French Grilled Cheese and Drappier Rose de Saignée Champagne #Winophiles

This month the French #Winophiles, a group of wine and food writers with a passion for French food, wine and travel, are diving into French Wine and Cheese!

Given my regular participation in the French #Winophiles group events, it’s not a stretch to imagine I have a bunch of French wine at my fingertips.

I do not.

Let’s just say I’m a “think global, drink local” kind of guy and I live within a 90 minute drive of the Livermore, Lodi, Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Cruz Mountain AVAs.

But there is one type of French wine I always have on hand – Champagne!  As such, picking a wine for this month’s theme was easy.

The Wine

This multi-vintage Drappier Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut was made using the saignée method with maceration in vats lasting 3 days.  It underwent natural malolactic fermentation.  It is unfiltered, and there is minimal use of sulfur.  After bottling the cuvée is aged for 2 to 3 years sur lattes (on laths) Dosage: 7.5 g/l


My tasting notes follow:

Color – Deep pink
Aromas – Red fruits, citrus zest, fresh biscuit dough, and subtle floral notes
Body – Medium-bodied, dry and very fresh with a delicate creamy mousse and an appealing vinous character
Taste – Raspberries, rainier cherry, ripe strawberry,  blood orange, spice and a hint of candied ginger underpinned with a chalky minerality
Finish – Long

12% abv. |100% Pinot Noir | 90pts

I purchased this bottle at my local Costco for $29.99.  Under $30 for a  Rosé Champagne of this quality?  Yes, please!

The Wine and Cheese Pairing

The most well-known French grilled cheese sandwich is the Croque Monsieur, made with ham and Gruyère on pain au levain, with a béchamel sauce covering it all.  I opted for a meatless version based a Food Republic French Grilled Cheese recipe. The recipe captures the spirit of the classic Croque Monsieur, with roasted red peppers standing in for the ham and no sauce.

I used two French cheeses – 15 month aged Comté  and Chaumes.

Comté is  a semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté  province of eastern France.  It is the highest production of all French AOC cheeses, at around 64,000 tons annually.

Chaumes is a soft cheese made in the southwest of France in the village of St Antoine, at the foothills of the French Pyrénées. The washed rind and soft-ripened cheese are made using ancestral methods with pasteurized cow’s milk. I chose the Chaumes thinking it might be a bit of a substitute for the béchamel.


I cooked the sandwiches in a cast iron skillet and they turned out very well. This is a rich, almost decadent grilled cheese sandwich and it was wonderful paired with the Drappier Rosé de Saignée Brut!   

Looking for French wine and cheese pairing inspiration?  Look no further than these delicious posts!

If you’re up early enough, we’ll be chatting about French Wine and Cheese on Saturday, June 11th at 8a PT/11a ET.  We love visitors and this promises to be a yummy chat.  Just follow the #winophiles hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation! À votre santé!


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  1. holy cow! I’m drooling over this pairing!

  2. advinetures says:

    What an absolute stunning pairing…we are big fans of Drappier (well any champagne really) and that grilled cheese looks beyond decadent!

  3. asiantestkitchen says:

    I’ve never tried champagne with grilled cheese, but it does sound like the grown up thing to do, especially with comte!

  4. Pinny Tam says:

    I should try the Drappier Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut. It seems very delicious and so versatile! Like you I always have a go-to Champagne. But mine is the Ployez Jacquemart Extra Quality Brut.

    The grilled cheese sandwich is just so picture perfect – I bet it tastes even better! Thanks again for all the work putting into this month’s blog!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      I haven’t had the Ployez Jacquemart! I’ll have to look for it Pinny!

  5. lizbarrett says:

    OMG, that sammie! Looks amazing and YASSSS – Champagne all day with that! Great inspiration, Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Liz!

  6. I have made your French grilled cheese sandwich! So funny, I was thinking I’ve made a similar grilled cheese and checked out your link, I have Georgeanne Brennan’s cookbook “La Vie Rustic” where it appears. My notes by the recipe are marked “excellent.” Your sandwich looks just like the photo in the cookbook! Now I just need my Costco to carry Drappier Champagne!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      So cool that you’ve also made this grilled cheese Jane! And like you, I thought it was “excellent” Cheers!

  7. I am absolutely in love with the pairing idea! The grilled cheese looks amazing and seems completely perfect with the sparkling rosé. Everytime I look at the photo I drool! I am craving this so much. Expect to see me try to recreate this soon on instagram. Genius pairing!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Robin. I was a delightful pairing!

  8. Penny Sadler says:

    mmmmm…. LOVE grilled cheese. This is an inspired pairing. Well done!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Penny! I do love me some grilled cheese!

  9. This looks and sounds like a heavenly pairing Martin! And, I am completely unfamiliar with sur lattes aging so that is going on my list of things to investigate!

  10. Lynnynn says:

    What?!? No béchamel sauce on your grilled cheese? I adore Drappier, especially the Brut Nature but have yet to taste the rosé. BTW, Mark gave your sandwich a huge YES! Thank you for hosting Martin ;-D

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Ha! The grilled cheese was decadent enough without the Bechamel! I love that Drappier Brut Nature too!

  11. Payal Vora says:

    Chaumes and Comté – cheeses after my own heart! Your grilled cheese looks delish. Thanks for hosting Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      My pleasure Payal! Thanks for participating!

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