Wines that worked with grilled cheese

Dragonette Cellars
Dragonette Cellars: Grilled Cheese sandwiches paired with wines, the sandwiches left to right: The Freshie, the Crostini, the Cheddar and the Gruyere.
(Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times)

The wines that came to the grilled cheese party:

2013 Dragonette Cellars Rosé “Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara” ($22)

Inspired by Bandol rosés, Dragonette’s rosé is now so popular it is allocated. One reason may be the meticulous vineyard management: Grapes are grown specifically for the rosé. Scented with white peaches and apricot and made from a blend of mostly Grenache with Mourvèdre and a touch of Syrah, it is the perfect summer — and spring and fall — aperitif wine. And, of course, it’s great with appetizers, such as Brandon Sparks-Gills’ crostini with goat cheese and Point Reyes Blue, or with a homemade tapenade. Serve it with vegetable crudités too. Or the way they do it in the South of France, with socca (chickpea flour pancakes).

2013 Dragonette Cellars Sauvignon Blanc “Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara” ($28)


The grapes for this lush Sauvignon Blanc come from Grassini Family and Vogelzang Vineyards, half and half. Some California Sauvignon Blancs are just too ripe. Not this one, which strikes a happy balance between beautifully defined fruit and a refreshing minerality. Take a bottle to your favorite Thai restaurant or have it at home with seared scallops, grilled salmon or, before the season is over, Dungeness crab.

2012 Dragonette Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Vogelzang Vineyard “Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara” ($42)

An elegant expression of Sauvignon Blanc, with great depth and the bracing acidity and minerality that make it an ideal wine for food. This one really stood up to the assertive cheddar and pungent Tillamook, mitigating the grilled cheese sandwiches’ richness. Think about this 100% Sauvignon Blanc with sushi and Asian food too. Pull the cork on a bottle to enjoy with as many oysters as you can muster.

2012 Dragonette Cellars Pinot Noir “Santa Rita Hills” ($44)


The fruit for this supple and lovely Santa Rita Hills Pinot comes from several blocks of the John Sebastiano vineyard planted and managed to Dragonette’s specifications. This is such a beauty — and for a Santa Rita Hills Pinot of this quality, a relative bargain. Ready to drink with not only a grilled cheese sandwich but also a roast chicken, grilled lamb chops or a stew, daube or goulash.

2012 Dragonette Cellars Syrah “Seven” ($40)

A blend of grapes from seven cool-climate Syrah sites across Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the lithe 2012 Seven tastes of spice and earth and luscious dark berries. If not with Gruyère on rye, have it with grilled meats, roast leg of lamb and barbecue.

Dragonette Cellars is in Santa Ynez, (805) 688-8440, Their tasting room is at 2445 Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos, (805) 693-0077.

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