Deluxe Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Pat Finkes, Steelville, Missouri
Third Place, Missouri State Fair 2013 Cooking With Missouri Wine


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 6 baby belle or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups St. James Winery Velvet Red Wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 8 to12 fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Havarti cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Manchega cheese


  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in small saucepan; stir in basil. Brush one side of each piece of bread with butter mixture.
  2. Melt bacon grease in skillet. Add onions and mushrooms; cook and stir until lightly browned. Add wine, beef stock and 2 teaspoons butter. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup.
  3. Place the spinach leaves on unbuttered sides of two slices of bread, dividing evenly. Sprinkle the cheeses on top of spinach-topped slices of bread, dividing evenly. Spoon the wine reduction over the cheese, dividing evenly. Top each with another slice of bread, buttered side on the outside.
  4. Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet and cook until the bread has toasted to a nice golden brown and the cheese has melted; turn to cook other side. (You might have to cook one sandwich at a time, depending on the size of the pan.)
  5. Serve with tomato soup, if desired.