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  • pot of fondue with two wine glasses

Rich melted cheese, crisp cold bubbles, and the best of company – a fondue party is the perfect cozy-casual winter gathering!

Discover our expert tips, recipes, and pairings to inspire your fondue rendezvous.

Our rich, bright, beautifully balanced wines are the ideal match for your fondue creations.

A Brief History of Fondue

Originating from the Swiss Alps, fondue is a communal dish that symbolizes warmth and camaraderie. Traditionally made with melted cheese and wine, fondue became popular in the 18th century – a delicious way to enjoy leftover cheese and bread during the winter months. Nowadays, it's a festive, casual way to gather around the table!

Tips for Hosting a Fondue Party

  • Set the Scene: Create a cozy atmosphere with dim lighting, easy-vibe music, and comfortable seating around a large table. Floor cushions around a coffee table are a fun option.
  • An Intimate Gathering: We think a table for six is ideal for a fondue party – large enough to feel communal yet small enough that everyone can reach the pot. If you're planning for eight or more guests, supply additional fondue pots for easy access.
  • Prep Ahead: Cut bread, vegetables, and meats beforehand for a seamless experience.
  • Interactive Dining: Guests can dip and share using fondue forks, experimenting with different flavor combinations. Consider serving 2-3 different wines for the ultimate tasting treat.

Types of Fondue Pots

  • Electric Fondue Pots: These pots are versatile, allowing for cheese, chocolate, and oil fondues with easy temperature control without needing an external heat source. The downside is they require proximity to an electrical outlet.

  • Ceramic or Cast-Iron Fondue Pots: These pots offer a more traditional experience and add an elegant touch to your table setting. However, they must be used with a sterno burner or candle.

close up on fondue dip with glass of wine

Classic Cheese Fondue

Serves 6


  • Cheese Blend: 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, grated 1/2 pound Emmentaler cheese, grated (or choose your favorite easy-to-melt cheeses)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sparkling or dry unoaked white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch liqueur or brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • Boiled baby new potatoes, quartered if large
  • Lightly steamed vegetables such as broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, and button mushrooms
  • Sliced firm apples such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady
  • Cooked sliced artisan smoked sausage
  • Cubes of French, sourdough, and/or pumpernickel bread


1) Combine grated cheeses with the cornstarch in a medium bowl, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
2) Bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat in a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan.
3) Gradually add the cheeses to the simmering liquid, stirring constantly until thoroughly melted to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy and nutmeg.
4) Transfer the hot fondue into a ceramic or cast iron fondue pot over a sterno or candle heat source. Arrange dipping ingredients on a platter. Provide fondue forks or wooden skewers for dipping and serve with the Domaine Carneros wines of your choice.

Remember, the key to a great fondue is not just the ingredients but the company you share it with. Enjoy crafting this delicious cheese fondue and pairing it with your favorite wines for an unforgettable dining experience.

In addition to enjoying fondue with our quintessential Estate Brut, Sparkling Winemaker Zak Miller loves pairing this recipe with our soon-to-be-released Pinot Clair (stay tuned for April 1).

"The tension between the wine's fruit (white cherry, pear, etc.) and its epic minerality is really the thing that sets our Pinot Clair (white pinot noir) apart. This combination alongside melted Gruyere and bread is just classic!"

Decadent Dark Chocolate Fondue


  • 8-10 ounces of high-quality dark chocolate: Choose chocolate with a cocoa content of around 60-70% for a deep, rich flavor that isn't overly bitter.
  • 1 cup of heavy cream: This will give the fondue a creamy, smooth texture.
  • A pinch of sea salt: This will enhance the chocolate's flavor.
  • Optional flavor enhancers: Consider a dash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon for added depth.


1) Break the dark chocolate into small pieces for even melting.
2) In a saucepan over low-medium heat, gently heat the heavy cream until it's warm but not boiling.
3) Add the chocolate pieces to the cream, stirring constantly until fully melted and smooth.
4) Stir in a pinch of sea salt, mixing well.
5) Transfer to a fondue pot to keep warm, using a low heat source to prevent the chocolate from seizing.


Offer a variety of dippers that complement dark chocolate, such as:

  • Fresh strawberries, raspberries, oranges, and bananas
  • Pretzels, graham crackers, and biscotti
  • Cubes of pound cake or angel food cake
  • Dried fruit like apricots or figs

Enjoy this dark chocolate fondue with our fruity, floral Brut Rosé or especially rich Late Disgorged Brut Rosé.