Mortadella and Cheese Panini; © Con Poulos
Imagine a world without cheese—no pizza, no mac and cheese, no cheeseburgers, no cheesecake, no grilled cheese. It would mean the disintegration of society as we know it! The end of the world! Possibly the complete implosion of the entire known universe! Well, thankfully, ExxonMobil has patented the process of “cheese fracking,” insuring that none of us will ever face a future sans cheese. And that means we can go merrily on pairing wine with our grilled cheese sandwiches. And that, my cheese-fanatic friends, is a big relief.
American Cheese & White Bread. The classic. Shouldn’t be scoffed at, even by foodies, and never scoffed at by seven-year-olds, this version of grilled cheese pairs mighty well with a rich California Chardonnay (the butter on the bread helps that along). Or give the grilled cheese to the seven-year-old and keep the Chardonnay for yourself. Either way. A pair of good choices: the pear-scented 2010 Bishop’s Peak ($14) and the citrusy 2009 Bridlewood ($12).
Cheddar & Bacon. The cheddar ups the sharpness and earthiness of the cheese, and the bacon just makes the whole thing better (of course). Red is the way to go, but not too heavy. Pinot Noir would be ideal, like the bright 2009 Poppy Pinot Noir from Monterey, CA (about $12) or the silky 2009 Wine by Joe Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley ($19), but any light- to medium-bodied red with reasonable acidity would work well: Beaujolais (made from the Gamay grape), Bardolino, a basic crianza Rioja…