Sweet, Savory, Acidic, America

America. Fireworks, rock & roll, apple pie. What’s more American than that? Having just happily celebrated America’s birthday we thought it was well past time we equipped you dear reader with something really useful for this summer. A comprehensive guide to pairing the best wine California has to offer with America’s #1 export, THE HAMBURGER! 

Being a lover of both greasy, decadent, scrumptious hamburgers and the vibrant, complex, sumptuous wines California is famous for, this is firmly in my wheelhouse. Pairing wine and hamburger is all about judging the fat and acidity in the burger. Judging these elements accurately is critical because they each have such a significant impact on your experience of the wine. The trick is to pick wines that will benefit from the attributes that your burger brings to the table.

For instance, the more savory the burger, the higher the fat content, the greater the acidity you can support in your wine. On the other hand, if you like blue cheese or jalapeño on your burger then a bigger more fruit forward wine is called for to create balance.

So, with that as prologue here are my recommendations for summer wine and burger pairings:

1.Greek Spinach Veggie Burger with a 2018 Combe Trousseau:

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The Greek Spinach Veggie Burger is a great choice for anyone who wants to forgo a classic hamburger patty for lighter fare. The combination of dill and feta with onions and tomatoes give a brilliant acidity that pairs nicely with lively aromas of tangy strawberry, plum, fruit punch and crushed spice. The palate which is nearly effervescent, picks up with pomegranate, citrus rind and white pepper. This combination is enough to make even the most jaded burger aficionado salivate.

2. Bacon and Kimchi Burger with Dusty 2016 Nabor Grenache

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The Dusty Nabor Grenache is one of the most enjoyable examples of the varietal we’ve had all year. Concentrated aromas of boysenberry and black cherry meet with hints of game, jerky and cola dominate the nose, with ripe and rich blackberry-sauce flavors lifted by anise on the palate. What a perfect compliment to the richness of fried bacon and the acidity and spiciness of kimchi. This is a roller coaster experience for your palate with complex flavors coming together to form something that is far more than the sum of its parts.

3. Barbecue Glazed Turkey Burger with 2014 Tantara Cab Franc

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Barbecue glazed Turkey is as rich and sweet as we could ask for. So what does that call for? Something with a strong structure and lingering fruit finish to match the potency of barbecue. The Tantara Cab Franc shouts jalapeño as well making for a particularly nice addition of spice to each bite. 

There you have it, your comprehensive guide to pairing Americas #1 export with the best California has to offer. Sweet, savory, acidic. America.

As always, check out this months featured winemakers at our website and join WINECULT to be the first to try these delicious combinations.