To complement the pleasant mustiness of Taleggio cheese, we paired it with grapes bathed in grappa. Delicious for lunch, this sandwich would be equally good cut into rectangles as a quick hors d’oeuvre.
What to buy:
Grappa is a distilled grape liqueur from Italy; it can be found in high-end liquor stores and online. We liked the floral notes of Inga Grappa di Moscato, which doubles as a nice after-dinner drink.
Taleggio is a washed-rind, semisoft cheese from Italy’s Lombardy region.
Combine grapes and grappa in a bowl and let macerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain off excess grappa.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread.
Once the pan is warm, add 1 slice of bread buttered side down, and top with 1/2 of the cheese, all the grapes, and finally the remaining cheese. Close with the second bread slice, buttered side up.
Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.
Beverage pairing:Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir, California. Taleggio can be a strong, musky cheese, so it needs a wine of equal conviction, but with a taste of earthiness itself. That’s why Pinot is a good call, and this well-made wine from California’s Central Coast has all that’s needed to both match the cheese, but also resonate with the grapes.