Pair It Up! Grilled Cheese, Please!

When I profiled i am a food blog in last week’s post, every time I went to the site for reference, the big photo and recipe up front was a Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwich - and I’ve been thinking of grilled cheese sandwiches ever since. Of course, you can always go super simple and lowbrow with two pieces of Wonder Bread and a Kraft Single wedged between ‘em, but in the interest of the weather cooling down, and both rain and snow heading in our general direction, let’s look at some elevated options out there - and then a few wines that would treat them well!

First off, as mentioned – i am a food blog’s Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwich looks pretty impressive. I love the autumnal nature of it, with the added decadence of a fried egg thrown into the mix. Some bigger flavours are happening here, and I’d like to home in on that sage character with an Okanagan wine that offers a touch of telltale wild sagebrush that dots the landscape. Stag’s Hollow 2013 Pinot Noir is a fine choice; stewed berry fruit and just over a year in oak gives it enough structure to hit up that pumpkin well, yet it’s not so big that it will smother the subtler nuances going on.

Jamie Oliver offers a straightforward, yet delightful looking version of a grilled cheese with Red Leicester (you can sub in Cheddar if Red Leicester isn’t on hand), along with a little ham (“the best quality you can afford,” mind you) and mustard, which will give a little heat. I’m thinkin’ all of that salty goodness, along with the spark of heat would do well with a dry-ish pink wine to lap it all up, and a wine that also has the smallest kiss of sweetness on the finish to envelope the heat. Summerland, British Columbia’s Dirty Laundry Vineyard’s 2013 Hush has a lovely offering of strawberries and cherries for some bright and juicy character. Natural acidity as part of the structure keeps things from getting too cloying, so you needn’t worry about it being over-the-top.

And there’s the super-classic route, something like Best-Ever Grilled Cheese from Bon Appetit, which is recommended with a side of tomato soup for dipping (natch). Ontario’s Oxley Estate Winery has a 2012 Cabernet Franc that would be a fun replacement for that soup (think sippin’, not dippin’) with plenty of roasted red bell peppers, ripe tomatoes and savoury herb notes. Take a bite, then take a sip, and things should turn out juuust fine...In fact, we may even have a new classic on our hands!

And don’t forget, you can click through to order any of these wines right here at My Wine Canada, and it’ll be on your doorstep in days!

Stag's Hollow 2012 Pinot Noir Dirty Laundry 2013 HushOxley Estate 2012 Cabernet Franc

Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.

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