Happy Fourth of July – Celebrate with style and light up that grill, make your favorite burger… sip your favorite wine… but for some, which wine to pair with the plethora of grilled goodies? Let me suggest some guidelines followed by my choices of wines to pair with those delectable patties, no matter what protein you use; there is a wine that will complement.
Which Wine to Pair with the Burgers:
Grilling your burger means you have to look at full-bodied wines. However, there are always exceptions, especially if quinoa-falafel burgers are involved. Also remember the toppings you choose for your July 4th burger fest can also affect your wine choice… slow roasted tomatoes, shrimp, Portobello mushrooms, even the cheeses you use. Paying attention to the details will help you choose the perfect wine.
Red Meat Hamburgers: Using red meat for your burger requires a full-bodied wine.
White Wine: “The Calling” Chardonnay 2012 ($30) from Dutton Ranch. This is rich and smooth wine with subtle hints of oak and crisp flavors of Meyer lemon, honeydew melon and juicy white nectarines.
Red Wine: Norton Privada, Malbec, 2009 ($22). On the nose it has a subtle graham cracker, lush berry and sweet pastry dough. This Malbec has some decent acidity and smooth tannins, with spicy, complex blackberry and cassis flavors with a long finish.
Red Wine: Shotfire Ridge Shiraz, 2011 ($20). This wine is one of my favorite wines to drink on a regular basis. Keep a case or two in your cellar. This wine has a deep ruby/purple color is complemented by notes of blackberries, black currants, licorice, and subtle smokiness.”
Red Wine: Peju Zinfandel, 2011 ($35). Peju is one of my favorite vineyards to visit and wines to drink, even though 2011 was a challenging vintage in CA, the winemaker, Sara Fowler created an amazing Zin. This Zinfandel has loads of cherries, spice, roses, and oak vanilla finishing with some dusty, summertime brambleberries and under ripe raspberries.
Turkey Burgers: I would suggest medium to full-bodied wines when using ground turkey for your burger meat.
White Wine: Armani Pinot Grigio Venezie, 2010 ($12). This wine has crisp (dry) green apple and pear flavors are highlighted by a light creaminess with a subtle hint of lemon on the nose.
Rosé Wine: Domaine Mordoree Tavel, 2012 ($28). I find this rosé can handle the bacon or fried egg very well, along with the beef. It is a bright and crisp wine with fresh strawberry and floral notes, balanced with a medium acidity.
Red Wine: OFV Pinot Noir Willamette, 2011 ($20). This outstanding wine has dark cherries, cola, tea and spice; medium bodied with a firm, crisp finish that proficiently balances the fruit forwardness. Some additional notes of red rose petals.
Tuna, Crab or Quinoa-falafel burgers: Try these wine options with tuna, crab, or quinoa-falafel burgers. Remember to look for light to medium-bodied wines. It is possible to grill a crab burger or even Quinoa-Falafel burgers, so take a risk and light up your grill.
Champagne: Veuve Clicquot Brut NV ($45). Since we are celebrating the birth of America, celebrate with bubbles. This racy acidic Champagne has a streak of minerality and offers subtle notes of white peach, anise, biscuit and kumquat.
White Wine: Cottesbrook Gewürztraminer, 2012, New Zealand ($14). This wine has lots going on in the bottle. Crushed rose petals with some exotic spices. There is some grapefruit and lychees on the palate. Medium finish.
White Wine: Valminor Albariño, 2012 ($23). A light to medium bodied wine is amazing. It has some fresh grapefruit, apricot and melon on the nose. On the palate, it combines fruity flavors of apple and pear and freshness with a rounded acidity.
July 4th is all about family and friends getting together to celebrate life and freedom. Be creative when making your burgers, choose the right wine, and above all, have fun.
Scott Richardson has been in the hotel and restaurant business for almost 30 years. His love for producing remarkable food and service evolved to his love for all things wine. Scott has worked at many prestigious locations including The Cavendish Hotel, in London England and The Grove Park Inn and Resorts in Asheville, NC. His culinary background and his love for wine pushed into the teaching profession with University of Central Florida’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management, Valencia College, Johnson and Wales University and New England Culinary Institute. If that was not enough, Scott is also a volunteer judge at several food and wine festivals in Central Florida throughout the year. Scott is currently pursuing his passion in wine by working towards his PhD in Hospitality Leadership with research in the wine tourism industry. In his spare time, Scott writes for The Park Press, his column “The Educated Palate” can be found at www.theparkpress.com. Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org