A Traditional Swiss Delicacy
Cheese fondue is a staple in Swiss cuisine and one of the favorite dishes of Central Europe. Cheese, kirsch, and a bit of garlic are the ingredients that constitute this delicacy. Once upon a time, cheese fondue used to be very popular. However, over the last few years, it has gone out of fashion. And that is such a shame! Cheese fondue has a fun, communal aspect. In fact, inviting friends for a fondue night is a fantastic way to celebrate the winter holidays.
On top of this, it is a great way to entertain on special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, or Christmas. But to really appreciate the cheesiness and bring your guests the warmth of a Swiss chalet, you have to complement this course with aromatic and elegantly textured wine, such as Grüner Veltliner, Muscadet, or Pinot Noir.
What Wines Pair Well With Cheese Fondue?
Fragrant and delicate wines make the best cheese fondue wine pairing. The wines should also have spent limited time in oak. If you opt for a Riesling or Grüner Veltliner, pick one with medium acidity. And, if you decide to pair cheese fondue with red wine, a medium-bodied Pinot Noir or Gamay from Beaujolais make fantastic choices. For the best cheese fondue wine match, chill the wines a bit before uncorking. Give them also some time to breathe, too.
Best White Wines With Cheese Fondue
Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner
- Winery — Nikolaihof
- Country/Region — Austria, Weinland, Niederösterreich, Wachau
- Type — Austrian Grüner Veltliner
- Aroma — Cherry Blossom, Raspberry, Flint, Mango, Banana
- Grapes — Grüner Veltliner
- Taste — Grapefruit, Plum, Lime, Stones, White Pepper, Lychee, Chestnut, And Almond
- Alcohol Content — 11%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Seafood, Sautéed Kidneys, Grilled Asparagus, Asian & Chinese
Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner has a fine bouquet of cherry blossoms, flint, and baking spice. The palate is dense, filled with mint and minerals. The wine’s nose is packed with vibrant aromas of red fruits as well as nuances of tropical fruits, such as mango and banana. In the mouth, tastes of grapefruit and lime mix with notes of mint and minerals. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with persistent effervescence.
Touches of white pepper and lychee dominate the medium finish, as lingering almond, chestnut, and plum flavors conclude the tasting profile. Producing wine in Austria’s prestigious Wachau region on the Danube’s south bank, Nikolaihof is renowned for owning some of the oldest vineyards in Europe. The winery focuses on biodynamic viticulture and ancestral vinification techniques. In this way, concentrated wines, representative of Wachau’s terroir, are the norm.
Domaine Labbé Abymes
- Winery — Domaine Labbé
- Country/Region — France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie
- Type — French Jacquère
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Wet Grass, Honey, Peach, Flint
- Grapes — Jacquère
- Taste — Grapefruit, Lemon, Pear, Asparagus, Honeysuckle, Acacia, Peach, Stones, Hay
- Alcohol Content — 13%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Roast Chicken, Grilled Sea Bass, Mussels, Almond-based Dishes, Eggplant Parmigiana
One of the brightest and crisp wines, Domaine Labbé Abymes is produced from 100% Jacquère, a grape variety rarely found outside France. Punctuated by flavors of citrus, green fruits, and minerality, the wine has a distinctive character, typically expressive of Savoie, in far Eastern France. Therefore, this Jacquère might be the best white wine with cheese Fondue!
Soft notes of honey, wet grass, and stone fruits on the nose join hints of apples, pears, and flint, giving substance to the aromatic bouquet. On the palate, flavors of grapefruit, lemons, pears, and asparagus dominate. Warm suggestions of acacia and honeysuckle, interlaced with sensations of stones and hay, complement the round texture for an extraordinary result. The finish is pleasant and creamy, delivering dominance and satisfaction.
Domaine Labbé was founded in 1975, at a time when the winery was run mainly by farmers who produced, not only wine, but milk, hay, beef, and wheat. To achieve financial freedom, they decided to invest in wine production by planting new grape varieties. Fast-forward to today, and the Labbé family produces wines faithful to the terroir, with temperature-controlled fermentation in non-reactive tanks.
Pépière La Pepie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie
- Winery — Pépière
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Lower Loire, Muscadet, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
- Type — Loire Muscadet
- Aroma — Peach, Apricot, Orange Blossom, Pear, Strawberry, Cherry
- Grapes — Melon de Bourgogne
- Taste — Grapefruit, Nectarine, Pineapple, Celery, Straw, Brioche Bread, Flint
- Alcohol Content — 12%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Seafood, Shrimp, Scallops, Pan-seared Salmon, Oven-baked Chicken, Brie
With a subtle hint of richness from the sur lie factor, the wine is crisp and packed with minerals. It is highly expressive of Pépière’s granite-based terroir and the natural winemaking style of the region. Bear in mind, that this Muscadet also makes an ideal cooking wine for cheese fondue.
Pépière La Pepie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie begins with straightforward aromas of peaches, apricots, orange blossom, pears, strawberries, and cherries. As it enters the mouth, crispiness is presented, coupled with the racy acidity, and mineral tones, creating the expressive palate. Flavors of grapefruit, nectarine, and pineapple, mingle with touches of celery, straw, and brioche bread, as they lead to the moderate, mineral-driven finish.
Located in the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, at the edge of Brittany, Domaine de la Pépière was founded in 1984. The winemaker at Pépière is Marc Ollivier, who hand-harvests, uses natural yeasts, and bottles wine with minimal filtration. The fruit is sourced from Old Vines with a good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. Besides this, the vineyards are from the original stock. There is no clonal selection, so the resulting Pépière’s wine is the most expressive and authentic in Muscadet.
Best Red Wines With Cheese Fondue
Kevin Descombes Cuvée Kéké Beaujolais Nouveau
- Winery — Kevin Descombes
- Country/Region — France, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau
- Type — French Beaujolais
- Aroma — Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Grass, Licorice, Clove
- Grapes — Beaujolais
- Taste — Blackberry, Redcurrant Charred Wood, Game Meat, Cinnamon Spice
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Beef Steak, Pork Chops, Duck, Clams, Pizza, Indian
Round and syrupy, Kevin Descombes Cuvée Kéké Beaujolais Nouveau shows big red fruit aromas and flavors with balanced, well-presented acidity. As a classic Beaujolais Nouveau, expect to find fragrances of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants on the nose, combined with nuances of grass, licorice, and cloves. In the mouth, the wine turns ruthless, as macerated blackberries, redcurrants, and charred wood, join gamey tones, and delicious complexity. The medium tannins are soft and unobtrusive, while the acidity is crispy and fresh but not persistent. Then, it pushes through into the long, cinnamon-influenced finish.
After learning from his father Georges, Kevin Descombes released his first vintage in 2013 from vineyards gifted to him by Georges. He bottles Morgon, Old Vine Morgon, and Beaujolais, which he calls Cuvée Kéké. Like his father, he advocates organic viticulture and ferments only in native yeasts, with minimal sulfur intervention. Fermentation is semi-carbonic, and aging takes place in a blend of old and new oak barrels.
Lauverjat Moulin des Vrillères Sancerre Rouge
- Winery — Lauverjat
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
- Type — French Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Grapefruit, Violet, Raspberry, Lemon, Orange Blossom
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Peach, Honeysuckle, Strawberry, Mushroom, Plum, Cocoa, Mango, Grass
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Pheasant, Venison, Beef Burgers, Mushroom Risotto, Gruyère
Lauverjat Moulin des Vrillères Sancerre Rouge shows a powerful citrusy nose with balanced, restrained acidity and solid, dynamic minerality on the palate. By far, this could be the best red wine with cheese Fondue. Aromas of spring blossoms, grapefruit, violets, and raspberries emerge as soon as the wine is uncorked, while scents of lemon and orange blossom complete the aromatic experience. On the palate, there is no oak but a vibrant, warming sensation. Tastes of white peach, honeysuckle, strawberry, and mushroom blend harmoniously with flavors of plums and cocoa in a frame of mango, cocoa, and grass. The tannins are smooth, providing good structure and depth. The tasting profile concludes with a spice-forward aftertaste and balanced acidity.
Growing grapes in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume for generations, the Lauverjat family has a passion for sustainable viticulture. They prefer working the soil and using seaweed to combat grapevine diseases and vineyard pests rather than employing chemicals. In the cellar, the reds ferment in large wooden conical tanks, and the whites go into thermo-regulated stainless-steel tanks. Some years ago, they invested in a new clay filtration system, enabling the gentle filtering of wines without stripping them of their natural character.
And this is it, fellows! We have reached the end of the list. Cheese fondue is a delicacy indeed, so it needs to be accompanied by elegant and fruit-forward wine to help it unlock its true flavor. So, to help you out in your quest in finding the most suitable wine for cheese fondue, we have provided you with the best white wines to serve alongside this complex dish. Uncork them to enjoy cheese fondue like a Swiss connoisseur!