Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Zinfandel Fondue


This recipe is from Fondue: Great Food to Dip, Dunk, Savor and Swirl by Rick Rodgers. I think I’ve had it for about five years but I haven’t used it before this batch of fondue. Why use it now? Well, jwa got me this awesome fondue pot for my birthday! It was on my Amazon wish list but I didn’t really expect to get it (because, dude, it’s a $135(!!) fondue pot), and he completely surprised me with it.

I thought he was going to get me the tea kettle on my list and I picked up the box and thought, “Damn. This is very heavy for a tea pot.” Well, that’s because it was a cast iron fondue pot. Hooray!

For the first recipe, I thought and thought. Then I thought about it some more. What is worthy of the first fondue in this great new pot? Well, one that has red wine, a whole block of Tillamook extra sharp cheddar and two heads of roasted garlic, that’s what.


For the fuel, I went to the Williams-Sonoma by work and got a 3-pack of those gel tubs for fondue pots. It worked just fine in the burner. Oh and in my haste to start snacking (I mean, c’mon — it’s a whole pot of melted cheese and wine!!!), I forgot to wipe down the edges of the pot. So, pictures are not as pretty but we were dipping faster. Hey, it’s a trade off I’m willing to live with.

Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Zinfandel Fondue
1 cup Zinfandel wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup roasted garlic puree (2 heads of garlic, roasted, then squeezed out and mashed with a fork)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Start by preparing your dippers. Cut up the bread, blanch the broccoli and brown the sausage.


When that is all done, bring the zinfandel and red wine vinegar to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Then, in a bowl, toss the grated cheeses with the cornstarch. Add a handful of the cheese at a time to the simmering wine and vinegar, stirring until melted. Continue adding by the handfuls until it is all incorporated.


Next, whisk in the roasted garlic and add the pepper flakes. Taste and add a little salt and pepper to taste.


Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and serve immediately. Keep hot over a fondue burner. Dip with broccoli, browned turkey sausage and hunks of bread — we used cubes of pumpernickel and some olive ciabatta.


For the broccoli, I just blanched the broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes.


Using the cheddar worked pretty well. The fondue had a very smooth consistency at first but towards the end of the pot, it did get a little grainy. I didn’t mind too much (and jwa not at all) because the flavor was so good. I’m thinking some sort of chocolatey dessert fondue next.

10 Replies to “Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Zinfandel Fondue”

  1. Christy: remember that fondue we made in my apt in muncie? I think that’s when we were keeping that journal for Liisa and we wrote everything down…So funny 🙂

  2. Please specify WHITE Zinfandel on this. I used regular Zinfandel and ruined the fondue i made for my wife. On Valentines day of all days. 🙁 she refused to eat it because it was purple.

  3. Hi Carlos:
    Sorry, I don’t know what to tell you — I used zinfandel wine in mine. NOT white zinfandel. Ours turned out a dark orangeish/red.
    Again, I’m very sorry that yours was an unappetizing color for your wife on Valentine’s Day! 🙁
    The recipe is from “Fondue: Great Food to Dip, Dunk, Savor and Swirl by Rick Rodgers” and specified zinfandel wine there as well.

  4. Ahh its because I used white Cheddar. She likes the white one more than the regular. I’ll be honest, I tried it and it was awesome. Guess the Purple dip just didn’t look as good as it tasted. Thanks anyways.

  5. That would give you purple! 🙂
    But, if you want to try this again sometime with white cheddar, I would just use a sauvingnon blanc or chardonnay with the cheese. That would work and not give you a funky color!

  6. so you cooked in the other pot the whole time instead of the fondue pot. seems like a waste. Cna you just use the fondue pot?

  7. cassie: my fondue pot is stove-top safe so I cooked in in that. Per the original directions in the cookbook, a saucepan is used, which is what you want to use if your fondue pot is not stove-top safe.
    If you fondue pot can be used on the stove-top, just use that! 🙂

  8. I was searching through Google doing research for a blog article, when I found this blog, and while not what I was exactly looking for I found it very informative and interesting and I will certainly try this recipe myself. Thanks Monica xx

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