The Pairing: Gruyere + Red Onion Jam

The Cheese: Gruyere (Cow, Switzerland)

Okay, so you all know by now that Gruyere is my favorite cheese ever in life. It’s amazing. It’s a great melting cheese, which is one of the reasons I love it, but it’s also great at room temperature with a hunk of bread. Gruyere is a Swiss mountain cheese which is firm to semi-firm and made by a cooked and pressed method. Gruyere is aged for at least 6 months, and it has a nutty, fruity slightly salty on the start and somewhat sweet flavor profile. They come in large wheels, as is common of these mountain cheeses.

Pay attention when you buy a “Gruyere”. Some local grocery stores are selling a rind-less factory produced cheese that they call Gruyere. This is not Gruyere. It is a poser Gruyere that will make you love it when you see it and then break your heart when you taste it. Pay attention to the rind, as well as the consistency of the paste — it should be firm, not floppy.

The Accompaniment: Red Onion Jam (Martha Stewart)

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dry red Zinfandel

1. Cut up the onions

2. Place oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, and cook until they begin to soften and become translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add sugar and continue cooking for 1 minute.

3. Carefully add vinegar and wine. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook until liquid has evaporated and onions are caramelized.

Note: Once it was done, I chopped the jam up more to make sure it was spreadable.

Why This Pairing Works: Think about an awesome sandwich you’d like to have. A melty panini with red onion jam and gruyere? Amazing. The sourness of the jam (by way of vinegar) partners well with the sweet notes of the Gruyere. And the zinfandel cooks down so that what’s left over is just right for this flavor profile.

Wine Reco: Champagne or Red Zinfandel

~ Dana