Burger and Wine – Which Pair for you?

IMG_2189With Open House coming up, and summer approaching, it makes me think about barbecuing, and one dish in particular: Burgers! With that in mind I rallied my fellow burger enthusiasts and arranged a burger/wine pairing evening. Everyone that was invited was given plenty of notice to arrange a burger so extraordinary that would pair perfectly with one of three wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Barbera Rose. Normally at Open house we showcase our Shiraz-Cab, but because we have limited quantities of the Shiraz-Cab we have decided to showcase the Syrah and the Cabernet individually as well as the Barbera Rose. So, with those wines in mind, the burgers were designed.

There was a wide range of creative burgers created, from a Lamb-Curry Burger, to a Barbecued Bacon Cheeseburger, and all of them paired well with at least one of the wines.

IMG_2194For the beef burgers, all of the ground beef was first seasoned with garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, chili powder and parsley, and ALL burgers were grilled over a wood fire grill, served on homemade sourdough buns or homemade soft rolls.

One of my favorite burgers of the night was Garlic and Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger with grilled onions and fresh Basil leaves on top. This burger paired well with both the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Syrah. It brought out some of the earthier aspects of the Cab, and it really accentuated the spice characters in the Syrah.

One of the most interesting burgers was the smoked Pablano Chile Burger. This Burger paired really well with the Barbera Rose. The patty was stuffed with finely chopped garlic, bell pepper, smoked pablano chile, pepper jack cheese, and a dash of cinnamon. The Burger was topped with thickly sliced pepper bacon, a garlic barbeque sauce, and a whiskey tangelo reduction. The spices and peppers in the burger, and the citrus in the reduction sauce really brought out the strawberry and slight red berry fruit in the rose.

The burgers that I made were a Sicilian Jack Burger and a Barbeque Bacon Cheeseburger. The Sicilian Jack burger was topped with grilled onions and sautéed mushrooms, and I dressed the bun with the Stone Wall Kitchen Truffle Aioli (which is sold in the tasting room). This burger worked perfectly with the Cab. None of the flavors of the burger were too overpowering to overshadow the wine. The Barbeque Bacon Cheeseburger paired best with the Syrah. The burger was topped with grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, and I grilled the patty with barbeque sauce underneath the cheddar cheese. This burger was my favorite with the Syrah, bringing out the smokiness and darker fruit characters in the Syrah.

The Lamb Curry Burger was one of the most versatile as far as pairing well with all of the wines. It went exceptionally well with the Rose, but also worked with both the Syrah and the Cab. This burger was Tim’s creation, and the recipe will be posted soon.

The conclusion of our Burger pairing was that no matter what your favorite burger toppings and flavors may be, one of these three wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, will pair brilliantly with it. Hope to see you at Open House!


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