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Q: Which Wine with Burgers?

by David on January 11, 2007

Question from Jackie: What goes good with burgers?

Answer: Hi, Jackie! Thanks for writing! Yours is kind of a tricky question because hamburgers are prepared so many different ways. I’m always in favor of a fairly full-bodied red with my burger. Zinfandel, Merlot or Syrah are good choices.

Grilled foods gain a lot of flavor from the grill itself and even grilled fish can pair nicely with a red. If you put catsup or sweet relish on your burger you might think about a soft red with a lot of fruit like Zinfandel or a Beaujolais type (Gamay in this country). Lots of sweet condiments can make high-tannin reds like Cabernet seem bitter.

I looked around a little to see what others think, and they nearly always pair burgers with a simple, inexpensive red. Maybe they’re thinking of fast-food burgers. To me, a really good burger, made with a good piece of meat calls for a nice red, maybe even a Cab, if it’s not too heavy on the condiments. There was a place in San Francisco that served their burger on a French roll, moistened only by the meat drippings–definitely a Cab burger! One of my favorites!

My theory when all else fails is that Champagne or sparkling wine goes with just about anything. The high acid makes it very food friendly, so if you prefer a white you could go that way or serve a high-acid white like Sauvignon Blanc. But in my heart, I think burgers and I think red.

I hope that helps! Cheers! Nancy

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