Broccoli 'N' Cheese Soup with Wine

Although you couldn't get me to eat oatmeal, I never had a problem finishing my veggies.  Heck, I even liked peas!  Broccoli was always my favorite green veggie.  When served with dinner, I would arrange the brocolli around the top of my pile of mashed potatoes to look like hair.  I would then draw two eyes and a smiley face with my knife, all to the dismay of my grandmother who warned me not to play with my food.  "Courtney, eat your food!" she'd scold.  My grandmother often made her own cheese sauce from scratch and served it dripping hot over broccoli.  When I learned there was a soup that combined both of these things I was sold!  The best broccoli and cheese soup I've ever tried is made at Panera Bread.  The cheese flavor is reminiscent of macoroni and cheese and they always serve it with a small baguette.  Nothing lifts my spirts on a chilly spring night like Panera Bread's Brocolli and cheese soup.  And when paired with a great bottle of wine, you won't have a problem eating your veggies;-)

I love the magic that happens when I serve broccoli 'n' cheese soup with Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  The soup is piping hot and extremely creamy whereas the wine is served chilled and is highly acidic.  Both have aromas/flavors of green veggies and the sharpness of the wine plays nicely off the sharpness of the cheddar cheese.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, the broccoli flavors spring forth.  The wine helps to cool the soup down and washes the cheese flavors off the palate due to it's high acidity.  What I also love about this pairing is that neither the wine nor the food gets lost against each other.  This is partly due to the fact that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is highly aromatic and can stand up to flavorful dishes.  Other wines to try with broccoli 'n' cheese soup are Viognier (esp. cool regions of CA), Chardonnay (esp. cool regions of CA), Sancerre, dry Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris (esp. Oregon), Pinot Blanc (esp. Alsace) and sparkling wine.  Enjoy!