We're approaching the dead of winter on the East coast, and the chilly and intermittently snowy days just make me want to invite the whole gang over for an 'apres-ski' themed Fondue Night. It's fun, it's retro, it's wintery, and there are so many awesome drink options to play with.
I give you the OFFICIAL FONDUE PARTY RULES:
Rule #1: If a woman drops her bread in the fondue pot, she has to kiss every man at the table.
Rule #2: If a man drops his bread in the fondue pot, he has to buy a bottle of wine for everyone at the table (I LOVE this rule btw).
What's not to love about a) warm cheese, b) melted chocolate, c) tons of wine, and c) smooches galore? Sounds like my kind of evening. SO, invite some cuties over, pop in your fireplace DVD, grab some killer fondue recipes- and give these drinks suggestions a try!
5 Perfect Drink Pairings For Your Fondue Party
1. Kickoff Cocktail: Kirsch Punch
Cheese Fondue will traditionally have a splash of kirsch in it- which is a dry cherry brandy. I love this one from Trimbach. Why not mix the rest of the bottle into a festive cocktail? You will need:
1/2 cup kirsch
1/2 cup white wine, such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc (you can absolutely cheap out on this, no one will be able to tell)
2 to 4 ounces natural cherry soda
Dried cherries (or brandied cherries if you are fancy!) and lemon twists for garnish
Mix the kirsch, wine and cherry soda in a pitcher and strain into glasses over ice- garnish with cherries and lemon! Extra Credit: throw in a splash of Yellow Chartreuse.
2. Alpine White Wine: Domaine de Montbourgeau L'Etoile Chardonnay 2008, $23
This is a wildly interesting Chardonnay from the Jura- a region in Southeast France that borders the Swiss Alps. It's really unconventional for a Chardonnay (your friends will not believe it's a Chard)- oxidized on purpose, which may not be for everyone- it's pretty funky! But assuming you have some delicious, slightly funky Alpine Cheese fondue cooking, why not choose a wine to match?
3. Alpine Red Wine: J. Hofstatter Lagrein 2014, $20
Lagrein is a red grape grown primarily in Italy's Alto Adige- a region so far to the north in Alpine Italy that it practically touches Austria and Switzerland! Lagrein is fresh, aromatic, lightly spicy, slightly velvety, and truly seductive... full of forest berry fruit. Hofstatter makes a great one!
4. Belgian Farmhouse Saison Ale: Ommegang Hennepin, 750ml $8
For your beer option, The Farmhouse Saison category will be perfection with fondue. The Hennepin is bright and lively and it's really effervescent like a Champagne- but it's brewed with ginger and other spices so it's refreshing, yet warming.
5. Nightcap: Poire Williams Eau de Vie
The Swiss traditionally pass around a pear brandy called 'Poire Williams' as soon as the flame under the fondue pot is blown out. This is a real showstopper at a party because there is an entire pear inside the bottle! To achieve this, Poire Williams producers actually attach the glass bottles to pear tree branches so the pears grow right inside. It can be hard to find in the US but it's worth it for sheer dramatic effect! If you can't score one of these impressive bottles, an easy sub is Trimbach William Poire Brandy ($20 for 375ml).