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Dining Tip: Alpine Cheese Fondue With Herbs

Warming, easy and party-ready, fondue is the perfect winter treat. Here's how the chef at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colo., perhaps America's top fondue restaurant, does it

Posted: January 19, 2015

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Dec. 31, 2014 issue of Wine Spectator, "The Top 100."

Alpine Cheese Fondue with Herbs

Recipe courtesy of Swiss Chalet restaurant at the Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail, Colo.

• 1 cup dry, fruity white wine such as Chasselas, plus more if needed
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 pound cheese (equal parts Gruyère, Vacherin Fribourgeois and Appenzeller), shredded
• 2 tablespoons Kirschwasser or cherry brandy
• 4 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3/4 cup cold water
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Freshly ground white pepper to taste
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
• 2 crusty baguettes, cut into bite-sized cubes, lightly toasted (optional)

1. Set up a fondue pot with a heat source underneath.

2. Place the wine and garlic in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the liquid is hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shredded cheese by the handful, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Adjust the heat so the cheese melts slowly and does not boil.

3. If the mixture is thin (or if it separates), stir in small amounts of the dissolved cornstarch until the fondue is the consistency of cake batter. If the mixture is too thick, dilute by stirring in additional wine. Season with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Stir in the Kirschwasser, chopped chives and minced parsley, and transfer to the fondue pot for serving. Serves 4.

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