Perfect Pairing: Burgers and Wine

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A burger and a beer is the usual summertime pairing, but if you’re in the mood for something different, try trading in that can for a glass … of wine.

The best burger wines have enough structure and tannins to handle the savory beef but are full of fruit to balance all those wonderful flavors. A Zinfandel, Cabernet, Malbec or Garnacha are all good choices for pairing.

As this burger has pancetta, gorgonzola cheese, and fried shallots, Zinfandel was my choice for pairing, with a spicier and more robust flavor to stand up to the flavors of the burger.

I picked up 4 different valued priced zinfandels available at Bev Mo, Total Wine or grocery stores as they are easily accessible for most.

 

2011 Zinthesis Zinfandel $20 (Bev Mo)

Tasting Notes: Fruity and spicy with notes of red currants. If you like fruit forward zinfandels, then this is the wine for you. I purchased this one with the 5 cent sale so it was worth $10 each but not sure if I would pay $20.

2012 Unruly Zinfandel $12 (Bev Mo)

Tasting Notes: Cherry, red currants and plum with a hint of spice. Subtle tannins, not as big and bold for a Zinfandel. Easy to drink with or without food.

2012 Cline Cellars Lodi Zinfandel: $12

Tasting Notes: Plum, blackberries, strawberries, spice and vanilla. Medium-bodied with a dry finish and soft tannins. This is a great everyday wine with lots of food flexibility (beef, pizza or pasta with red sauce)

2010 Four Vines Truant – Old Vine ZinfandelI $9 ( Total Wine)

Tasting Notes: Fruity and spicy with blueberry, plums and toasty oak.  Not bad for the price.

Of the four wines, Cline Cellars Zinfandel was my favorite for overall pairing, structure and taste. 

 Burger with Pancetta, Gorgonzola and Fried Shallots

pic.burger

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 oz pancetta, chopped (or bacon)
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced (can substitute with 2 onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground chuck or sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Hamburger buns or rolls, toasted
  • Toppings such as: lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc

Directions

Heat oil in small skillet. Cook pancetta until almost crispy. (Diced pancetta available at Trader Joe’s) Transfer to a large bowl.

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In the same skillet, add more oil to a depth of about 1 inch of the skillet. Once oil is hot, add shallots and fry until brown about 10- 12 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain oil. Sprinkle with some salt while still warm.

( If using onions, coat bottom of the skillet with oil and cook ( not fry) onions until caramelized, 20-30 minutes)

In the bowl with the pancetta, add ground beef, salt, pepper and garlic powder  and mix until just combined. Do not over mix as the meat will be tough.

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Shape into 4 disks. In the center of each patty, add gorgonzola cheese and wrap beef around cheese, pinching to seal. Form each ball shape into patties.

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(Alternative: shape into 8 thin patties. Add cheese over 4 patties; top with remaining 4 patties and press edges firmly to seal.)

Grill or pan fry burgers until desired doneness.

Place hamburger and toppings on toasted buns. Top with fried shallots and more cheese, if desired.

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