Photo: Sarah De Heer, AOL
Several weeks ago, I attended a grilled cheese
and wine pairing seminar hosted by Laura Werlin
, the guru of grilled cheese. You know a person really has a passion about a subject when they've penned two books about it (her newest is Grilled Cheese, Please!
First, we sat down to four glasses of wine and a cheese plate with six different cheeses (from soft to hard). Instead of digging straight into the sandwiches, Laura had everyone taste the wines, then taste the cheeses to understand the foundation of the sandwiches. All of the cheeses on our plates and in the sandwiches came from Wisconsin and ranged from Gouda to Gorgonzola. One of the most important tips Laura shared with us was about the color of cheese vs. the wine. According to Laura, "The whiter the cheese, the lighter the wine."
Each of the unique creations we tasted came from her two books. Below are three of the six creations we tried, along with the its paired wine.
Dutch Grilled Cheese
made with Marieke's Gouda
This sandwich was just full of buttery goodness. The gouda, paired with caramelized onions, cumin and rye bread with caraway was a successful balance of sweet and savory. Sometimes caramelized onions overpower the other ingredients in a dish, they complemented this sandwich because they were combined with Gouda -- a strong, distinctive cheese. The Cotes du Rhote was complex but let all of the flavors of the sandwich come through.
Jean Luc Columbo "La Redonne" 2007 Cotes de Rhone (Rhone, France)