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Help!!! What wine to pair w/blue cheese Burger???

I'm making Blue cheese burgers, with sauteed onions/mushrooms...but don't know what would go best! I have a rather extensive cellar so suggest away!! Oh BTW while I'm at it do you think I should have some sort of sauce like s.d. tomato aioli or is that too much??

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  1. Save your cellar for real food; I suggest a January vintage Budwieser.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Passadumkeg

      HaHaHa Try drinking a real beer!!!! I have wine on hand and want to drink that. Hence the post help me pair a wine. I was thinking of Cab or Zin but I feel as though the Blue cheese might add a bit of a twist and a Rhone Style white or even Champagne would be better! I was hoping for some useful suggestions.

      1. re: sweetnspicy

        Indeed, the blue cheese makes me lean toward whites... like a dry Riesling or or even some prosecco or blanc de blanc

        1. re: sweetnspicy

          I like a Central Coast Pinot Noir (like Wild Horse) with my blue cheeseburger.

        2. re: Passadumkeg

          I have to tell you, Passadumkeg, I've had burgers with some of the very best CA Cabs of the past 15 years and it has consistently been amazing. Some very very famous Bordeaux, too, and the pairing has been almost as good.

        3. I think you're right on, sweetnspicy. Zin or Cab. Depending on where you are, Seghesio Sonoma zin is always good. Franciscan Cab may work nicely as well. And they're both in the $15-20 range (not sure what you were looking to spend).

          1. I'd go with your initial thought. New World Cab or Zin.

            1. Hey Sweet...

              Depends a bit on the blue cheese you're using, IMO.

              If a cows-milk like Gorgonzola, I'd definitely go with a Rioja

              If sheeps milk (roquefort, etc.), that favors Zinfandel. Why ? Just my opinion, but in my tastings the spicier zin seems to match the extra-pungency of the roquefort whereas the tempranillo is a bit softer and seems to favor the cows milk gorgonzola a bit more than zin does.

              But regardless, you're really onto something, these are potentially great flavor combos.

              You ask what to add, how to improve these burgers...

              1) With both, definitely cook on the BBQ as both Zin and Rioja favor BBQ flavors (smoke, wood, tang, etc.)

              2) With the Rioja/Gorgonzola, add your favorite PORK or LAMB cuts to the ground burger as Rioja is a major pork and lamb-friendly wine.

              3) Ditto the above wrt pork/lamb for Zinfandel & Roquefort burgers. In addition consider adding some venison to the ground burger meat as zinfandel is very friendly to venison also. For that matter you could go 100% venison burgers w/ Roquefort and zinfandel.... but ground venison is often too lean and you need to add some fattier meat to it.


              1. Thank you all so much! I think I wanted to try the Rioja but none on hand. I'm just getting into the Spanish wines a bit more they are a buy and drink see what I like thing at the moment. So I picked three to choose from: 02 Ridge Monte Bello, 03 Paraduxx Zin, 04 Piedra Hill Howell Mtn. Cab. I decided to save the Ridge and pull the first bottle I saw from the other 2. 04 Piedra won!! I'll let you know how it went.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sweetnspicy

                  I'm just going to ditto ChiMike on everything, but also add-

                  With burgers, I don't like to drop a lot of $$, but I want a good match to the robust flavor, so in the "spicy" variety, I'd humbly add Argentinean Malbec to the suggestions. Well priced, and holds it own.

                  1. re: sweetnspicy

                    Piedra Hill worked out well, it is a great cab with well integrated tannins, blackberry, clove hints of chocolate and oak. I would have liked the pairing a bit better if it had been a little spicier. I think Zin or Rioja next time I venture down the road. All in all dinner was very enjoyable. Thank-you all!!

                  2. My first choice would be a nice, spicy Zin. Next would be a younger, more fruit-forward Cab. Trick: pour a bit of the chosen wine into the ground beef, before you make the patties. It will add a bit of moisture, and help bridge the burger to the wine. Last would be a big Merlot from Howell Mtn., or similar.

                    I would never pair my burgers with any beer, but that is just my taste. For us, burgers are usually double-ground prime sirloin or American Kobe, so they are "real food." Remember, this comes from a person, who serves Taddy Porter (or Young's Double Chocolate Ale) with his wife's flourless chocolate torte - even to his wino buddies!


                    [Edit] Oops, I see that you have already done the dish. Sorry, but I was eating my way across New Orleans and missed the deadline.

                    1. Sorry I missed your deadline but have a new, go to wine for burgers that I served with some grass fed beef burgers last weekend. It is an '05 Arboleda Carmenere from Chile, ~ $15 & imported by Frederick Wildman.
                      It is big and bold with deep color but with good structure and a smooth finish. I get black tea, leather and tobacco on its front end and taste berry notes along with chocolate some oak on the back end.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bodie

                        Thanks any suggestions for pairings is welcome! I will be making more BC Burgers in the future!

                        1. re: bodie

                          I agree with you 100%. One of the best pairings I have ever had was a blue cheese tart with Arboleda Syrah! Absolutely DIVINE!!!

                        2. I can't make a wine rec, but the idea of a blue cheese burger is making my mouth water!! Is there any special recipe or is it simply a cheeseburger using blue?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Greg B

                            I like to break one patty into 2 then put the Blue Cheese in the middle and top with the other 1/2! Be generous with the cheese and make sure the sides are sealed then grill like normal and top with sauteed onions and mushrooms, sometimes I do use a little melted swiss. It is so good.

                          2. I'm gonna head for a contrarian flow, though I confess that of my first 3 choices, one was in fact a good zinfandel, preferably from California.

                            My first thought was a good chianti classico. Not too expensive typically, but one of the best "with food" wines in the world, and very versatile.

                            The contrarian flow comes from my last suggestion: try a mid-range sauterne, especially considering that you're doing bleu cheese with sauteed onions & mushrooms.

                            I really enjoy the counterpoint of a decent Sauterne or Auslese with hearty food rather than only dragging them out guiltily with the desserts and watching people overdose on sweetness and blame the wine. I don't do it often, but the last time I made a real mole sauce, I served a beerenauslese (there you get the beer in too, lol), and people loved it.

                            Mr. Hunt is completely correct with his trick on adding the wine to the meat. Or you could add it to the sauteing onions & mushrooms.

                            1. Now that your burger is just a pleasant memory, another good burger wine (and I think good with the cheese too) that's still a little off the beaten track here would be an Argetine malbec... Prices aren't as low as the super-mass-produced Chilean wines (also good burger wines) but they're not bad at all, either.

                              1. Best wine to serve with Blue cheese would be a nice White Zinfandel. (which works well with the burger)

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: coorltlady

                                  1) This thread is very old, so hopefully this has already happened.

                                  2) Like, I suspect, the majority on this board, I'm not a white Zin fan (I LOVE good dry Rose, though) and beyond that, I think a blue cheese burger calls for dark lush fruit flavors, not those that tend to be evoked by white zin... or even other roes that under different circumstances I might endorse.

                                  1. re: whiner

                                    Welcome to Chowhound, coorltlady. I see that this is your very first post.

                                    Blue cheese and burgers mean red wine to me as well. A red wine with enough intensity to match the intensity of the tang and pungency of the blue cheese and the grilled burger. That relates to the first rule of wine pairing: match the intensity of the food with the wine.

                                    Thanks for your post, and please continue to enjoy your white zinfandel, if that's what you love, as well as trying some of the great suggestions for wines at all sorts of prices on this board.

                                    1. re: whiner

                                      A discussion of wine & food pairings never gets old!

                                      Me, my tastebuds are kinda similar to coorltlady's. When I have blue cheese with red wine, the wine tastes like aluminum foil. Sure, the red goes with the beef, but to my taste, it clashes with the cheese.

                                      I usually like a sweeter white wine with blue cheese, so the white zin is closer to my tastes. With the b-c burger, I'd probably go with a slightly sweet, zesty rose (something from Spain or California, perhaps), but then again, I'm quite willing to try the white zin with a blue-cheese burger.

                                      Hey, have you ever tried white zin with buttered popcorn? Lovely!


                                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                                        Interesting response, Anne! So do you get this metallic (aluminum) taste with all blue cheeses when paired with all red wines? Or just some?

                                        What about a really ripe red wine? Same deal?

                                        The effect that the White Zin's sweetness will have on the blue cheese is not lost on me. I very much like the combo of a little sweetness in wine with blue cheese -- to wit, one of the greatest wine pairings out there: Sauternes and blue cheese, especially Roquefort or a creamy blue cheese.

                                        What about when beef is added to the blue cheese? Is the red wine metallic even then? Just wondering...not criticizing.

                                        Is it the particular blue cheese or the wine or the two together, or the three together? Is it the myoglobin (iron, metallic ions) in the beef?

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          Yeah, I wonder about this, too - because I love red wine and I love blue cheese. Just not together.

                                          I was recently at a tasting of "wines rated 90+ by RP that are $20 and under" - meaning (to me, at least) big, oaky, fruit-bomb wines. We had Casa Silva Los Lingues '05, La Huella de Adaras '05, Pillar Box Red '06, and Tait The Ball Buster '06 (plus a few others).

                                          The hostesses served a soft, creamy, high-fat blue cheese with the tasting (along with other foods that went much better, like Manchego, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, and flank steak). I forget the name/type of the blue cheese, but it was like an expensive, pungent, triple-cream version of Saga Blue. Truly a lovely cheese on its own.

                                          But none of the 11 attendees liked this cheese with any of the red wines. I tried combining a bit of my cheese with a bite of flank steak, hoping that the beef would help it match, and I still didn't like the result.

                                          Then again, my favorite Spanish blue cheese - Cabrales - goes pretty well with a light, low-oak Spanish red wine. I still like it better with a white like Txakolina, but the red wine pairing doesn't hurt my teeth.

                                          So it might have been all that oak. Or the triple-cream-ness. Dunno why, really, or what it is in the wine and/or cheese that causes this reaction for me. I'm only a pairing beginner - I know what I like, but I can't explain it...


                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                            Maybe you just don't like the three together. That's OK -- not everybody likes everything, and the teeth hurting thing you experience is curious. No pain required!

                                            Me, I revel in the combo. I make these great grilled burgers with gorgonzola dolce latte cheese and my famous pickled red onions (they have a little sweetness). We drink lots of great red wine with these and we are very happy.

                                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                                              <Yeah, I wonder about this, too - because I love red wine and I love blue cheese. Just not together.>

                                              If it's just blue cheese and wine, I agree, I don't like red wine with that. BUT when the burger (or any red meat) enters the equation, the balance shifts for me, and SOME red wines work fine.

                                              Especially with mushrooms added to the equation, I would love the earthiness of Pinot with the dish OP described. In fact, we often go to our favorite burger place for just such a one, and last time were dismayed to find our favorite pairing, Wild Horse Pinot Noir, no longer on their menu!

                                              OTOH, the cheese course on "my last meal" would be Roquefort and Chateau d'Yquem. (Miraculously, I was treated to that combination last November at Les Crayeres in Reims. 8>D )

                                          2. re: AnneInMpls

                                            I really don't think those would stand up to the beef and the onions/mushrooms, though. On the sweeter end of things, I bet a German Riesling with good acidity would do the job, though.

                                      2. I have made steak and blue cheese before and the biggest thing is going with something that doesn't have a lot of oak and or noticeable tannins. Tannins and oak with blue cheese will often give the wine a metallic taste. Go with something very fruit forward and medium bodied, some Zins would work, a new world style Rioja, or Shiraz. Oh, would skip the tomato aioli, the blue cheese will over power it.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: AaronSchaefer

                                          Aha - so it was the oak & tannin clashing with the blue cheese in those oaky wines I mentioned above. It's good to know that I don't need to avoid all red wines - I should try a fruity Zin or Rioja to see if it works for me. Thanks for the tips!


                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                            That was a good tip above. Or just find a wine with resolved tannins, or one that has not been overoaked.

                                        2. One of the best lunches in Eugene, Oregon is at the Rogue Brewery. Kobe blue burger with Crater Lake Rogue Blue Cheese, Kobe beef burger. I like one or two Track Town IPA's to wash these bad guys down with. Track Town is a nice hoppy IPA brewed locally and drinks very well.

                                          1. cerdon bugey (see other comments elsewhere): red, fruit forward and much to my liking, a bubbly