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Cheesy Wines: Grilled Cheese & Wine Pairings

Cheesy Wines: Grilled Cheese & Wine Pairings

The simple pleasure of a grilled cheese is one of the most magical joys in life. We all know how the salty, fatty goodness that is melted cheese can make you stop, drop, and drool should you get even a tiny whiff. And we all know wine and cheese are basically the most perfect match ever created, but when was the last time you sat down with a homemade grilled cheese and poured yourself a glass of your favorite wine?

There’s just something about the buttery, toasted bread, the rich, melty cheese, and the delicious variety of flavorful ingredients you can add that all combine in the palate for a rush of mouthwatering ecstasy – and it only gets better when you throw in a well-paired wine to compliment the savory circus occurring in your mouth.

To help you enjoy this bounty of delight as soon as possible, we’ve put together some of our favorite grilled cheese recipes and paired them with the perfect wine for you!

The New American Grilled Cheese

Pair With: Peach Canyon Zinfandel – A peppery, juicy Zinfandel with a bright, berry-rich intensity.

Ingredients

  • 4 Andouille sausages, sliced lengthwise in thirds
  • 3 tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 10 oz. Extra-sharp yellow cheddar, 6 oz. shredded, 4 oz. sliced
  • 8 slices Sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 12 Cornichons, halved, extra for serving

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the sliced sausages over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate and wipe out the pan.
  2. In a bowl, stir the butter with the shredded cheddar cheese just until combined. Spread the cheddar-butter on one side of each slice of bread; arrange them buttered side down on a work surface. Spread the mustard on the bread and sprinkle the Monterey Jack over the mustard. Top 4 slices with the sausages, halved cornichons and the sliced cheddar. Close the sandwiches, pressing lightly and tucking in any stray cheese.
  3. Place the sandwiches in the skillet, cover and cook over moderately low heat until golden on the bottom, 3 minutes. Press with a spatula to flatten slightly, then flip the sandwiches, cover and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes longer; lower the heat if the bread is browned before the cheese melts completely. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and let rest for 2 minutes, then cut them in half and serve with cornichons.

Grilled Cheese-and-Bacon Sandwiches with Cheese Curds

Pair With: Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay – A bold, full-bodied Chardonnay with excellent balance and acidity.

Ingredients

  • ½ Beef bouillon cube
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. Cider vinegar
  • 12 slices Bacon
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 slices White sandwich bread
  • ½ lb. Sharp cheddar, cut into 4 slices
  • 3 oz. Cheddar cheese curds

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mash the bouillon cube into 2 teaspoons of hot water until dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise and Sriracha and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Set a griddle over 2 burners and turn the heat to moderate. Butter the bread slices on 1 side. Spread the other side of 4 bread slices with the spicy mayonnaise and top with the onion, cheddar, cheese curds and bacon. Close the sandwiches buttered side out and griddle over moderately low heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Grilled Ham and Cheese with Strawberry-Red-Wine Jam

Pair With: Averaen Pinot Noir – A berry-forward Pinot with rich aromas of black cherry, pomegranate and wild strawberry.

Ingredients

  • 20 ¼-inch-thick slices Brioche
  • ½ cup Strawberry jam mixed with 2 tbsp. of Pinot Noir
  • 10 thin slices Baked ham
  • 10 thin slices of Gruyère cheese
  • Softened Unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Heat a large griddle. Spread 10 of the brioche slices with the jam. Top with the ham and Gruyère and close the sandwiches. Lightly butter the outside of the sandwiches and cook over moderate heat until toasted and the cheese is melted, 2 minutes per side. Cut in half and serve right away.

Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese

Pair With: Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Syrah – A fragrant and flavorful Syrah, with layers of spice, blueberry, truffle, fennel, and wild raspberry.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices White bread
  • Grated Gruyère cheese
  • Grated Fontina cheese
  • Grated Mozzarella cheese
  • Butter

Directions

  1. Top slices of white bread with a mix of grated Gruyère, fontina and mozzarella cheese. Close the sandwiches and lightly butter the outside of the bread. Grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.

Triple-Decker Baked Italian Cheese Sandwich

Pair With: Bruno & George Candlelight Strawberry Rosé – Lightly textured, crisply balanced and filled with luscious strawberry flavors and jammy aromas.

Ingredients

  • 8 Plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Thyme leaves
  • 2 White Pullman loaves—ends discarded, each loaf cut into twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 lb. sliced Provolone cheese
  • 1 lb. Fontina cheese, coarsely shredded (about 5½ cups)
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the halved tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the tomatoes cut side up for 1 1/2 hours, until soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the tomatoes are very tender and slightly shriveled but still juicy. Let cool.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 375°. Brush 16 bread slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; arrange 8 of the slices oiled side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Top with the provolone and the unbrushed bread slices. Cover with the tomatoes, 4 cups of the Fontina and the remaining 8 bread slices, oiled side up. Press gently on the sandwiches and bake for about 15 minutes, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Toss the remaining Fontina with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle on the sandwiches. Broil 3 inches from the heat for about 1 minute, until the cheese is melted. Transfer the sandwiches to plates and serve.

Grilled Cheddar and Ham with Apple and Chutney 

Pair With: Pierre Archambault Vouvray – A semi-dry wine with rich flavors of almonds, pear and honey.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Pumpernickel bread
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup Mango chutney
  • ½ Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and coarsely shredded
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced Sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced Virginia ham

Directions

  1. Spread the bread with the butter and arrange, buttered side down, on a work surface. Spread each slice with the mango chutney. Top half of the slices with the apple, cheddar and ham and close the sandwiches.
  2. Preheat a skillet or panini press. Grill the sandwiches over low heat until the bread is toasted, and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. If using a skillet, press the sandwiches with a spatula and flip them halfway through. Cut in half and serve right away.

Grilled Cheese Florentine

Pair With: Stella Rosa Moscato D’Asti – Sweet but not overly sweet with just enough bubbles and hints of peach, apricot and honey. Refreshing taste with a clean finish.

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp. Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups Baby spinach, clean
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 2 oz. Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar, shredded (about ½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

If beer pairings still have you tied up in knots, then stop by your local Spec’s and ask the friendly staff for a great recommendation!

Spec's

Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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