Of course cheese deserves its own holiday (mark your calenders for National Cheese Day, June 4th!) Who doesn’t love cheese, especially in all its oozing glory? While a wine and cheese party is always a lovely idea, let’s face it, the concept is dated. On the other hand a fiesta at which every dish includes cheese cooked to gooey perfection is a fun and delicious way to celebrate with friends. Here are a few of our favorite cheese-filled recipes (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, lasagna...) along with spot-on wine pairings. Let’s get this party started!
California Cheese and Green Chili Shrimp Lasagna is a bit spicy and has a bold seafood taste. Robert Mondavi Oakville Fumé Blanc offers refreshing crispness and elegance on the palate that create an ideal pairing with creamy cheese, spicy peppers, and briny shrimp. Fumé Blanc is a term Robert Mondavi came up with to describe Sauvignon Blanc, referring to the wine’s soft smoky character.
Offer your guests little bundles of fried deliciousness, Bolitas de Yuca con Queso. The fattiness of cheese is cut on the palate by the strong tannins in red wine. Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s Colchagua Valley has a rich taste of blackberries and cassis with a touch of spice that is a natural with fried cheese.
Spencer Rubin’s Dirty Grilled Cheese, a combination of Munster and pepper jack cheeses with jalapeno and potato chips, packs a lot of flavor into a little sandwich that can be cut up and shared. Lunetta Rosé Brut, made mostly from Chardonnay with small amounts of red varieties blended in, is a refreshing sparkling wine whose acidity and fresh fruit flavors balance out the rich and spicy nature of spicy grilled cheese.
Santa Rita Secret Reserve, a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend from Chile, offers rich flavors of black cherry and dark plums with notes of clove and mocha. Its smooth tannins and bright acidity will prepare your palate for another tempting bite of mouthwatering STK Mac and Cheese.
Enjoy Michelle Bernstein’s Roast Calabaza Salad with Ricotta Salata Cheese alongside Salentein Reserve Chardonnay, hailing from Uco Valley, a specialized sub-region of Mendoza in Argentina. The wine’s flavors of Granny Smith apple and citrus will help the delicate sweetness of roasted squash and salty tang of the cheese to shine on your taste buds.