From Trump to Bake Off, and Brexit to nightmarish Toblerone makeovers, 2016 has been shocking, upsetting and downright bleak. So it stands to reason that we’re all in need of some comfort food – not to mention a glass of wine.
And now, at last, there’s a red wine cheese toastie.
Read more: How to make red wine hot chocolate
Be still our beating hearts…
Bob, the blogger behind BS in the Kitchen, came up with the recipe when he realised that nobody had ever attempted to make a wine and grilled cheese sandwich (that’s a toastie to us Brits) – and has dubbed it as one of the most “refined” snacks he’s ever had the delight of making.
The recipe – which can be found in full here – is pretty simple: make a grilled cheese sandwich as you normally would but add in a red wine reduction.
Ingenious, as you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard already. Think French bread, butter, red onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, flour, red wine and ooey-gooey Gruyere cheese.
Read more: 10 reasons to eat more cheese
Cheese and wine have long been considered one of the perfect foodie sponsored_longforms, and for good reason, too. Earlier this year, scientists asked 31 wine aficionados to sample several different types of wine, both on their own and with a piece of cheese.
The results “showed cheese changed all the wines, and made most more enjoyable”, the Daily Telegraph reported, adding that “none of the four cheeses had a negative impact on any of the wines”.
In layman’s terms, cheese makes wine (particularly red wine) taste even better – and vice versa.
2015 Cuvee Des Galets
Vinalupa's Emily says: “One of my all-time favourite wines for value for money. Medium bodied, spicy and round – this wine is a great all-rounder as it offers a lot of flavour and texture without being too heavy or too light and dry. Blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from Rhone, France.”
2014 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Emily says: “From an organic vineyard, made from the Montepulciano grape in the Italian wine region Abruzzo. Light to medium in body, smooth with dark red fruit notes. This wine works well in the summer as it has a good concentration of flavour and mouthfeel but still at only 13% abv.”
2014 Flor de Maio
Emily says: “A Portuguese blend using the Touriga Nacional from Alentejo. Medium bodied and fruity. This red will work with most dishes but particularly those with lighter meats or with tomato based sauces.”
2013 Puy de Dome Pinot Noir
Emily says: “An excellent Pinot Noir for the price. This is a lighter, purer style of Pinot, but with soft tannins and no oak. The bright red fruit and fresh acidity makes it a great red both with and without food. For those who enjoy a chilled red, this wine would work well for you.”
2013 Heba Morellino di Scansano
Emily says: “A blend of Sangiovese (the Chianti grape) and Syrah from south-west Tuscany, Italy. The winemaker for this estate is also the winemaker for the iconic Tuscan estate Sassicaia. Well balanced with notes of earth and spice. Excellent for any braised dishes or any barbecued meats.”
2014 Le Petit Caboche
Devon, of Blandford Comptoir, says: “At a tasting some months ago, I was struck by this juicy little number. The nose is perfumed with raspberries and spices, and the palate balanced and delicious, with nothing of the cheap, boringly fruity character of so many entry-level Rhone reds. This is the kind of Vin du Pays which rewrites opinions about VdP wines, demands to be drunk rather than cooked with or passed over by high-brow buyers. It looks and tastes more expensive than it is, and I'd happily drink it mid-week or end of week or any time really. Sold!”
2007 Rioja Gran Reserva Lagunilla
Roma's Sarah says: “This red wine is from Bodega and was founded in 1885. This Rioja spends two years in oak casks and three years maturing in bottle making this wine an excellent value. It has deep, rich and luxurious flavours.”
£9.99 (case of six, £11.99 single), majestic.co.uk
2016 Beaujolais Lantignié Louis Jadot
Sarah says: “Maison Louis Jadot is a well-known name in Burgundy, and is a favourite from the heart of the Beaujolais-Villages region. It is a bright and vibrant red that I prefer to drink when slightly chilled.”
£9.99 (case of six, £12.99 single), majestic.co.uk
Guigal Côtes du Rhône
Sarah says: “Rated five stars by influential wine critic Robert Parker, Guigal is again a well-known producer in Rhone and is, in fact, one of France’s top wineries.”
£10.99 (case of six, single £12.99), majestic.co.uk
2012 Poggio Castagno Chianti Classico
Sarah says: “Yes it's a touch over the £10, but this is a classic Chianti with a complex floral aroma. Its spicy notes and hint of wild berries adds a touch of fruitiness to this much-loved red wine.”