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Thanksgiving 2023 Special: Cheese Fondue and Wine Pairing

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue is a tasty, rich dish, and it needs the right wine to go with it.

With fondue and hot cheese recipes in general, picking up as the weather cools and the nights draw in, I think of red wine with fondue. 

It must be the need for that warmth that red wine gives, that feeling of armchairs and log fires.  In the same vein fondue is as warm and satiating a dish as you can get. 

The cold outside is the justification for the cheese overload.  You can almost imagine those leather lederhosen-wearing happy Swiss in thick brightly colored sweaters, like that shopkeeper in Frozen, smilingly lighting the wicks below the heavy metal pans of boiling cheese.  It’s against the grain to think white wine.

And yet there it is, white is best with fondue.

I remember being told when I was young that red wine turns it into a knot in your stomach, like an all cheese hairball.  That’s nonsense, but rather than double down on the heavy bodiness red wine can bring, the white wine is what we must use, but it needs the right white wine, in order to bring a lightness to smooth out the cheese, making for a gentler more enjoyable meal.

The Swiss would recommend a Laroux, the Austrian’s go with Grüner Veltliner. 

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is the white wine from Austria known as the top choice for cheese fondue.

Grüner Veltliner is a dry white with high acidity, and the acidity helps smooth out the creamy cheese fondue. It both cleanses your palate after each bite, so you can enjoy the fondue’s flavors more, and brings more complex notes of:

–    Fruit  with pear and apricots

–    Herbal elements with grass and even bell pepper

–    Mineral earthiness connecting to the mountain terroir of the cheese to bring more flavour. 

This wine has a special taste that matches cheese fondue becuase it has a little spiciness that goes well with the nutty cheese flavors. The combination of acidity, fruit, spice and earth is what makes this white work so well.

When picking a Grüner Veltliner for cheese fondue, look for one that’s crisp, refreshing, and has the right mix of acidity and fruity taste. Some good choices are the 2019 Weingut Markus Huber Terrassen Grüner Veltliner, the 2019 Höpler Grüner Veltliner, and the 2018 Schloss Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger” Grüner Veltliner.

When picking a Grüner Veltliner for cheese fondue, look for one that’s crisp, refreshing, and has the right mix of acidity and fruity taste. Some good choices are the Weingut Markus Huber TerrassenGrüner Veltliner, the Höpler Grüner Veltliner, and the Schloss Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger”Grüner Veltliner.In

In Summary

The best wine to pair with cheese fondue is Grüner Veltliner. 

So… pick up a bottle of this off-piste Austrian wine when you next do fondue. 

Impress you family, friends and most of all your own palate.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Join us to create a favorite cheese fondue recipe of mine this Saturday November 18th youtube.com/charlie_cheese

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