally with Bual Madeira
These fruity and chocolatey treats combine a raspberry-flavored crispy cookie with a velvety chocolate coating. The perfect pairing is a Bual Madeira, which brings a sweet and savory complexity to the glass. “The nuttiness and salinity of the Madeira bring out layers of flavor in the raspberry cookie,” Cabrales says. “The wine also enhances the sweetness of the dessert.” Have leftover wine? Try it in this Medeira Flip cocktail recipe.
Adventurefuls with Vin Santo
Introduced in 2022, the brownie-like Girl Scouts cookie is crisp and chocolatey with a salted caramel center. Match those flavors with the decadent sweet Vin Santo, which helps to “enhance the caramel tones” of this brownie treat, Cabrales says.
Lemonades with Off-Dry Riesling
Crisp off-dry Riesling has enough sweetness and acidity to stand up to these lemony, buttery cookies, Cabrales explains. You can also pair your glass with Lemon-Ups, which have a similar lemony flavor without the icing.
Girl Scout S’mores with PX Sherry
Cabrales says the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow flavors of Girl Scout S’mores would make a fun pairing with unctuously sweet PX (short for Pedro Ximénez) Sherry. “The combination is like adding another layer of melted dark chocolate on the dessert,” she says. You can learn more about Sherry wines on here.
Toffee-tastic with Amontillado Sherry
Saline, crisp Amontillado Sherry bring nuttiness and richness to the glass, which pairs well with the burnt-caramel flavors of this rich, buttery and toffee-infused cookie, Cabrales explains.
This story was updated on March 2, 2023