Now that I have you all thinking about grilled cheese, I know what is next.
“Mo, what is the perfect pairing of wine and grilled cheese?”
The answer to this question is almost as varied as the number of grilled cheese combinations.
There is perhaps no better friend to wine than cheese. But what about all the other ingredients?
A sandwich made with provolone, pesto and arugala might call for a Pinot Gris or a Sauvignon Blanc. A cheddar, short rib and grilled onion sandwich would definitely stand up to a Cabernet Sauvignon or Red Wine Blend.
I guess the answer to the question you posed is that there is no right answer.
Experiment. Try the wines you like and see how each complements your favorite grilled cheese components.
Don’t know where to start? Fear not, I have you covered.
Let’s talk about a few options…
The typical characteristics of a Chardonnay – buttery, creamy, toasty, pear, apple, etc. lend themselves well to grilled cheese sandwiches.
Chardonnay and a purist’s sandwich – made entirely of cheese – or one incorporating pears or apple would be a match made in heaven.
Something like the 2009 Winderlea Chardonnay.
This fabulous Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley in Oregon boasts flavors of pear and toasty brioche with a medium, creamy body. The Winderlea Chardonnay ($38) and an entire array of Winderlea Pinot Noirs are available on their website.
As I’ve said many times, Pinot Noir is the perfect “food” wine. It can be a bit of a chameleon, matching but never overpowering.
A Pinot Noir would work well with something as simple as a grilled cheese with bacon sandwich.
It would really shine with a sandwich reflecting the cherry/cranberry/strawberry flavors that are part of the Pinot Noir profile. Maybe a Monterey Jack, turkey and cranberry relish grilled cheese.
A couple of Pinots I’ve enjoyed lately…
The 2009 Waypoint Pinot Noir from the Brittan Vineyard in the Willamette Valley in Oregon ($50) brings cherry, pomegranate and cranberry notes which would pair well with an applewood bacon, cheddar and colby sandwich.
The 2014 DeLoach Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir from California ($12) is loaded with bing cherry and strawberry. This great bargin wine was rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast.
I found it to be better on day two than on day one, but still a solid wine to pair with a grilled cheese sandwich.
I know, I know. You don’t care for Rieslings…too sweet.
I’m telling you, Dry Rieslings will rock your world.
Several years ago, Peter and I were strolling in the village of La Jolla, killing time before attending 5pm Mass. What does one do when one has some time to kill and finds themselves face to face with a wine tasting room with an ocean view?
We pre-gamed Mass. (Please don’t judge…).
Peter saw a Tatomer Dry Riesling on the menu and decided to give it a try.
Friends, if you ever, ever see a Tatomer Dry Riesling on a menu, in a store, in your neighbor’s wine cellar, TRY IT!
Not at all overly sweet, this wine brings the stone fruit notes of a Sauvignon Blanc (without the citrus acidity) and the honey of a Chardonnay (without the cloying butter).
It is light while still having body. It is magic.
The Tatomer wine sells at about $28 per bottle but I, for one, would pay twice the price. (Shhhhh, let’s keep that as our little secret and not share with the folks at Tatomer).
But I digress. Back to grilled cheese sandwiches.
A Dry Riesling would pair well with a sandwich including bacon or proscuitto and is the perfect foil for any sauce with a spicy kick.
The trick in pairing wine and grilled cheese is to pay attention to the tasting notes of a wine. Honey, pear, apple, lavendar, bell pepper, olive, mushrom, roasted meat, rosemary, thyme and berries of every flavor are terms used as wine descriptors.
Check the back of the wine bottle, the shelf tag at the store or the internet to find a wine whose tasting notes include the same flavors as your sandwich and you will be on the right track.
I love that so many of you shared your ideas on the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. What about the wine? Have you found a perfect pairing of wine and grilled cheese? Have you tried a Dry Riesling?Thanks for stopping by,
You Might Also Like: