Once again, we've asked Bill Medak and Lisa Albrecht to pair up our feature cookie of the month with an adult beverage. This month, they tackled Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk.
February, the middle child of winter best known for Valentines’ Day and cabin fever, is also a great month to sit back and get cozy with some baked goods and a warm beverage. All well and good, but what if you’d like that ‘warm’ drink to be a libation, and the baked good to be Georges’ Cookie of the Month: The Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk? We’ve got your February blahs covered in both departments, courtesy of this month’s fabulous feature cookie. Toasty oatmeal and coconut, rich Belgian chocolate, and a hint of orange for the top note make this month’s cookie a divine exploration of taste and texture. This cookie is at once refined and reminiscent of your childhood after school oatmeal cookie. It was a delight to find the right spirit to pair with this month’s offering.
The expert cookie dunkers (grown-up style) at Unwined first thought to pair the cookie with an orange flavoured liquor from Belgium, Mandarine Napoleon that is similar to the more traditional Grand Marnier. If you love orange, you’ll love this liquor…and the price. It worked well with the cookie, but the orange was a bit too strong; you mostly tasted the liquor, and less of the cookie. Undaunted, we went next to a spirit from Italy that contains two of the cookie’s key ingredients: chocolate and again, orange. The Liquore Cioccolato Arancia reminded us of the Christmas treat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange© that you ‘smash’ to separate the segments. Again, the pairing was appropriate, but a bit overwhelming. The point of pairing can be likened to the perfect Valentine’s dinner date: the conversation is not one-sided, the entrees are shared, and service is there when you want, and absent when you don’t. Along that vein, we looked for a complimentary spirit, and found ourselves a winner.
From France, where the aperitif reigns supreme, we sampled the Chateau D’Origanac Pineau Des Charentes, a unique blend of aged cognac and merlot and cabernet grape juice. The spirit is aged for several years in oak barrels to develop its rich amber colour and fullness on the palate. The nose dances with apricot, honey, and raisins; its slight sweetness and round acidity did not overwhelm the cookie’s inherent sweetness, and cut through the richness of the chocolate while elevating the hint of orange to astonishing heights. Proof that opposites attract, we were pleased to find that an aperitif and a dessert can get along swimmingly.
Visit UnWined: Fine Wines, Spirits and Ales here.
-Lisa Albrecht with Bill Medak