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What alcohol to drink with fondue?

Fondue is a delicious melted cheese or chocolate dish that originated in Switzerland and France in the 17th century. It is usually eaten by dipping bread, vegetables, or fruit into the melted cheese or chocolate. Fondue is meant to be a social dish shared with friends and family. An important part of the fondue experience is pairing it with the right alcoholic beverage. But what alcohol goes best with fondue?


Wine is the most traditional alcohol pairing for fondue. The rich, creamy melted cheese or chocolate complements fruity and dry wines quite nicely. Here are some specific wines to consider:

  • Dry White Wine – A dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay has crisp acidity that balances the richness of the cheese or chocolate.
  • Sparkling Wine – The bubbles and acidity of Champagne, Prosecco, or Cremant cleanse the palate with each bite.
  • Rose Wine – A pink rose with fruity flavors contrasts the savory cheese fondue.
  • Light Red Wine – A chilled Beaujolais, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc have just enough body and fruit for melted cheese.

When choosing a wine, it is usually best to stick to a lighter style. Heavy oaked Chardonnays or high alcohol wines will overwhelm the delicate flavors of the fondue. Sparkling wines and dry whites are very versatile with different cheese or chocolate fondues.


While wine may be the traditional fondue alcohol, many people enjoy pairing fondue with beer as well. The slight bitterness and carbonation of beer cleanses the palate and acts as a great contrast to melted rich cheese and chocolate.

Crisp pilsners and lagers are excellent choices for fondue. They are light in body, high in carbonation, and have a mild bitterness that offsets the creaminess of the fondue perfectly. Belgian ales also pair quite nicely, as the fruity esters complement cheese flavors wonderfully. Here are some types of beers worth trying with fondue:

  • Pilsner
  • Helles Lager
  • Hefeweizen
  • Belgian Pale Ale
  • Witbier

Avoid heavier beers like stouts, porters and IPAs. Their roasted malt profiles and bitterness overwhelm delicate fondue.


Hard cider can be an intriguing fondue pairing as well. The touch of sweetness and bright acidity of cider balances rich cheese and chocolate nicely. Dry ciders work best to cut through the creaminess of the fondue. Avoid overly sweet commercial ciders, as they become cloying with fondue. Look for dry, artisanal ciders as the best pairings.

Fortified and Dessert Wine

While fortified and dessert wines are usually considered too heavy for fondue, they can work nicely with chocolate fondue. The sweetness matches up well with the sweetness of the chocolate. Fortified wines like Port, Sherry, and Madeira complement the flavors of dark chocolate fondue, when served in small 2-3 oz portions. Sweeter style dessert wines also balance the sweetness of the chocolate. German Rieslings like Auslese work very well. Sauternes and Tokaji are also nice options.


After finishing the fondue itself, it is nice to end the meal with a liqueur paired with the chocolate fondue. Having a small amount of chocolate fondue left to dip strawberries, cake or marshmallows into after dinner is delicious. Serving liqueurs like Kirsch, Framboise, Amaretto or Irish Cream at this point pairs nicely and ends the evening on a sweet note.


Unique fondue cocktail pairings are an interesting way to spice up your fondue party. Creating cocktails using flavors that complement the fondue can be fun. For cheese fondue, cocktails using gin, vodka, champagne or wine make good matches. For chocolate fondue, trying cocktail recipes with rum, Kahlua, Irish cream or brandy can provide nice flavor matches.

Here are some specific fondue cocktail ideas:

  • Cheese fondue – Prosecco Spritz, Gin Rickey, White Wine Sangria
  • Chocolate fondue – Brandy Alexander, Rum Old Fashioned, Irish Coffee

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Not everyone drinks alcohol, so having good non-alcoholic beverages is key. Fruit juices, teas, flavored waters, sodas, ginger ale and coffee drinks pair nicely with fondue.

Some specific non-alcholic beverage options include:

  • Apple cider
  • Iced tea
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit juice spritzers
  • Flavored soda water
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate

Tips for Pairing Alcohol with Fondue

Here are some helpful tips for pairing wine, beer and other alcohols with your fondue:

  • Light, crisp and fruity wines work best with cheese fondue
  • Sparkling wines cleanse the palate nicely between bites
  • Dry, effervescent beers offer great contrast to rich cheese
  • Cider can be an interesting alternative to wine or beer
  • Fortified and dessert wines complement chocolate fondue when served in small portions
  • Cocktails can offer fun flavor combinations with fondue themes
  • Always have quality non-alcoholic beverages available as well
  • Encourage guests to sample a variety of different beverage options and see what they enjoy most
  • The key is balancing flavors – too much alcohol can overwhelm the delicate fondue

Classic Fondue and Wine Pairings

Certain types of cheese and chocolate fondues pair particularly well with specific wine varieties. Here are some classic fondue and wine pairings to try:

Fondue Type Wine Pairing
Gruyere Dry Riesling
Emmental Sauvignon Blanc
Raclette Chilled Beaujolais
Fontina or Taleggio Prosecco
Chocolate Moscato d’Asti
Dark Chocolate Ruby Port

Cheese Fondue – Dry Riesling

The high acidity and fruitiness of dry Riesling balances the nutty, slightly sweet flavors of Gruyere cheese perfectly. The wine cuts through the rich fondue for a refreshing pairing.

Chocolate Fondue – Moscato d’Asti

The sweetness of Moscato d’Asti matches beautifully with milk or dark chocolate fondue. The lower alcohol content and effervescence keep the wine from feeling too heavy or cloying with the chocolate.

Fondue Party Beverage Ideas

Hosting a fondue party? Make sure to have a good selection of fondue-friendly beverages on hand so your guests can find something they enjoy. Here are some beverage ideas to stock for your next fondue gathering:

  • 2-3 varieties of dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling
  • 1-2 types of sparkling wine – Prosecco, Cremant, Cava
  • 1 or 2 light red wines – Pinot Noir, Beaujolais
  • Assorted beers – pilsners, lagers, Belgian ales
  • Hard cider
  • Soda, sparkling water, iced tea
  • Coffee/tea station
  • Fortified wines like Port if serving chocolate fondue
  • Related liqueurs – Kirsch, Amaretto

Having a fondue pot warming on the table and a variety of beverages available nearby makes for a great interactive dining experience with friends and family.


The options for alcohol pairings with fondue are nearly endless. Sticking to lighter, more refreshing choices tends to work best. Crisp, dry wines, effervescent ciders and beers, and fruity cocktails complement the melted goodness of cheese or chocolate fondue wonderfully. Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand as fondue and alcohol can get messy! With the right beverage matches, a fondue party is sure to be deliciously cheesy fun.