Gridiron Grilled Cheese Bowl: Be a winner with your Ultimate Super Bowl Sandwich Pairing

It’s time to talk football-watching food and drink, and since our bi-coastal Super Bowl XLIX contenders have football fans “sandwiched,” I propose the ultimate Super Bowl sandwich pairing with that great American favorite—grilled cheese. So even if your team’s not in the Super Bowl, you can still be a winner.

Propose your ultimate grilled cheese sandwich and wine pairing, for a chance to win my The ONE wine glasses, a signed copy of Laura Werlin’s Grilled Cheese, Please! book, and a sixpack of Washington State wines hand-selected by me and my friends at the Washington Wine Commission.

My friend and America’s cheese goddess Laura Werlin has graciously agreed to judge the finalists and pick a winner. Two “pro bowler” runner-ups will win a signed book and The ONE glasses. A complete entry includes your grilled cheese sandwich description and perfectly-paired beverage–i.e., New England cheddar on apple butter-slathered cinnamon-raisin bread with Eroica Riesling; or, Beecher’s Flagship on Sourdough with Gordon Biersch Seattle Hefeweizen…you get the idea. (You need not pair with a wine, though I happen to know Laura is a wine and cheese pairing whiz:) You can check out her website and books for inspiration, or maybe show a little hometown team pride by featuring your local cheese, bread or beverage in your pairing. In the end creative, crusty and oozey with a tasty chaser, will win. Descriptors are nice, too: Laura probably knows every cheese out there, but a few words about your pairing’s team members might score more points.

To be eligible to win, your entry MUST be posted in the comments section on this page, and of course I’d be thrilled for you to share the post with your peeps. Entries may be posted until the end of the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl XLIX live broadcast on February 1, 2015, and winners will be announced after the end of the game. Read here for prize details and the contest fine print.

12 replies
  1. Jim Schaffer
    Jim Schaffer says:

    Sparkling White would be my go-to with but, since we’re talking Washington state, let’s go with Chateau St. Michelle! My sandwich would be a thick cut Brioche with smoked salmon and a trio of gruyere, Irish cheddar and cooper sharp.

  2. Dan Fredman
    Dan Fredman says:

    I’m going to stick with semi-local cheese and wine from the USA, but all showing international tendencies and inspiration.

    Sandwich 1: I’m a big fan of the texture, flavor and aroma of Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog but it’s not really geared for grilled cheese sandwiches (it can get runny). So my modified version is to toast up slices from some rustic loaf (La Brea Bakery or Acme if you can get it), scrape some garlic around the edges, lay a slice of Humboldt Fog on there, sprinkle a little fennel pollen on the cheese, add a couple of slices of La Quercia (local in where, Indiana?) prosciutto on top and then put it the sandwich in a fry pan with melted butter in it just enough to heat the sandwich and warm up the prosciutto and get the cheese warm and runny.

    Wine Pairing: You want something bold that’ll frame the flavors of the cheese—I’d go with one of the smaller Sonoma County producers working with fruit from the Gap’s Crown Vineyard, arguably one of the vineyards in California that would merit inclusion on a list of the state’s Grand Cru vineyards, should such a list ever be compiled. There are a number of wineries sourcing fruit from Gap’s, but I’d go with a 2011 from Trombetta Family Winery or Wind Gap. Courtesy of the growing conditions of that vintage, both have a leanness to them but there’s power and structure going on that’ll counter the zaftig character and rich flavors of the La Quercia and Humboldt Fog. I think the wine would enhance the grilled cheese and the sandwich will enhance the wine, the best of all possible worlds.

    Sandwich 2: Going back to Cypress Grove (no biz connection, just fresh on my mind from a recent tasting), but this time for their Truffle Tremor cheese. No grape variety works better with truffles than Nebbiolo, and although one’s natural inclination would be to opt for some big-time Barolo or Barbaresco, a basic Langhe Nebbiolo would better suit the sandwich and save tons of money. But we’ll go with California Nebbiolo anyway. You want bread that’s kind of neutral — Whole Foods’ Paisano loaf is my go-to for such situations …don’t be mingy with the Truffle Tremor but you want to find that fine line of being able to grill the sandwich in the pan without the cheese oozing out all over the place. Grill in a pan (grungy old cast iron is preferred) coated with good-quality butter until the bread has browned and the cheese is runny but not burnt.

    Wine Pairing: Really good Nebbiolo is being grown in California and there are now winemakers here who know what to do with it. They’ve worked in Italy and have an appreciation for the traditions there but have adapted that to the fruit they’re harvesting here. Although you have to look for these wines, I’d look for Nebbiolo produced by Giornata (Paso Robles), Clendenen Family Winery, or Palmina (both Santa Barbara County). These tend toward the ephemeral aromatic delicacy of their Piedmontese cousins but show enough California fruit to let them shine alongside a truffled grilled cheese sandwich.

  3. michele
    michele says:

    Brioche bread + carmelized onions + roasted garlic +roasted red pepper + Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Smoked Fontina + Washington Treveri Cellars Sparkling Rosé = YUM!

  4. Juli C
    Juli C says:

    Obelisco Chardonnay with Cougar Gold cheese, bacon, granny smith apples and fig jam on a delicious, hearty, Macrina bread! My mouth is watering thinking about it 🙂 Love that fatty, sweet, savory combo with such a crisp, delightfully clean Chard (the best Chard in the state in my opinion)!

  5. Kristi Simmons
    Kristi Simmons says:

    Local bread from Snohomish bakery with Beechers flagship cheese. Paired with Smasne Malbec or Obliesco Reserve Merlot. Ok now i need to make this!! 🙂

  6. Jenny Taylor
    Jenny Taylor says:

    Smokey provolone with
    Colby jack on buttered toasty Ciabatta. Serve with hearty tomato bisque & fresh basil. Wash down with Luzianne Sweet tea and homemade fresh peach cobbler. Enjoy y’all!


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