Cooler weather means it’s time to stay cozy at home with your favorite comfort foods. Tomato soup, casseroles, and warm stews all fit the bill. However, the ultimate comfort food is a perfectly toasty and melty grilled cheese sandwich, and even better, paired with a glass of Chianti wine. Put on flannel PJs, pour yourself a glass of wine, get that grilled cheese ready, add Netflix and a cozy throw…and you’re all set!
To help create the perfect grilled cheese and Chianti pairing, Banfi recently partnered up with The Homestead at Bedford Cheese Shop to dissect what makes the ultimate grown-up grilled cheese. See the tips below, courtesy of the Homestead at Bedford Cheese Shop and Banfi!
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH…paired with wine, of course
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Sweet! The contrast of savory cheese and a sweet jam or honey can make a perfectly sticky mess of a grilled cheese. When choosing a grilled cheese with sweeter notes, pair with a Bolla Chianti. The wine’s tart red cherry profile and nice acidity will make the flavors sing!
2. Avoid Crumble. Crumbly cheese tend to lack the elasticity that makes for a good melting cheese, so steer clear of those if you want a melty sandwich.
3. Look to Alpines. Alpine cheeses are the ultimate melting cheese and they make for a GREAT grilled cheese. Lots of other cheeses make a great melty sandwich, but when in doubt look to Alpines for a sure bet. A great example is Comté. Pair with Banfi Chianti Classico.
4. Don’t Forget the Butter. You might as well go all in when you make a grilled cheese, and buttering the bread is part of that. Not only does butter grease the pan, it adds crunch and an extra layer of delicious to the bread.
5. Texture Matters. Depending on whether you’re going for a smooth and melty sandwich or one that’s got a bit of crunch, think about the texture of the ingredients you are adding. Nuts or a crusty bread can be a great way of bringing in a bit of crunch (in addition to flavor). With those more savory flavors, pair your sandwich with Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva. On the other hand, mustard adds a kick of heat but won’t mess with your perfectly oozy cheese vibe. Try pairing with Bell’Agio Chianti.
6. Be Creative! Sometimes things that don’t seem to go together really do (peanut butter and jelly, anyone?) You only live once–so try out something new.
Rebecca fell in love with wine — Castello Banfi Brunello in particular — on a cliché semester abroad in Italy. A Texas native, she has traveled to wine regions throughout France, as well as to Portugal, South Africa, and across the U.S. In addition to earning a BA from Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Rebecca holds an Advanced with Merit certification from the WSET and was a founding contributor of the popular wine industry blog Terroirist.