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st. andre cheese w/ ?

adkim Feb 13, 2007 02:24 PM

Looking for a wine type (and easy to find label) to pair st. andre cheese w/. under $20, please. ..and butter crisp crackers.


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  1. k
    khainajr RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 02:34 PM

    I sell a lot of this cheese in Chicago and we most often recommend Champagne or some other form of sparkling wine, preferrably not too sweet. Since St. Andre is a triple creme (cream added into the milk to create a rich, buttery product) the effervesence tends to clear the palate of that extra fat nicely. The Riondo Prosecco is a bargain at only $10, with just a hint of sweetness. My alcohol knowledge is pretty limited but I have had this combo and enjoyed it. Hope this helps.

    1. c
      chickstein RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 02:34 PM

      St. Andre is like eating butter, so rich and creamy. I would go with a California Chardonnay.

      1. adkim RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 02:37 PM

        thank you for your quick responses; will be put to good use.

        1. Bill Hunt RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 06:37 PM

          Usually with St. Andre (served at room temp, so it's almost ready to run), we'll grab a Montrachet. The fruit character of the Old World Chard fits with the "cream" aspect, and there is enough acid to act in a similar fashion to the Champagne rec. I've not tried a sparkler, but will, based on the recs. (second for Champagne & Brie in about a week), will give this pairing a good look, especially as my wife is a really big sparkling fan.


          1. s
            strephking RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 06:41 PM

            Chardonnay will over power the butter flavor of the cheese. i agree with the sparkling, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, such as Merry Edwards.

            2 Replies
            1. re: strephking
              Bill Hunt RE: strephking Feb 13, 2007 06:45 PM

              I strongly disagree. I have had this pairing on dozens of occasions and a good FR Chard works beautifully.

              Sorry, but my experiences tell me you have missed something here.


              1. re: strephking
                chickstein RE: strephking Feb 14, 2007 04:41 AM

                Since when does ME make wine under $20.00 that is easy to find?

              2. s
                strephking RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 06:51 PM

                I can see a beautiful Sancerre pairing well, that is true. i was thinking more along the lines of a over powering oaky Napa Chard, like a Cakebread. you are right; a true Caneros Chard, or something without a lot of oak would be great.

                1. c
                  Chicago Mike RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 06:59 PM

                  Chardonnay and Champagne are obviously great matches for a triple-cream cheese...

                  I've also found, surprisingly, that triple creams can match quite nicely with two red varietals: Tempranillo and Zinfandel

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Chicago Mike
                    Bill Hunt RE: Chicago Mike Feb 14, 2007 03:34 PM

                    Because we do a lot of St Andre's and also love Zin, we've tried quite a few, across the spectrum from mid-body and spicy to fruit-forward, young, old and many in between. Please give me some of your recs, if you do not mind.

                    I'll usually do a Brie as an appetizer, while the whites are flowing, and then on to the harder cheeses for a "cheese course," when the reds come out. I would not mind placing a wedge on the board, later in the meal, but have not found THAT pairing. I'm always ready to learn. Also, recs. for a few Tempranillos would be greatly appreciated.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      Chicago Mike RE: Bill Hunt Feb 15, 2007 11:48 AM

                      Hi Bill...

                      There are so many great Zinfandel producers... If I had to pick those that have been most consistent over the years I'd probably list.... Ridge, Cline, and Ravenswood. I consider several of the Ridge vineyards to be among the greatest vineyards in the world, actually.

                      But there's many great producers, I'd be more concerned with the region and the year than the producer, really.

                      1. re: Chicago Mike
                        Bill Hunt RE: Chicago Mike Feb 15, 2007 01:39 PM


                        I was hoping that you had some specific Zins, that you felt very strongly about, with the cream-based cheeses.

                        I've been collecting Zins for some time, and have a ton of Ridge, older Ravenswoods (back before the corporate days, mostly their single-vineyard releases), Rosenblum, Turley and Biale, plus smaller quantities of many more. While I have not tried all of them with Brie, those that I have, left something to be desired on my palate. I guess that I'll keep searching.

                        Someone else recommended CA PNs, so maybe I can do a St Andre's red wine taste-off and see if there isn't something that I can match up.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                          Chicago Mike RE: Bill Hunt Feb 15, 2007 10:58 PM

                          If you're specifically looking for a cheese to match Pinot Noir, Check out Epoisses or Roquefort, my 2 fave matches with Pinot and 2 of the better combinations out there .... Also very good: 4year cheddar, Feta, Havarti, and Parmesan Reggiano...

                          My Pinot scores with camembert have come in around 6.0 on a 10 scale... "okay, not great", a bit better with Brie around 7.00 but still not that impressive.

                          As for zinfandel and a creamy cheese, from my last tasting notes of Camembert with a 96 Cline Ancient Vines: "Very good... 7.5-ish.... 'a bit oily'..." This is actually a higher score than chardonnay registered with camembert in this round... A somewhat gummier-consistency Brie in the same tasting did not rate a score with the zin. There are certainly better cheese matches for zin, but i've always found this compatibility an interesting surprise.

                          1. re: Chicago Mike
                            Bill Hunt RE: Chicago Mike Feb 16, 2007 09:58 AM

                            Thanks for the info.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                              Chicago Mike RE: Bill Hunt Feb 16, 2007 07:46 PM


                              By chance I was having a conversation with one of my favorite cheese-mongers today and our "creamier cheese and wine" discussion came up...

                              He mentioned something that had never occured to me but makes alot of sense, and at least in part explains some of the flavor rankings I've mentioned here...

                              His comments on the subtle difference of Brie, Camembert, and St. Andre were something to the effect of: [paraphrasing here]:

                              "They all have a sharp 'tang' to the taste..."

                              "With Brie it's more of a 'dairy tang' or 'sharp butter tang'..."

                              "whereas with Camembert it's more of an 'earthy tang'...."

                              "... and with St. Andre, which is sort of a cousin to brie & camembert, they add an extra ladle of cream late in the process, for that ultra-creamy impression..."

                              Well, from my own notes, Camembert is a better match with Pinot Noir, zinfandel, and tempranillo than Brie is... and Brie registers better with chardonnay...

                              Well... could it be the "earthiness" factor of Camembert that better matches the earthiness of Pinot Noir ?? (especially California terroir PN ??)... Ditto for zinfandel....

                              Wheras chardonnay does better with butter and cream ???

                              It's an intriguing explanation, thought I'd share it on this thread...

                              FWIW, while we were discussing the cheeses, the guy wasn't aware we were discussing the possibility of red wine matches.... he was strictly focusing on flavor nuances of the cheese...

                              1. re: Chicago Mike
                                khainajr RE: Chicago Mike Feb 16, 2007 07:57 PM

                                There is actually very little (if any) difference between brie and camembert. They are based on the same recipe and originally when they were created in two distinct regions in France they would naturally (through terroir) have different tastes much like two wines made exactly the same way with the same grape from two different areas will taste different. I think it would be interesting to have a blind tasting of a brie and camembert from the same company to see if one really could tell the difference.

                                1. re: khainajr
                                  Chicago Mike RE: khainajr Feb 17, 2007 11:22 AM

                                  Khainair... they are very similar...

                                  One reason I would argue there is a demonstrable difference is just from personal tastings where I've found dissimilar qualities of wine matching with them flavor-wise. Perhaps wine can accentuate the minor differences... my tastings would indicate that's so...

                                  1. re: Chicago Mike
                                    khainajr RE: Chicago Mike Feb 17, 2007 06:57 PM

                                    were you tasting two cheeses from the same producer or were they from different companies...certainly this has a lot to do with what you are getting in a camembert vs. a brie. You can get brie from two different places and have one be earthy and vegetal with a hint of mushrooms while the other may be creamy and buttery. I guess it's really splitting hairs as you point out that the differences are minor in your experiences.

                                2. re: Chicago Mike
                                  Bill Hunt RE: Chicago Mike Feb 19, 2007 07:51 AM

                                  Sounds logical to me. Thank you for sharing this info Food for thought - all puns intended.


                    2. s
                      strephking RE: adkim Feb 13, 2007 07:02 PM

                      i never would have thought about that, does the dryness balance out the creaminess of the cheese?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: strephking
                        Chicago Mike RE: strephking Feb 13, 2007 07:15 PM

                        I honestly can't explain why. Except that zinfandel, for example, really isn't that "dry" a red wine. It's probably the heavy silk texture and prounced fruitiness of a good zin that matches this cheese. And just a "matching tastes" issue also.

                      2. carswell RE: adkim Feb 14, 2007 09:46 AM

                        Fatty creamy cheeses make red wines taste dull. Go for a white. You've got some good suggestions upthread. And don't rule out semi-sweet whites either.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: carswell
                          Bill Hunt RE: carswell Feb 14, 2007 03:38 PM

                          My experience indicates the same, but I hope that Chicago Mike can steer me on this one. One can postulate all that they wish, but actually trying the pairing is the only way to test it out. Just because I haven't found a good red for a "creamy" cheese, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. As stated above, I'd love to have some of the rich, creamy guys on the later cheese plate, but have been batting near 0.000, so far.


                        2. k
                          Kater RE: adkim Feb 18, 2007 06:01 AM

                          We love a sparkling rose with triple creme cheeses. You can get a Jansz Brut Rose Sparkling Wine NV for under $20 and I think you will enjoy it.

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