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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

National Hamburger Day!

It's gotta be America's favorite made-up holiday
May 28th, National Hamburger Day

The hamburger was invented in Hamburg, Germany, but the idea of a sandwich (the bun) is an American invention. It's estimated American restaurants serve over 8 billion burgers every year. That doesn't include the ones we cook at home.

So we have to ask, what wine should you have with your burger? Like most any other wine-food pairings it depends on the prep. In this case what cheese, if any, and what condiments. Things like a sharp cheddar or a spicy mustard, and onions can make a difference.

This means it can be pretty much any red wine. A California Pinot Noir, Merlot, lighter Cabernet, Syrah or Zinfandel can work fine depending on the burger preparation. If you prefer a white then go with a heavier Chardonnay and lay off the onions, pickles, and strong cheeses. A "sweet" burger would be one with catsup, mayo, yellow mustard, caramelized onions and would work well with a more acidic wine to cut through the sweetness. A "sharp" burger would be one with dill pickles, raw onions, and a spicy mustard. Maybe a Pinot or Barbera here. If you're looking for one all-around red to go with any hamburger I'd probably go with Syrah or a Syrah blend.

Just make it an American wine as this is definitely an American holiday!

If you visit Sonoma County there are lots of good burger joints. In Santa Rosa: Carmen's, Flipside (my personal favorite), Ozzie's, Phyllis', Superburger, and the best chain burger joint--In 'n Out. In other parts of the county: Mike's in Cotati (considered by many to be the best), and Hamburger Ranch in Cloverdale.

Fire up the grill!