Grilled Cheese Game Night with Fun Wines: Black Light White, Q & A Red


Mammoth Mountain’s record breaking snow January 2017

In California, we have had a long wet dark winter with epic rain and snow.


record breaking rain in Santa Cruz mountains


You’ve probably read about it in the news if you haven’t experienced it yourself.

And while it’s almost March, it’s not over.  Winter is not over.

I know, I know, technically, winter kicks the bucket in three weeks on the equinox Monday March 20 at 3:30am PST and the days will once again be longer than the nights. But there will be more rain and more snow. You can bet on it.


And while you might be distracted by the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the Oscars, and maybe Mardi Gras if you’re lucky (and I happen to be lucky enough to have an awesome Mardi Gras party in Ojai next week to look forward to…)


What to do? How to fend off the darkness, the boredom, the tedium of more snow and rain? How to survive the final three weeks of winter and that first cold month of spring?


Not a trivial wine for trivia night!

Our answer? Host a game night for friends and family with grilled cheese and fun wine!

For our wines, we chose two: Black Light 2015 white wine blend that comes with a flashlight and Q and A, a red Bordeaux blend. like Black Light and Q and A both from Rubin Family wines! Keep reading for a review of Black Light White and Q & Red along with how to make some fabulous grilled cheese sandwiches!

So much yum and fun!


2 wines from Rubin Family for game night with grilled cheese

Start by picking up these festive, conversation starting wines and the makings for a bunch of unique grilled cheese sandwiches; slice up cheese and fruit and lay them out so people can get creative. This can work for your vegetarian friends, and you can even make them vegan or gluten free.

Add to the wine and cheese a pile of games and bunch of friends (encourage them to dress in black light friendly clothes!) and go to it! Grilled cheese game night with Q & A and Black Light wine is a great idea whether you’re gathered at a rainy cabin in the woods, apres ski on a snowy mountainside, or on a rainy night at home!


Ingredients and Ideas for AMAZING Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

On Whole Wheat Sourdough from Great Basin Bakery in Bishop, CA we made:

  • Snowdonia Ginger Spice and Fresh Pear
  • Gala Apple and Gorgonzola with Walnuts
  • Proscuitto Wrapped Provolone with pesto
  • Sliced Apple with Gruyere

On regular Sourdough, we made

  • Sliced Apple with Snowdonia Beechwood, Brie, and Walnut
  • Snowdonia Three Cheese – Ginger Spice, Black Bomber, and Bouncing Berry
  • Calabrese Salami, Pesto, cured olives, and fresh mozzarella
  • Calabrese Salami, Fresh Basil, Oven-dried Tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

Sue says be creative with fruit and cheese; they pair well together especially as they roast in the warm pan and the cheese melts and gets all gooey.  Put plenty of butter on the outside, the side that will be grilled. She also says you can use mayo instead of butter and experiment with sprinting herbs and spices on the bread before grilling.  You can also use hummus, mustard or pesto on the inside of the bread but we didn’t this time.

Sue also made gorgonzola dressing which we had on field greens with shredded carrots, sliced beets and walnuts. To round the meal out, I’d suggest adding a pumpkin soup which would be easy and pair well with the wines.


Black Light White has a monopoly on fun!

Black Light – 2015 – California White Wine “Symphony” – 12.7% alcohol – $25

Aromas of lemon verbena, lemon lime, Meyers lemon, Clarey Sage, and rose geranium greet your nose which becomes more apparent as the wine sits in the glass as you play!  The color in the glass reminds us of sheer curtains — something there but you can see right through it. On the palate, it’s fruity and light — lots of tropical and exotic fruits.

They say you should never judge a book by its cover — or a glass of wine from the bottle — but there are certainly clues.

Black Light, from its playful label that reveals details when under a black light, tells you it is far from a serious dinner wine making it ideal for a party or game night like we planned. And it even comes with its own blacklight!

Black Light is made with the rare and unusual “symphony” grape (a cross of Grenache Gris and Muscat of Alexandria), and it plays just fine with our grilled cheese.

If you like Moscato, we bet you will love love love this wine too.

Because of its sweetness, we thought it would pair well with spicy Poke tuna, an Asian influenced meal, sushi, or appetizers on the sweeter or spicy side that can be hard to pair. This wine would also work well as a mixer or cocktail party wine.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for my review consideration.



a serious look at a not-so-serious wine

Q & A #1 of 12- Red Wine – California – 13.3% – Non-Vintage

Like the Black Light, Q & A is so PLAYFUL! Just the right note for your game or trivia night!

As they say, “With questions and answers prepared by Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute Faculty, learning about the wide-world of wine just became a fun and delicious part of your trivia nights.”

A blend of Merlot, Ruby Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot inspired by the great blends of Bordeaux, France, this easy drinking wine is easy opening with a Stelvin screw top closer– the last thing you want to be doing during a party or visit to a cabin is look for a wine opener!

Nose was hard to distinguish at first, with mostly lots of sweet vanilla oak and cherry vanilla coke, then other red fruit. The body of the wine is medium so the oak shines through and you can also taste the sweet oak.  The color has a medium density that’s more ruby than garnet with a rose colored ring.

Q & A offers plenty of fruit with spice — black cherry, plum, and raspberry on the palate.

However this is not a wine that you would be focusing on color, nose, and palate! This wine is super high on the fun meter, but not that complex so it’s not going to distract you from your game or your conversation.  It has a lighter body on the palate than you might expect at first, with plenty of oak, but the oak on the finish can stand up to a good BBQ. This is a red wine that someone who is not that fond of red wines would be likely to enjoy.

Pair Q & A with pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ ribs, burgers, tri-tip.

We tasted #1 of 12 and we imagine that they will all be as enjoyable so keep an eye out for this series of wine in the distinctive award-winning bottle!  It won double gold in the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition: Label Division as well as most outstanding package from Wines & Vines.  It also got gold at the 2017 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for my review consideration.

Great game night choices: good time wines for good times with good friends.
What are your favorite ways to get through the winter doldrums?


break out the stemless glasses or Govinos for a party!







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