Top pairings | The best wine pairings with cheese fondue, raclette and tartiflette

Pairings | Cheese

The best wine pairings with cheese fondue, raclette and tartiflette

Before we finally step into spring you might want to take your chance to make one of the great ski-food classics, fondue, raclette or tartiflette.

All, of course, involve melted cheese which isn’t the easiest thing to match with wine, especially reds. In general I’d go for crisp or aromatic white wines of the kind that are popular in the regions from which these dishes originate and avoid full-bodied, tannic reds. Here are a few suggestions:

Cheese fondue

The best choice I've found is a crisp dry white such as Swiss Chasselas or a Chignin or Roussette from Savoie. These wines are relatively hard to come by, however, but other crisp dry whites such as Muscadet, Chablis, dry Alsace or Austrian riesling or a young grüner veltliner would also be fine. If you fancy a red make it a fresh, light-bodied one like a young red burgundy, gamay or Dole. Or a poulsard from the Jura

And here's my favourite fondue recipe!

Raclette

Here potatoes and sometimes cold meats are involved which mitigates the intense cheesiness. I’d still go for a similar crisp white as the above but it could take a slightly more robust red like a gamay from the Auvergne or even an inexpensive Côtes du Rhône.

Tartiflette

Tartiflette is like a super-charged gratin dauphinoise, with added bacon and Reblochon cheese. It originally comes from Savoie so again those wines I recommend with cheese fondue will work well. You could also try a savagnin or a Coteaux du Jura. (There’s a good recipe here in Felicity Cloake’s excellent ‘The Perfect’ series for the Guardian. It is one of THE most delicious cheese dishes.)

There’s a longer article about pairing wine with fondue and raclette on the Alpine Wines website. They basically stock exactly the kind of wines you might be looking for.

Image © tsuboya at fotolia.com

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Comments: 5 (Add)

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Fiona Beckett on January 28 2017 at 09:44

I think those are two excellent choices, Tony. Do let me know how they work.

Tony on January 28 2017 at 07:06

A French/Italian friend and his French/English wife are hosting a raclette evening. I thought i'd take a 2015 Domaene Gobelsburg Kamptal DAC grüner veltliner. " ...compact, racy and piquant ...a coolish and zesty flavour, pretty powerful and well structured it promises a good mineralogy in the finish. Based on a foundation laid by Cistercian monks in the 12th century," I am certain it will provide a fine accompaniment to the meal as well as some interesting discussion around its history and origin. As a back - up for red wine drinkers - I have another Austrian wine; a 2014 SÜDTIROL ST. MAGDALENER. It's not a big wine, nor an expensive one, but coming from the slopes above Bolzano and having been produced by Josef Brigl whose business was founded in 1309, it can't be bad. The Santa Maddalena-Schiava grape typically yields uncomplicated, delicious pale to full ruby red wines low in tannin and the result should be easily quaffable, despite the cheese!
What do you think?

David on March 2 2016 at 14:49

Apremont. To me, this Savoie white made from Jacquere is the single best cheese wine on the planet, and should always be paired with fondue and Alpine cheese-rich fare—both in the dish and in the glass.

amrit row on February 29 2016 at 11:05

As I spend quite a bit of time in the Jura, I especially like 'Etoile' Chardonnay with the fondues but for a bit of oomph try chilled Macvin..... definitely won't set in the stomach with that Alicia. Savoie Chignin is vary variable but is, as you say, good with fondue.

Alicia on February 25 2016 at 18:43

My Swiss grandmother was pretty anti-booze, but she was very insistant that you HAD to drink wine with fondue otherwise it would set in your stomach and you would die. Not entirely convinced but I'll take it as an excuse.

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