Wine & Food

Snooth User: GregT

Hamburger wines

Posted by GregT, Jun 14, 2015.

There were three of us, or actually 2 1/2 since my wife didn't drink much and doesn't like whites. The burgers were going to be 50/50 bacon/beef, which opened a world of possibilities so we decided to go all-American.

Halcón Vineyards Prado to start, a 50.50 Marsanne/Rousanne blend that would have gone really well with the mushroom I had but was finished before we even got to food.

So we opened a Halcón Alturas, which is a Syrah that I really love but the heavy burger kind of killed it.

Maybe a Cab? Something like Pine Ridge Rutherford, which was actually a pretty good choice but we went through it really fast and I still had lots of burger left.

So I popped a 2005 Turley Grist Mill Vnyd Zin. That was good but like I expected, a little past prime.

Finally another wine I've had mixed feelings about - Mark Herold's Acha, a Tempranillo-based wine. Would have been the best match but no more burger by that time. All we had left was poutine, which is a disgusting mix of french fries covered with slop.

The bacon thing turned out to be better in theory than in execution. I'm going back next week and I think I'll just get straight up beef.

Beer aside, what do you guys have with burgers? I'm going back next week and I'm not sure what direction to take. The irony is that this restaurant has about 150 beers on tap so if you're a beer person, it's heaven. I'm not so we brought wine.

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Replies

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Reply by outthere, Jun 14, 2015.

I really like Zinfandel with burgers. Black fruited Syrah works well also. Been eating a lot of Bison burgers lately. The flavor kicks ass on ground beef. That Halcon is too lean for burgers.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jun 14, 2015.

what about a merlot?  I had one recently that was fantastic, and we had burgers (I do them with beef and 1/4 italian sausage, along with a large amount of chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano) and lots of garlic.  I like to top them with provolone or fontina.  The Meadowcroft Merlot we had paired wonderfully.  I know they say Zin and burgers, but I have a hard time with zins.

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Reply by outthere, Jun 14, 2015.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jun 14, 2015.

LOL!   And I don't even normally like Merlot!

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 14, 2015.

Ha!

Yes, Merlot w a little Cab in the mix. Bordeaux?

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 15, 2015.

I almost always drink a Bordeaux, Bord blend or Cab with burgers.  And I favor bison or straight beef--I don't really get mixing in the hammy porky thing when I have awesome grass fed beef, 80/20, and lots of heat on my grill.

My kids had burgers tonight but sat out the wine.  (They are, after all, underage, but the sommelier at Slanted Door the other night was pretty impressed with what they sniffed out of a Weissburgunder we had with dinner.  BTW, Johnny Ives, head of design of Apple, was at the table behind me, and the kids met him.  Dick Costolo was in the private room (the one we get for bigger groups) telling the management of Twitter that he was done as CEO.  Quite a night.)  We had Steve Raichlen's "Dinosaur Ribs," which I expected to  be a little richer, so we were drinking a Lodi Pet Sir that cost all of $11 and was really good.  Turned out not to be a perfect match, because the ribs were tender but the fat melted off.  We could have done well with a CdP or similar.  Ah well, live and learn.

But, yeah, Halcon Syrah is too lean for burgers.  Cab or a blend, always.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 15, 2015.

Good challenge, Greg. Needed some fresh energy here!

Nothing wrong with a bit of Cheval Blanc out of styrofoam, even with burgers. Have done that (minus the styrofoam), but with an off-vintage of course.  ;-)

Recently I'm drinking tempranillo a lot and zin a little with burgers. Dry sherry a very little. Do like wine with burgers a lot better than beer when I'm relaxed at home, because it's more sensual and drawn out that way, but still find myself drinking more craft beer (and even scotch) with burgers than wine when out and about these days, thanks to the company I'm often with.

Then there's dirty vodka martinis with burgers. That also works. But if I'm going to mix pork with the beef prefer it to be ground rather than baconated. My '80/20' or better yet 70/30 would be beef to pork, leaner rather than fattier. Bison hump ain't even a fantasy over here at this point in time, most unfortunately. Ground lamb kebabs I don't think of in the same paragraph as burgers, so that's a different subject. Venison burgers, sure, but haven't had them for years since they're even harder to source over here in 2015 than they were in 1995. Now if I were just in Kiwiland (where I'd likely be having them with NZ PN or Aussie shiraz or cab)...

Wish I could point to recent DRC experience with burgers, but that was in an earlier life...  ;-(

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Reply by dvogler, Jun 15, 2015.

I did the bike race downtown Victoria last weekend and afterward had late lunch of Salt Spring Island lamb burger and a Chilean Syrah.  It was perfect, except I'd have preferred a BC Syrah, but they don't serve those by the glass.  Elk make great burgers too. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 15, 2015.

Lamb with Syrah, yep.  Also CdP.  I am going to do a ground lamb wrapped in basil on skewers on the grill  probably this weekend and I'm really leaning toward Grenache or a Rhone blend. 

D, tempranillo is a good call--and one I did a little while back when I put Romesco sauce on some burgers.  Temrpanillo, to me, often serves as an alternative to Cab because it takes to oak so well and offers such nice, dark fruit.  But it works with the romesco because it's also a touch spicier than cab.

BTW, went to WineMine to pick up boxes yesterday and, while I was there, a customer came in looking for a couple bottles.  Was going to England and taking a couple things, wanted something that rep'd Cali because his hosts drink French and Ital.  Liz, David's sister and chief employee, asked him what he drank mostly and he said, "Cab."  Oh, yawn.  she tried to steer him into something a little more unusual, but it wasn't taking. The Mine got a small shipment of Rockpile Cemetery '12, so I pointed it out, said they aren't getting this over in old Blighty.  Sold.  That would work with burgers, too--more structure, not overwhelming fruits... and our allies over there are now going to be hipped to it.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 15, 2015.

Lamb burgers with CdP. That's a winner right there.

Right now, it's an avocado, mushroom, and onion omelet with buttery hash browns and English breakfast tea, trying to nurse a hangover.

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Reply by EMark, Jun 15, 2015.

I would never argue against Zinfandel with burgers.  Works every time.

Burgers in this household are intentionally served as simple, low-cost meals.  So, they are made from the "standard" packaged 80/20 ground beef.  I like catsup (I'm brand agnostic.) on my burgers, which, of course, introduces sugar to my sandwich.  (If we have french fries with the burger, I am also probably dipping them in catsup.)  So, I have found that wines with up-front fruit--not usually my favorite--work well.  Foxall's comment on the Lodi PS sounds interesting.  I would think that a Lodi Zin, many of which I find to be somewhat jammy, might sing with my burgers.

I have also found, though, that blends work well.  We did not have burgers that night, but the Pruett Lucky Lauren Red (Sierra Foothills, Syrah/CS) that I had last week would have been excellent.

I'venever thought of it until just now, but a Grenache-heavy blend might work for me.

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Reply by GregT, Jun 15, 2015.

Yeah OT - that Halcon was massacred. I wasn't a fan of the bacon/beef mix so much either. Seemed like a good idea because they're good separate. Last night we had, or I had bison short ribs and my wife had beef short ribs (she won't eat bison for some reason) and with that we poured a CA Cab/Merlot blend and it was perfect.

For burgers though, I think I'm going to go with Zin this weekend. And maybe a big Tempranillo from Toro as well because, well, why not!

And great suggestion about the PS. That's what I was thinking too. Problem is that the only one I have is Halcon and while I love his wines, I don't want it to show poorly. And now that you mention it, a big Monastrell would work too and I have one of those and also one from Biran Loring. Seems like we're in good shape for next weekend.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 15, 2015.

After a long day scoping out potential park build sites around the base of Mt Fuji and later wading up mountain streambeds in icecold water just for the reveling hell-of-it before heading back to Yokohoma, ended up in a restaurant where they'll cook your shellfish and other seafood as you request and interestingly enough allow you to bring in any drinks you want. We brought in sixpacks of Ebisu beer since there were no proper places nearby to source any but the nastiest wine, and it had been a long (left home at 5am), hot, dusty, tiring day.

So most any seafood you can imagine (and then some) that will be grilled or sauteed or steamed or simmered without fancy sauces, what would you bring to the meal? Think I'll pack some of my own wine before the next road trip where we might end up back at that same restaurant...

 

Meant to ask earlier, but somehow forgot--WTHell were you guys doing with that poutine, Greg???

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Reply by GregT, Jun 16, 2015.

So clearly they market beer differently in Japan than in the US. I can't believe that label would sell a single six pack here!

For that seafood, I'd bring a good white, probably N. Spain but actually a Greek wine would be great too. If they could chill it for you.

As far as the poutine goes, I think there's some kind of movement to get that to be the next big thing. It's a perfect San Diego food - not a lot of taste, includes french fries, and you can shovel it in without worrying about savoring anything as there's nothing much to savor. I guess in Quebec it's cold enough that you appreciate some warming comfort food but here? And it's showing up all over! Maybe American culinary arts have peaked and they're heading back to the 1950s? Trader Joe's canned goods replacing Jolly Green Giant and the height of cooking just a tasteless mess. Poutine, for the people who love Salisbury steak!

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 16, 2015.

Would rather have a good Salisbury steak. We need GDP here to talk about Hawaiian lunch plates where they have something like it with some dangerous looking gravy over it and rice and potato-mac scoops....

I think someone cooked poutine and won on Iron Chef American version a few years back. Some gimmick searchers in the food world are looking for the next twists or new thing to hang some efforts and buzz on to make themselves a career bump and some money on (kinda like what buzz-hungry sommeliers do). Or so I've thought the last two or three years when I've seen poutine reference. The pasty mess didn't even exist before the 1950s so it's not like we're talking about frontiersman comfort food with a proper cultural pedigree. 

If you're drinking to all hours in Montreal in the wintertime, and can find some late night that has the fries cooked right to a point somewhere between soft and crispy and the right cheddar curds and a proper chicken-stock gravy then there's almost an excuse for its existence--in Quebec, or in French-Canadian ghettos in other parts of Canada. Other than that no, however, since it can be nastier than even cheese fries or stadium nachos made with cheesewhiz. Certainly runs counter to California-healthy eating trtends. So always curious to see how attempts are made to market it.

 

That manga on the very-good beer is a special Father's Day campaign packaging. Frankly doesn't faze me at this point since all I see is the name (Y)ebisu and my thirsty lizard brain takes over from there. 

Greek (even a decent retsina--they do exist) sounds pretty wonderful but unfortunately not easy to source in Japan. Spain easier, but Italian and French easier yet. Even South African and Australian. Not really considering Chilean as an option but just talking here about what's most easily available at stores here if we source from the marketplace rather than me dragging my own bottles along. If it were my car we were going in I'd put an icechest in the back, but usually I scoot down to Yokohama by train and three of us go in another's. Will try to work out that quick-icing option with the restaurant next time there...

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Reply by GregT, Jun 17, 2015.

Interesting history about poutine. California healthy eating exists side by side with some of the most disgusting eating around - California burrito anyone? Seems like there are two groups - the granola and fiber and natural crowd that has evolved into what we now term "foodies", a la Chez Panisse, Niman Ranch, etc., and the surfer sports fan crowd that just wants bulk and lots of it fast. Interesting mix. Stereotypes for sure but different poles. My heart is with the former but I do like the attitude of the latter and since San Diego was pretty much just navy and surfers for many years, they have the upper hand here.

Greek wine is probably easier to find in Japan than it is here though. It's not that there's all that much imported anywhere - there's not a huge market in the US, but it's available here and there in places like NYC so that's where I source. And I must say, they've been improving by leaps and bounds. Sort of like Spain in the 1990s. I don't know enough - there's just so much to learn as I'm not all that familiar with the regions and grapes other than in very broad terms.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 17, 2015.

California burrito? Guess it depends from where, I like potato/fries in my burrito just fine.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 17, 2015.

*Crosses himself and starts ringing the area with circles of garlic*:  Fries in 'burritos'???

Go straight to poutine. Do not pass Go and do *not* collect $200 or any healthy brownie points...

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Reply by JonDerry, Jun 17, 2015.

Lime in the coconut?

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Reply by Alpedhuez55, Jun 19, 2015.

Do I dare make my first post on the site saying I just enjoyed a $5 Lindemans's Bin #55 Shiraz/Cab with a Bacon Cheddar Burger?

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