Fall is beautiful, colourful and very romantic. November rains are an invitation to cozy up indoors and appreciate the simple joys of life: the comforting presence of a loved one, a great meal and an intoxicating glass of wine. Forget your worries, embrace the moment and ask your better half to join you for an intimate dinner of cheese fondue and great wines.
I propose this fondue of Canadian Swiss, Gouda and Cheddar cheese not only for its sensuality and warmth, but also for its wonderful flexibility and simplicity. I invite you to get creative with the dipping ingredients and use harvest vegetables, different breads, fruit and meat. This dish is quick to prepare and leaves you with lots of time to drink wine, eat fondue and gaze into each other’s eyes.
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
1⁄3 cup (80 ml) dried cranberries
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried rosemary
½ lb (225 g) Canadian Gouda cheese, shredded
¼ lb (115 g) Canadian Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ lb (115 g) Canadian Swiss cheese, shredded
1 tbsp (15 ml) corn starch
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a fondue pot over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallot and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, cranberries and rosemary and simmer about 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced to 1/3. Add shredded cheeses and corn starch. Let melt over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Pepper generously. Serve at once with different breads, but also cured meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts, etc.
To go with the fondue, I have a few wine suggestions. The first is a white Jolimont Chasselas 2008, a perfect match for the main course with its gentle flavours of ripened fruit and lively acidity. You could also enjoy a smooth Pierre André Bourgogne Pinot Noir, a dry and light-bodied red with subtle hints of red berries. For dessert, treat yourselves to a delicious sweet wine, such as a heady Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2007 or a stimulating Fleur Du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2008.
Here’s to a fun evening of food, wine and romance.