Raclette — A Classic Creamy Winter Favorite
Cheese lovers will surely have had the pleasure of tasting Raclette at one time or another. If not, you surely must have seen all those mesmerizing videos and photos on social media about this melted cheese sitting pretty on top of a sumptuous dish. Raclette, meaning “to scrape” in French, refers to the kind of cheese as well as the traditional Swiss dish that is often served with potatoes. Raclette is a cow milk cheese that is found in a large wheel form and has a pungent rind and dense, creamy taste.
The native Swiss dish Raclette refers to melting the surface of this Raclette cheese and scraping it off for toppings on different dishes. With its creamy, slightly salty, sweet, and somewhat nutty flavors, Raclette is the perfect winter dish to warm you up. Yes, the smell can be a little overwhelming but don’t be fooled by that. It has a subtle taste that adds flavor to any dish it is used with.
What Wines Pair Well With Raclette?
Traditionally, Raclette is served with beer, tea, or wine. But if you have the chance, why not have this delicious meal with wine? If you have the opportunity to try this cheese in its native country, you will be advised never to drink water with your Raclette. You need a beverage with some acidity to break down the fats in the cheese and help you keep your palate fresh in between bites. And, the slight saltiness of Raclette heightens the flavors of the wine, producing a refreshing pairing.
A Raclette wine pairing works with both red and white wines, thus providing you with more options to explore and satisfy your palate. Opt for a white wine that is light-bodied and dry, and go for red wines that have fruity notes.
White wines using varietal grapes of Altesse, Sylvaner, and Sauvignon Blanc, and red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay complement most cheese types, including Raclette. As a general rule of thumb, choose wines with a higher level of acidity thereby making the wine crisper on the palate. Such wines will create complement the creaminess of the cheese perfectly.
Best White Wines With Pork Raclette
Domaine Lupin Frangy Roussette de Savoie
- Winery — Domaine Lupin
- Country/Region — France, Savoie, Roussette de Savoie
- Type — French Altesse
- Aroma — Floral, Almonds, White Flowers, Lemons, Limes, Yellow Cherries
- Grapes — Altesse
- Taste — Pear, Green Apple, Lemon Peel, Citrus
- Alcohol Content — 11.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Raclette, Crayfish Salad, Freshwater Fish, Veal Escalope, Anything Spicy
A popular French wine, Domaine Lupin’s Frangy Roussette de Savoie is a pale golden-colored mellow white wine. The wine is named after the village “Frangy” where it is made. The cold temperature and environment of the village make the natural production of these grapes and wine more conducive. The winery Domain Lupin uses the lutte raisonnee approach for their wines, a method where fewer chemicals are used, and the grapes are harvested by hand.
Frangy Roussette de Savoie has a refreshing palate with notes of honey, spice, pear, gingerbread, and nougat hints. It has a creamy, mellow mouthfeel, and it is laced with an excellent level of acidity. Chardonnay lovers would appreciate this wine’s texture, roundness, and minerality. This white wine is possibly the best Raclette wine match because it cleanses the palate, allowing you to enjoy the full flavor of the cheese.
- Winery — Pacherhof
- Country/Region — Italy, Trentino, Sudtirol – Alto Adige
- Type — Northern Italy White
- Aroma — Pineapple, Honey, Grapefruit, Lemon, Flowers
- Grapes — Sylvaner
- Taste — Melon, Pear, Quince, Citrus Fruits, Herbs, Lemon Peel
- Alcohol Content — 13%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Raclette, Asian Style Salad, BBQ Grilled Pork, Charcuterie Platter, Crabs
Pacherhof wineries’ Sylvaner is made in Neustift, slightly north of Brixen in Italy. Since 1142, this vineyard has been owned by the Huber family, and it was cellar master Andreas Huber who fostered the belief that the characteristics of the terroir must be tampered with as little as possible. This principle has ensured that the Pacherhof wines preserve their natural richness and flavor from the grapes and earth.
The Sylvaner is a pale straw-yellow colored wine that is refreshing and zesty. It promises a nose with nothing but fresh aromas from tropical fruits like pineapple, lemon, exotic herbs, stone fruits, and flowers. The palate is juicy with prominent flavors of pear, apricot, quince, and lemon. It’s a crisp, dry wine that has a long, fresh aftertaste. Its creamy texture and persistent acidity make it perfect to be paired with Raclette.
Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Blanc
- Winery — Domaine du Salvard
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Cheverny
- Type — Loire Valley White
- Aroma — Honeysuckle, Pear, Apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Grass
- Grapes — 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chardonnay
- Taste — Grapefruit, Apricot, Peach, Honey, Lemongrass, Pepper, Anise, Passion Fruit
- Alcohol Content — 12%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Raclette, Shellfish, Red Snapper, Grouper, Roast Chicken, Greek Pasta Salad
Producing world-renowned wines since the 1900s, the Domaine du Salvard is a small family estate that currently has brothers Emmanuel and Theirry at its helm. They ensure the quality of their wines by upholding sustainable and organic farming. Sauvignon Blanc is a world favorite, with some of the best grapes of this variety produced in France’s Loire Valley. And Domaine du Salvard’s Cheverny Blanc gets its delectable flavors from the grapes harvested in these areas.
The Cheverny is an exquisite blend of 15% Chardonnay and 85% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine radiates pure verve and elegance and could be your best white wine with Raclette. The nose is refreshing and delicate with aromas of citrus fruits and green orchard fruits with hints of hazelnut. It teases your palate with fresh citrus fruits like grapefruit and citron, and you will be delighted by the hints of fresh asparagus and herbs. It is a balanced, zesty wine with a long finish.
Best Red Wines With Raclette
Treana Cabernet Sauvignon
- Winery — Treana
- Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles
- Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
- Aroma — Plum, Vanilla, Chocolate, Cocoa, Oak
- Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
- Taste — Plum, Black Cherry, Blackberry, Vanilla, Nutmeg, Oak
- Alcohol Content — 14.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Raclette, Bolognese Pasta, T-Bone Steak, Beef Roast, Pork Chops
Cabernet Sauvignon has played a major role in the Hope Family wine’s long wine-growing history. Austin Hope spent his life growing these varietals, with three mentors playing a significant role in shaping his winemaking skills. Austin’s father Chuck Hope, his uncle Paul, and winemaker Chuck Wagner taught him not only about perseverance but also about the best way to craft the world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
As a tribute to these men, Austin created Treana wines, inspired by the three elements crucial for growing grapes — the sun, soil, and sea. Treana’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep purple wine with a red hue that packs in a lot of structure and flavor — a strong contender to be the best red wine with Raclette. It has an intense nose with notes of leather, fresh ground coffee, dark fruits, and berries.
The palate is equally complex with flavors of warm vanilla, black cherry, blackberry, nutmeg, spicy black pepper, and toasted coffee. With refined tannins and a smooth, long finish, it has just the right amount of acidity ideal for pairing with creamy cheese dishes.
Jean-Claude Lapalu Vieilles Vignes Brouilly
- Winery — Jean-Claude Lapalu
- Country/Region — France, Beaujolais, Brouilly
- Type — French Beaujolais
- Aroma — Strawberry, Cherry, Cocoa, Rosemary, Cedar, Clovetertaste
- Grapes — Gamay
- Taste — Raspberry, Bread Crust, Plum, Redcurrant, Forest Floor, Soil, Cinnamon Spice
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Turkey, Beef Bourguignon, Paté, Beefsteak, Veal Stew, Pizza, Indian
Beaujolais is known for its dry and light red wines made from Gamay. And Jean-Claude Lapalu’s Vieilles Vigness Brouilly does not disappoint when it comes to both aroma and taste. Jean-Claude is a third-generation winemaker who implements a traditional approach to winemaking with as little external influence as possible. These elements are clearly evident in this bold red wine.
The Vieilles Vignes Brouilly is a deep red and purple wine that has bright acidity and low tannins. The nose is fruity and juicy with aromas of raspberry, strawberry, candied orange peel, and dark chocolate promising a delicious palate. The citrus and berry flavors are complemented by hints of tart cranberries, herbs, and spices. It has balanced minerality and a persistent finish.
The best wines to pair with Raclette are those with enough acidity to complement the richness of the cheese. Your drink serves as a refreshing flush for your palate, given that this dish can be quite overwhelming with its flavors and fat content. With this list, you can find that perfect wine to enjoy with any Raclette meal. Explore both red and white wines to treat your palate to this extravaganza of cheesy delight.