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Raclette for dinner, what to drink before and after?

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Or during, if you have suggestions, though I am more sure there.

We usually just have the meal, wine with it, and call it a day but this time we'd like to offer a bit of something before and after.

I just bought some Mumm sparklers at the Safeway sale and got all 3 varieties (Brut Prestige, Blanc de Noirs, Cuvee Napa Brut) offered at the 11.70 price. Are any of them appropriate? I do have other things in the house and will be going to the store so I can get something else. I prefer to spend less than about $18. per bottle.

As far as after our meal, maybe we should just sober up and have tea and coffee, but if we want drinks what would you suggest? It's such a rich and filling meal that I doubt we'll want dessert so I may just put out a bowl of clementines. It's a casual group of good friends so I think that's ok. I could add dark chocolates if you think I should.
Personally, I like hot tea with clems but what wine or other beverage sounds good?

Thank you for your help.

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  1. I had raclette in a swiss chalet ... we drank a local white that was similar to a gruner veltliner ... I'd say your bubbles would also be appropriate as before, as the flavors of raclette are so delicate ... you could also serve a white from alsace ...something while still being dry has a nice bit of fruit .. even a dry ries. could work.
    Maybe after .. something like a dessert wine pedro jimenez type, something that has a warm nuttiness to it ..

    4 Replies
    1. re: oliveoyl

      Thank you for your help. We had the bubbly before, then had an alsatian blend with the meal. It was good but slightly sweet for an Alsatian, and a bit sweeter than I usually like. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it though, and my husband thought it was a very good pairing. As it happened, more friends came along later on and brought some of their home brew (pumpkin spice ale which sounds criminal but actually turned out to be good) so after eating we sat around and had a glass of beer with our clementines and box of chocolates.

      We first had raclette at the home of a family that lives in the French alps, just outside of Geneva. We fell in love with it and bought a grill for ourselves once we got home. It is so delicious!

      I know precious little about dessert wines but warm nuttiness sounds nice, I may have to seek out the type you mentioned and give it a go.

      Thank you again for your help. Our family will be having a repeat supper tomorrow because I have so much food and I think we may try a Savoie wine I picked up this weekend, or a beaujolais that we like with raclette.

      1. re: fern

        I seem to remember from an old Chowhound posts that some people really like pairing raclette with Caymus Conundrum. Here is the url, from 2002. Relevant quote:
        "I simply put a slice [of raclette] on a piece of baguette and grill it in my toaster oven. I have done that for many an impromptu gathering and all my friends have been blown away by how the Conundrum goes with it."

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/290919

        1. re: akowit

          Yes, I'd love to try that one day! I remembered hearing that somewhere (perhaps on the thread you linked here!) and actually looked at one this weekend in a wine shop but it was about $30. That was over budget as I needed a few bottles. Thank you very much for the info and link. I'll bookmark it so when it's just the two of us at home we can throw a shoe and pop for a bottle.

          1. re: fern

            If you like Conundrum ( which I believe is no longer technically Caymus) try Sokol Blosser's Evolution #9 from Oregon.

    2. If you're serving raclette with cured meats, my first choice overall would be a riesling around kabinett ripeness...

      If going with a champagne then I would prefer something not brut-dry... look at an extra sec here.

      1. Swiss friends of ours do a raclette party a couple of times each winter. (We're having one this Saturday, in fact.) They tell me that the traditional beverage to drink with raclette is kirsch. However, some of us (like me) don't particularly like kirsch, and prefer a dry riesling.

        We usually do chocolate fondue for dessert, which is not particularly traditional nor probably particularly sensible after all the cheese, but it's a fun group activity :-).