PINK SPARKLING ITALIAN WINE for Your VALENTINE! Paired with Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Cacao Nibs and Pink Himalayan Salt

‘All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt…’
Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts 

How do YOU celebrate Valentine’s Day?

How about a delicious Wine and Chocolate Pairing along with juicy strawberries and whipped cream!

PINK,SPAGO AREGENTO by RIONDO USA~ A fresh,light bodied sparkling Italian wine with floral essences and strawberry aromas~ IS A PERFECT MATCH WITH SALTED CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD COOKIES with Cacao Nibs

I have found the key to the beginning of any celebration!

Always start off  your evening with a flute of CRISP,SPARKLING WINE.

Valentine’s Day (or night) is no exception. Creating a perfect gourmet meal for your sweetie or a batch of Valentine-themed Chocolate Shortbread Cookies to share and you will be a big hit for Valentine’s!

Have you tried to pair Chocolate and Wine? Do you know which wines pair with chocolate?

Who doesn’t love Shortbread Cookies ESPECIALLY when you add rich chocolate and the subtle crunch of Himalayan salt or another coarsely ground salt. Admittedly,I am in love with the sweet/salty combination of foods. When I found this recipe,I just knew I had to make these cookies;rich and intense chocolate combined with butter and a hint of crunchy salt-YUM!

I could not resist.

About a year ago,I first served PINK to my guests for dinner party. Everyone LOVED the crispness of this fresh and fruity,pink sparkling wine. It is dry with light effervescence “FRIZZANTE” and intense floral and fruity aromas with distinct strawberry notes which makes it a perfect aperitif wine AND dessert pairing wine.

PINK is not too sweet,not too dry,just soft and fruity. 

Pink Spago Argento is produced in Veneto,Italy-the same region where Prosecco is produced. Pink a delightful combination of non-vintage floral and fruity grapes from this region and leaving the grape skins in a little longer produces a beautiful CLEAR pink color. The Varietal Blend is 100% Uverosato. The alcohol content is %10.5.

When pairing wines with chocolate,match the intensity of the chocolate and sweetness of the dessert with the sweetness and fruitiness of the wine.

Pink really pairs well with the buttery and intense chocolate in this shortbread cookie as well as the subtle crunch of the cacao nibs and salt. The floral aromas and strawberry fruitiness enhances the deep chocolate flavor and the nice the crunch of salt and cacao nibs.

A Savory Pairing:

Soft,rich and creamy cheeses such as a French Brie or Italian Taleggio served with toasted,buttered crostini are also a perfect match with PINK,SPAGO ARGENTO.

If you are so inclined and want to see how delicious this pairing can be, HERE IS THE RECIPE:
Yield : Makes about 3 dozen 1 by 2½-inch shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cacao nibs, crushed with a rolling pin
1 teaspoon fine or coarse sea salt
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Combine the flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Combine the nibs and sea salt in another small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy, stopping as necessary to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla. Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add the remaining flour-cocoa mixture, stopping as necessary to scrape the bowl. Once incorporated, mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the nibs and salt. (The dough can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.)

On a lightly floured board, or between two pieces of parchment paper, roll the dough into a square ¼ inch thick. Cut into 1 by 2½-inch rectangles or other desired shape, by hand or with a cookie cutter, and place on the prepared pans about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through baking. It is sometimes difficult to know when chocolate cookies are done. One of the best indications is the scent of baked cookies in the air. And when these shortbread cookies are gently nudged, they shouldn’t feel soft but the bottoms should seem crisp.

Remove the pans from the oven and transfer the shortbread to a cooling rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

THANKS to  COOKSTR and Elizabeth Faulkner for the fabulous recipe!

***NOTE: I used PINK HIMALAYAN SALT AND SPRINKLED THE COOKIES WITH RED SUGAR-THE KIND YOU BUY AT CHRISTMAS…..That was another nice subtle flavor added to the cookies.

***We used a 3 1/2 inch Valentine’s Heart Cookie cutter which produced about 14 cookies.


Roll out the dough and use your favorite cookie cutter

Make sure the cookies are about 1 inch apart

If you decide to make the chocolate shortbread cookies,I highly recommend a bubbly glass of PINK during the cookie-making process!


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