Burger and Wine Pairings Done Right cover

Burger and Wine Pairings Done Right


Can a dainty glass of grape juice really edge out beer to sit beside a juicy burger? We think so.
Wine Folly

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Burger and Wine Pairings Done Right

Hamburgers are the headlining feature in American comfort food and wine has been collecting fans for thousands of years all over the globe – but can the two really stand side by side on a menu?

Can a dainty glass of grape juice really edge out beer to sit beside a juicy burger?

We think so.

Some would argue that these two culinary classics are simply not in the same class: street food vs. sophistication.

But if you believe that, you’re really not paying attention to how versatile these two products really are, so consider this:

a.) Wine is just spoiled grape juice.

b.) You can spend $36 for a burger (21 Club in New York) and it doesn’t even include cheese!

So, we thought it appropriate to put our wine pairing skills in action and come up with some great wine recommendations for 4 classic burgers recipes: plain, with cheddar, with mushrooms and swiss, and with barbecue bacon cheese.

Awesome Burger and Wine Pairings

Perfect Burger

You know the one, it’s the burger with lettuce tomato and onion that doesn’t need cheese in order to be a masterpiece in each and every bite. Subtle perfection is the name of the game and this classic burger recipe is the ultimate test of quality burger-manship.

Lambrusco Amabile “Amabile” is a slightly sweet version of Lambrusco

Spanish Garnacha (AKA Grenache) Found in the Northern wine regions of Spain

Cannonau di Sardegna (AKA Grenache) A smoky style and a great wine find of Sardinia

Ruby Port on the Rocks One of our favorite Port cocktails of all time

Simple Sangria It’s better when you make your own Sangria.


Why it works: Traditionally, this burger calls for Coke or a Root Beer so, choosing wines with an element of bitter-sweet pays homage to the classic brown soda pairing.

Interestingly enough, the wines listed above (as prepared) all have substantially less sugar than a can of coke.

Classic Cheeseburger

Classic Cheeseburger

A perfect burger (like the one described) with the addition of a slice of cheddar cheese which adds tang and creaminess to the overall profile.

Try These:

Crianza or Reserva Rioja

Chianti Classico or Montalcino Rosso

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Coonawarra Cabernet

South African Cabernet

Why it works: Cheeseburgers are often classically paired with sweetened ice tea and the reason iced tea works so well is that its tannin acts as a palate cleanser, cleaning up after the stickiness of cheese.

The wines above also feature higher tannin. Additionally, they have more savory flavors (tomato, roasted pepper, black currant, dried leather) which will better compliment the cheddar cheese and ground beef combination.

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger

For those of us thrill seekers, this burger is the equivalent to because of the intensity of flavor blasted into each bite (you can also die from overdoing it… but a lot slower). This would be the holy hand grenade of burgers.

Cool-climate Merlot including New York, New Zealand, Canada, and Switzerland

Right Bank Bordeaux These are the Merlot-dominant blends of Bordeaux… amazeballs.

Langhe Nebbiolo or Roero The Italian red that’s light in color but massive in taste.

Washington Merlot Loads of red fruit and ample acidity.

Mushroom Swiss Burger

Mushroom Swiss Burger

This savory style burger delivers rich umami flavors of grilled mushrooms (usually sprinkled salt and pepper) and a slice of melted buttery, nutty swiss cheese.

Try These:

Lodi Zinfandel Smoky smoky Lodi is super underrated.

Aussie Shiraz / Paso Robles Syrah Paso Robles and South Australia produce the boldest Syrah in the world.

French Syrah An herbaceous, light style of Syrah from the Northern Rhône.

Petite Sirah (AKA Durif) is an American favorite.

Mourvèdre (AKA Monastrell) Deep, rich, peppery and somewhat meaty red wines from Spain and Southern France.

Aglianico Aglianico is all about smoky, leathery, Italian wines…

Image by Kevin Marple

Neighborhood Services on Lovers Lane in Dallas seems to know what’s up.

Are We Doing It Right?

Are We Doing It Right?

In researching this article I became obsessed with the proper way to build a burger. I always thought the rule was “lettuce on bottom and meat on top.”

It made sense, you are essentially championing the meat on the top and using the lettuce as a way to stop the meat and tomatoes from making the bottom bread soggy.

Nobody likes soggy bottoms. Of course, when you look online for the answer, there are a bunch of pictures putting meat at the bottom of the stack.