Fondue & Wine
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In the seventies, if you were newly married, chances are you had a fondue pot among your wedding presents. For the most part, it was put away untouched, at least until leg waxing became popular. Today, hopefully, with a new fondue pot, you can celebrate winter with a party. There is so much more to “alpine” food than hot cheese though. Looking at cookbooks from the Alpine regions of Europe there is a thread flowing through each one: hearty, stomach filling comfort food. None of this hoity toity “amuse bouche” style miniature eggplant in a foam of whatever, no, not for those who dare the cold and snow of the mountains. If you google the menus of restaurants in Austria, or Switzerland you’ll find things like: Rippli (bone in smoked pork loin with beans bacon and potatoes, meat pies, pork roasted with apples, horseradish and potatoes, Kasespatzle (mac and cheese), eirspeise (ham and egg omelet), Grostl (home fries with onions and meat), Rosti (hash browns with grated onions). Well, you get the idea.
And to go with these diet busters you might try beer. But a dry white wine is just the thing to carry the flavors of the food. Swiss, Austrian, and French white wines are particularly dry. In particular, the wines from the Savoie region of France work especially well with potatoes and smoked meat, as do Alsatian wines. Austrian wines are a little more round in their mouthfeel, but still have the minerality you need to cut through the heaviness of the dishes.
So, you’ve rediscovered your (hopefully clean) fondue pot, rounded up all the skewers and you’re ready to roll. All you need is a recipe, and son of a gun I happen to have one here.
½ lb grated Gruyere
½ lb grated Emmentaler
2 tsp corn starch
½ garlic clove
4 tbl Kirschwasser
2/3 cup dry white wine
pinch of nutmeg
- rub inside of pot with garlic clove
- heat wine to a simmer
- add cornstarch, and cheese by the handful, stirring constantly.
- add the Kirsh and pinch of nutmeg
- keep warm, but not bubbling
To go with the hot, gooey cheese here are some wine recommendations:
1. Domaine Jean Vullien Montmelian $12.69
2. Trimbach Riesling $17.69
3. Schmitges Grey Slate Riesling Dry $18.69
4. Schwarzbock Gruner Veltliner Trocken $12.99
5. Tramin Pinot Grigio $14.99
6. Dr Thanisch Riesling Kabinett $18.69