Posts Tagged ‘hamburger’

I really do hate to keep bringing up wine producers that I’ve mentioned in the past because there is a megaton of wine in this world and I have a secret goal to experience 75% of it.  Alas, I only have access to an estimated 10% through my local wine shop, a paltry 45 additional percentage points through the internet, and perhaps a lousy 2.5 percentage points more through my worldly travels.  That’s only 57.5% of completely made up figures!  The point is, we all live in a bubble.

Anyway, I had a smashed burger and a glass of Washington Chardonnay so I’m winning at life.

4oz of not so lean ground beef, divided in half and rolled into balls.  1 cast iron skillet perched atop a burner set to 11.  2tbsps butter thrown into the skillet and melted which was immediately absorbed by the two halves of a delightfully fluffy hamburger bun and then toasted.  Oh yeah, you gotta roll that bun in the butter and make sure a little gets on the outsides too.  Just toast one side of each bun half though, let’s not get too crazy.  When the skillet was smoking, the two meat ball were thrown on and smashed as skinny as I could make them.  After they browned in their own fat (Le Burger Confit, no?) in a couple of minutes, they were flipped.  Salt and pepper were then applied.  A 2yr aged cheddar was put on one of the patties because every burger should have cheese.  Once the Maillard reaction had set in on both sides, the patties were scooped a placed on the bun.

Wine: Dusted Valley Chardonnay 2014


OK, yes I had a side salad made of who cares and that was nice too.  I just want to get that out of the way for anyone worried about my health.

I don’t know why people still assume red wines pair better with burgers.  Maybe it’s the whole red meat, red wine thing? Regardless, I’m pretty sure everyone who has done it is completely on board.  Why does it work?  Well fat flavor begets fat flavor, for one. The trick with Chardonnay, and we’re talking the MLF, maybe some oak kind*, is always to find one with that delicate balance of butteriness and acidity, primarily in the form of green apple flavors.  Chablis is always the standard-bearer for this style and exemplar of balance, but they are certainly not alone in producing quality Chardonnays.  The best Chardonnays I’ve had are generally from cooler climates than central California, don’t carry too much oak, if any, and pack enough acid to make you not think you’re drinking a stick of butter.  Then when you mix that balanced Chardonnay with a fine cheeseburger to bring out the fact that you’re ingesting some delicious fat, protein, and carbohydrates…well, then you’re just living on the edge.

Oh yeah, the next night I added a dab of duck fat to the pan for a “twist”.  Then the third night I didn’t, but I just used 6oz of beef instead of 4…I may have a problem.  Good thing I ran out of meat.


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Rating: 5/5

Ground beef burger with cumin, corriander, sage, soy sauce and tobasco mixed in.  Refried black beans between the bottom toasted wheat bun and the burger topped with aged cheddar, mashed avocado and chopped serrano pepper mixed together, garlic aioli, then a tomato slice followed by the top bun.  Side of waldorf salad (lettuce, grapes, walnuts, celery, yogurt and lemon juice dressing).

Wine: LAN Crianza Rioja 2006


This was a fantastic burger!  Perfect at the end of the summer in the heat and perfect after a good bike ride (I crave burgers after the end of a nice ride for some reason…everytime).  I was a little hesitant that the alcohol was going to intensify the spice a bit too much, but fortunately the wine turned out to be more balanced than I thought and I only noticed it a little in fleeting moments.  Those fleeting moments were certainly inconsequential as it took awhile to finish the 1/2lb of beef on this burger.  Other than that, you can’t go wrong pairing something with southwestern stylings to tempranillo.  As a somewhat embarrassing aside, I typically envision riding a horse through the coastal plains of Spain as I sip on this gem from España.  If I could personify one wine, it would be tempranillo and tempranillo would be a cowboy or a caballero.  Sure, go on and giggle now, but you’ll be cursing me the next time you take a sip from Rioja in particular and all you can think about is being a cowboy (or cowgirl).

Additionally, this bottle from LAN was sporting a spiffy rear label. 

Not only do they give some good cellaring tips (as if you weren’t going to drink this right away), but they also give a cool chart to show you when the “Best Time To Drink” this wine is and I’m a sucker for a good chart.  The Spanish, especially those in Rioja are typically very good at only releasing wines when they are ready to drink so their wines usually don’t need to be cellared for extended periods of time after you purchase it unlike the Bordeaux and Burgundies of years past.  For the LAN Crianza, they had a suggested drinking time from 2009 to 2013 (3 to 7 years from the vintage date) which seemed like an adequate assessment.   How they came up with the exact shape of the graph is beyond me, but I suspect their graphic designer had to get a bit creative.

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