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Summer Grilling: Napa Cabernet Burgers

8 Jul

What is just as good as relaxing and sipping on a rich California Cab? Eating Cabernet burgers of course! Grilling is definitely the preparation of choice as we are in the peak of summer. Literally the heat of summer in Jersey, 105 degrees today plus humidity. The idea of cooking up a storm indoors seems unbearable. On the other hand though, I’m not willing to sacrifice my enduring love for dry red wines even when it’s hot out. And so explains the idea behind the Cabernet burger. Its a genius idea really. Pop on the AC, open one of your favorite reds to cook with and drink, do some prep work, and leave the heat outside by cooking on the grill. See below for my simple, juicy, no fuss, gourmet summer burger.

For a delicious wine pairing, I recommend a classic Napa Cab. Anderson’s Conn Valley is a remarkable producer that offers good values on highly rated wines. If your looking for a casual Cab for any night of the week I’d recommend their “Prologue”. As the name implies, this wine is their gateway/beginner of the series. With subtle but definitely apparent oak, green pepper on the mid-palate, and a cinnamon spice finish, this Cab is easy drinking and perfect for burger night. This wine retails at about $20. If you’d like to celebrate or go a step further, I recommend the Cab Reserve or the Eloge. Year after year these two wines get 90+ scores and are well worth the buck you will pay. If I were to buy a current vintage of these, I’d probably hang on to it for a few years though. I once tasted a Cab Reserve from this winery produced in the late 80’s (yes right around when I was born!) and the matured flavors of tobacco and cocoa were truly amazing.

While you wait for those reserve Cab’s to mature to their peak flavors, throw a few of these burgers on the grill and enjoy that summer sun!

Cabernet Burger Patties:

-1 1lb 80/20 ground beef

-1/4 cup red wine – preferably Cabernet Sauvignon

-1 egg

-1/6 cup oatmeal

-2 tbsp minced rosemary

-Salt and pepper

Combine above ingredients and form into 1/4 lb patties. Cook to desired temperature.

To dress up the burgers:

-Sliced Havarti cheese

-Equal parts Dijon mustard and light mayo for a dressing


-Sliced red onion

-Sliced tomato

-Kaiser or french rolls

Pesto Potato Salad

For the Pesto:

-2 garlic cloves

-1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

-2-4 cups of basil and parsley

-2 tbsp olive oil

-3 tbsp lemon juice

-1/4 cup mayo

In a food processor, blend the top 3 ingredients and slowly add the olive oil. With a spoon, mix in the lemon juice and mayo. Refrigerate until ready to mix with vegetables.

Roast the following vegetables on the grill, let stand and bring to room temperature before mixing in the sauce above.

– 6 Yukon gold potatoes chopped into 1/4″ slices

-1 red onion chopped into larger chunks

– 2 red bell peppers chopped into larger chunks

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