Wine Pairings for Grilled Cheese
The New American Grilled Cheese
Pairing: 2010 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel
The best grilled cheese is the gooiest grilled cheese, says author Laura Werlin: "After you bite into it, the cheese should stretch out past your face as far as your arm will reach. Otherwise, it's just not right."
Dry-farmed (i.e., unirrigated) vines are part of the secret to this terrific Zin's bright, berry-rich intensity.
Grilled Cheese-and-Bacon Sandwiches with Cheese Curds
Pairing: 2010 Talley Vineyards Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay
This sandwich is intensely rich with cheese, bacon and mayonnaise, calling for a full-bodied white with good acidity, like Chardonnay.
Grilled Ham and Cheese with Strawberry-Red-Wine Jam
Pairing: 2009 Truchard Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir
The secret to Chris Kronner's delectable sandwiches is the jam spiked with Pinot Noir. Kronner got the idea when he was helping Elisabeth Prueitt test jam recipes while they drank wine.
Seven different clones of Pinot Noir go into this lithe red, which is defined by wild strawberries and herbs.
Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Pairing: 2010 Melville Estate Verna's Syrah
A supereasy sandwich, this grilled cheese calls for a mix of Gruyère, fontina and mozzarella. To pair, try a fragrant and flavorful Syrah, with layers of spice, black fig and sandalwood.
Triple-Decker Baked Italian Cheese Sandwiches
Pairing: 2011 Ott Sélection Les Domaniers
This elegant, strawberry-inflected rosé is wonderfully food-friendly, but delicious sipped on its own, too.
Ham and Gruyère French Toast Sandwiches
Pairing: 2010 Coast Range Vineyard Dry Riesling
Dive into the delectable sandwich with a fork and knife or pick it up with your hands, providing there are plenty of napkins close by. Chef Jesse Cool likes to tuck the maple apples in with the ham and cheese, but the fruit can be served on the side, along with a spicy mustard or horseradish sauce.
Smoky, salty ham and sweet, nutty Gruyère are perfectly complemented by the contrasting fruity, tart character of a dry Riesling like this minerally Oregon bottling.
Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwiches with Tapenade
Pairing: 2009 El Castro de Valtuille Joven
The Pérez family's young, unoaked Mencía shows gamey ripe plum and brandied cherry flavors.
Grilled Cheddar and Ham with Apple and Chutney Sandwiches
Pairing: 2010 Domaine des Aubuisières Vouvray
F&W's Grace Parisi likes the sweetness of the mango chutney in this sandwich. This single-vineyard Chenin Blanc offers a quintessential Vouvray mix of penetrating minerality and a hint of sweetness, plus juicy pear notes.