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Raclette, Fondue and other delights

Melt Some Cheese

First, what are Raclette and Fondue?

Cheese Fondue: melt cheese and wine in a pot, together, eat sitting around the pot, by dipping bread in it and stirring. You will eat a LOT of cheese.

Raclette: put a block of cheese near a grill to melt a layer and then scrape it off (see image). Serve on potatoes, with pickles. Keep going until you can't anymore...

 

Want to Know more? See Joelle & Robb's Everything about Fondue Making

 

 

Drink With Fondue: crisp and clear white wine

In Switzerland we traditionally drink crisp white Chasselas, tea (no milk, that'd be dairy overload!), and Kirsch (in tiny amounts) with cheese fondue. It needs to be dry and very clean to cut through the cheese.

To vary we might go for Doral, Heida, Joahnisberg or Petite Arvine, but aromatic complexity can be lost under all the cheese. I still feel Chasselas is the best, as much of its complexity is in the mouthfeel not the nose.

In Savoie they drink Jacquere for the same reason, as well as Altesse.

For people accustomed to sharp acitidy in their white wine, Chasselas can feel "not enough" with Fondue. The Savoie wines will work better for you - or the Chasselas "Goutte d'Or" which has more freshness than most.

 

With Raclette: more complexity works

When using a family oven, the ones where you use slices of cheese in little dishes to melt them in individual portions, the cheese is often topped with slices of onion, garlic or tomato and is usually served with potatoes and mixed pickles.

Additionally it can be extended with platters of cold cuts and dried meat and of course salads, to make the meal more complete.

If you don't have a raclette oven, or if your raclette maker suddenly dies, raclette can be made in a typical grill using small oven proof dishes. This is not particularly ecological.

Raclette was traditionally accompanied with the same wines we drink with cheese fondue, but as raclette is milder and more balanced and therefore more complex wines can be used like a Petite Arvine, Savoie Altesse or dry Roussanne, or in red, a Gamay or Dôle.

To the Raclette wines!

Blanc de Savoie Coutaz

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Chasselas Suisse (Romand)

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Roussette de Savoie Altesse

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Dôle Balavaud Grand Cru

2014 just arrived.

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