*** I received this wine as a sample. ***
March was a big work travel month for me. I spent the 9-17 in Austin for SXSWedu and SXSW, both of which were great conferences. I learned a lot at the sessions, had some fantastic networking opportunities, and even got to drink some great wine at places like Max’s Wine Dive. However, by the time I finally walked in the door late at night on March 17th, I was ready to be home. I missed Hubby and was tired of living out of a suitcase. Plus, conferencing is exhausting because you’re on all the time, so all I really wanted to do was to put on some comfy clothes, open some good wine, and hibernate for a few days. Since my cousin was coming into town that weekend, it wasn’t quite a full-on hibernation, but Hubby and I spent Sunday morning at brunch with her and her boyfriend, just catching up, eating good food, and enjoying each others company. After that, it was back home for some cookie baking and more relaxing.
By March 22, the weather was getting warmer, I had just spent a week in Austin with gorgeous weather, and I had a bad case of Spring fever. Nothing says Spring like strawberries, so I grabbed extras at the grocery store and decided to make Cream Cheese & White Chocolate Chunk Strawberry Cookies. To go along with the cookies, I opened a Spanish Garnacha.
The 2012 Bodegas Ruberte Tresor Garnacha (winery) is made in the Campo de Borja district in the northwest of the province of Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain. The wine was made with 100% Garnacha/Grenache grapes and was a bright medium-to-dark ruby red color. On the nose, there were Bing cherries and strawberries. In the mouth, there were Bing cherries, strawberries and hints of white pepper. The wine had a medium body, medium acidity, and low-to-medium tannins.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At an SRP of $10 a bottle, this wine has a great quality/price ratio. It was easily drinkable on it’s own, and I was sorry that I didn’t have some Serrano ham or Manchego cheese to pair with it. It would be a great summer red because it’s flavorful without being too heavy or having too much heat, although it is 14% abv so don’t let the fact that it’s well-balanced fool you into thinking that it’s low in alcohol.
As for the cookies, they turned out to be easy to make, and while they were a little heavier than I expected (probably due to the combination of butter and cream cheese), the flavor made for a nice treat.
Overall, the combination of the strawberries in the cookies and the red fruit flavors of the wine made the two a nice, Spring-y pairing. It was exactly what I needed after leaving the nice Austin weather and a long work-trip behind.
Question of the Day: Have you started transitioning to Spring and Summer wines yet?
Cream Cheese, White Chocolate, and Strawberry Cookies
(*adapted from OMG Chocolate Desserts)
Yields: 2 dozen
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 butter, room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 Tablespoons flour
- 5 oz white chocolate chips
- Pour lemon juice over chopped strawberries and let drain. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Add cream cheese, and mix until combined.
- Add eggs, and mix until combined.
- Add vanilla, and mix until combined.
- On low speed, add dry ingredients, and mix until just blended (about 30 seconds).
- Stir in white chocolate with wooden spoon.
- Sprinkle strawberries with 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Toss until all the strawberries are coated with a thin layer, then add gently to the batter.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats and place in refrigerator to chill.
- Take a rounded tablespoon of chilled dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1-inch balls.
- Place cookies on lined, chilled cookie sheets. Keep cookies about 1-2 inches apart.
- Press to flatten slightly.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until edges become golden brown.
- Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Suggested Retail Price: $10
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks