Posted on October 28, 2017

Sip and Savor: The magic of Port wine and grilled cheese sandwiches

Savoring the seductive dance of sweet and salty flavors

There’s something sensual about pairing Port wine with a grilled cheese sandwich, something no doubt to do with the seduction of this fortified sweet wine married with the lusciousness and the brash saltiness of cheese.

That’s what I decided to tackle with the help of chef Johnny Jantz and his partner Shaana Rahman, owners of Boccabella Olive Farms in San Miguel. With 30 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality business, Jantz, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, was up for the pairing adventure. Besides he had recently nabbed the best chef award at the 19th annual Winemakers’ CookOff for his brilliant grilled cheese sandwich served with tomato bisque.

Jantz, who grew up in Lompoc and later traveled far and wide, from California and Montana to Hawaii and Japan as a chef and culinary consultant, was drawn back to his Central Coast roots to purchase the ten-acre olive ranch four years ago with his partner Rahman.

I gathered a selection of Port wines including the legendary Graham’s 10 year aged Tawny Porto and Warre’s Otima 10 from Portugal along with a selection of three Port style wines from Pass Robles — PasoPort, Roxo Port and Adelaida’s The Don.

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