I haven't been fond of Raclette or fondue since I was a stay-at-home Mom ages ago. I would suggest a drinkable Liebfraumilch but am certain that others will ban me from this thread for recommending it. L is one of the laughing-stocks of the wine world. Something that peasants drink. Why not consider an oven-melted brie, v thin butter crackers + a terrific Sauterne?
<<Something that peasants drink.>>
Fear not. Many beautiful, easy-to-drink "peasant" wines are recommended on the Wine Board.
When you find a good, easy-to-drink quaffer that you like, it can easily become a regular wine in your household. Everyone needs pizza wine, spaghetti wine, wine that you can open just because you want a single glass.
re: maria lorraine
Actually we serve it traditionally with hot tea.
One can enjoy wine, beer, or tea with Raclette. Fendant, the local wine, is not a great one at that. One can do much better.
Many here prefer Austrian, French, German, ( Red and White ) or if we can afford it, wines from California.
I prefer the dish with a Riesling, an Österreicher ( a Sylvaner white from Austria ), or my favorite, a good Müller-Thurgau. The latter is a good, inexpensive fruity wine well paired with Raclette, and found in Germany, Austria, and the Südtirol-Alto Adige region of Italy.
Keep in mind the local legend has been to avoid any of the Châteaux Faucet varietals ( or water) with Raclette, as it supposedly hardens the cheese in the stomach.
Originally fondues were made with a variety of wines, one of the most successful was and is Chasselas, the grape of Fendant. l prefer the ones from Alsace as they seem bigger. Barmes-Buchler makes a very good example and sells in the 15-20 range. Regretfully not that many are imported anymore. Whether they are not being made or just not being imported l do not know.
Love Barmes Buecher's wines. I don't think they currently bottle a Chasselas, and what little they grow, they blend into their Edlelzwicker, which they have named "Sept Grains." It would be a very good choice for fondue or raclette.
Agree with recs above. IMHO, ideal wines for raclette/fondue should be unoaked, have firm acidity, and not floral/tropical in profile (think Conundrum or NZ SB would not be tasty). Wines from the Savoy are very food friendly and would fit the adage, "If it grows together, it goes together."
If you wish to stay consistent with regional wine pairings in Switzerland or France,
you should look for Fendant du Valais or Roussette de Savoie. Both are inexpensive
wines (about $15). Looking at K&L's website, they have a Roussette de Savoie
available for $11, I don't know the producer (Frederic Giachino) so I cannot comment.
The grape used in Roussette is called Altesse, and it may have been brought back from Cyprus
at the time of the Crusades (the origin is disputed).
Seriously; when I lived in SoCal a decade ago, there was a lovely crepe shop owned by a Brittany couple and they were making Raclette crepes for themselves only. I asked about it and they said it was usually too stinky for Americans so they never bothered to put it on the menu.
I brought in a bottle of Conundrum and ordered the Raclette crepe, inviting them to a glass. They had never tasted such a perfect pairing and to this day, it is my go-to white wine for Raclette.
Conundrum is an off-dry wine that usually sports a big perfumey nose due to the fairly high amount of really ripe viognier involved in the blend. The alcohol tends to run a bit high on this wine, too, close to 15%. That's not to everyone's taste; it wouldn't be to mine.
Brad's suggestion of an Alsatian Pinot Blanc is a good one. The Altesse someone else mentioned and the possibility of a good minerally Graves white (because of the Semillon) that no one else has mentioned but I would, are also good options.