Match of the week | Cheese fondue and Chasselas

Match of the week

Cheese fondue and Chasselas

I was beginning to think we’d managed to skip winter this year before last week’s icy blasts and snow came as a timely reminder we’ve got a good few weeks to go yet. So there’s still time to enjoy one of winter’s great favourites - a Swiss cheese fondue.

Fondue is one of the very few dishes where your choice of drink is critical. The worst thing you can do, according to a Swiss restaurateur I once interviewed, is to down several glasses of iced water which solidifies the cheese in your stomach and makes it indigestible. Red wine also doesn’t match well at all (the warm, slightly acid cheese accentuates its tannins).

Crisp dry fruity whites such as Chasselas from Switzerland or Chignin from Savoie are the best pairings - a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the cheese though if you don’t have access to either of these you could pick a dry Pinot Grigio. Artisanal cider can also work very well particularly if the fondue is made from cider rather than the usual white wine. And a glass of chilled kirsch or other white eau de vie or grappa makes a welcome digestif at the end of the meal.

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