Grilled Wine & Cheese

Just when I think I’ve tried every possible technique for making sandwiches on this blog I find a new concept that begs me to try it. Have you ever brushed wine inside a grilled cheese sandwich? I was browsing the recipe section of the Panera Bread website when I saw a recipe for Grilled Gruyère on Asiago Cheese Bread calling for dry white wine to be brushed inside the bread. That idea was new to me. And highly appealing.

In a way, it’s not so different from drizzling vinegar or vinaigrettes on a sandwich – it just adds flavor. Come to think of it, wine and cheese are the most natural pairing on the planet. We all should have been drizzling wine on grilled cheese all along!

In case you’re up for giving it a try – or you just want to choose a wine to fill your glass along with your grilled cheese – I found a helpful cheese pairing tool to help guide your choices. Here are a few great-for-grilling cheeses and their recommended wine counterparts:

Wine & Grilled Cheese Pairings

I swept chardonnay inside my bread on this Grilled Gruyère sandwich and that extra, surprising little hint of flavor was wonderful. But lest I lead you into thinking this sandwich was all about the wine, that definitely was not the case. The Gruyère itself is the true star, as well it should be. The wine, Dijon mustard, onions and tomatoes only enhance the flavor of the cheese. The Asiago bread itself, which I picked up from Panera, lent some salty-nutty flavor as well and was perfect for grilling.

While this sandwich isn’t actually available on the menu at Panera, you can find the recipe for it as well as many other innovative off-the-menu items on their website.

This is the third and final post in a series sponsored by Panera Bread. While I have been compensated for writing this post, the opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

Grilled Gruyere on Asiago Cheese Bread

Grilled Gruyère on Asiago Cheese Bread

Adapted from the Grilled Gruyère on Asiago Cheese Bread recipe on the Panera Bread website

Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 16 min | Total time: 26 min

Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 1 ounce dry white wine
  • Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices Asiago cheese bread (such as from Panera Bread)


  1. Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.
  2. For each sandwich, moisten the bottom piece of toasted bread with wine using a pastry brush or your fingertips. Next, spread mustard on bottom piece of bread, then add one fourth of the cheese, tomato, and onion. Grind a generous amount of pepper over the sandwich and top with another slice of bread.
  3. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Serve immediately and enjoy!




KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Shaina wrote:

    Oh, this is such a fantastic idea. I can’t wait to try it.

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  2. I’m in love! What an excellent idea – and that chart with the wine pairings – perfect!

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  3. Really good idea. Could you tell the difference between the Chardonnay and the white wine in the Dijon mustard?

    I wonder what cheese a muscat would go with.

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Ha ha, can’t say for sure whether my palate could discern the difference but, hey, a little extra flavor never hurts.

      Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  4. Fantastic idea. This is going to totally change the way I make grilled cheese sandwiches!

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  5. I LOVE THIS IDEA! Going to have to remember that one for creating future grilled cheese recipes!

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  6. Nicole wrote:

    Sounds like a great idea!

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  7. Maria wrote:

    Great combo!

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  8. Julie M. wrote:

    Oh yum! That sounds so delicious! I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before. I’m definitely trying it out.

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  9. Mike wrote:

    What a great idea! I love some balsamic vinegar in my panini, so this sounds awesome! Cooking down some red wine would probably be really delicious…

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  10. This sandwich is right up my alley. Nice to have found your site:) I adore panini.

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  11. Karen wrote:

    I just wish I could be part of your taste tester team….this sounds fabulous!

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  12. Carole wrote:

    What a great idea! thanks for sharing it. I look forward to trying it soon.

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  13. Genie wrote:

    Absolutely amazing way to transform a classic, simple dish into something spectacular.

    Posted 4.9.11 Reply
  14. Wine inside a grilled cheese…who would have thunk it. Brilliant idea.

    Posted 4.11.11 Reply
  15. Oh you are on to something here! What a great idea!

    Posted 4.11.11 Reply
  16. I was wondering how you were going to get the wine in there. I will definitely have to try a wine grilled cheese sandwich!

    Posted 4.13.11 Reply
  17. Megan wrote:

    I love Gruyere and this gives me a reason to have wine with lunch!!!

    Posted 4.14.11 Reply
  18. My best friend is going to flip out when she sees your cheese-wine pairing. I’m going to to send this to her immediately! Looking forward to meeting you at the upcoming SD Bloggers Bake Sale 🙂

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  19. marla wrote:

    Girl this is genius!!! Love it. A little bit of everything in each bite.

    Posted 4.23.11 Reply