A Short Guide to Wine & Burgers Part 2: Meat & Fish
Welcome to part two of this short-but-sweet guide to wine and burgers. As part one introduced us all to vegan wines and veggie burgers, this part will, unsurprisingly, focus on meat and fish.
Let’s cut straight to the chase and discuss beef burgers. I am going to make a bold statement – I think there is one particular wine that, above all others, is perfect with any and all beef burgers. The South African Raconteur Shiraz is aromatic and rich with dark fruit notes. You will be hard-pressed to find a more impressive wine to accompany any hamburger, cheeseburger or even a bacon burger. If your favourite burger toppings are barbecue sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes or spicy peppers, you are onto a winner with this wine. That said, there are other options, of course, like a Malbec, Merlot or a Gigondas. The key is to look out for notes like chocolate, dark fruits, plums and spices to bring out the richness of the meat.
If a chicken or turkey burger is your thing, I would recommend an oaked Chardonnay, particularly if you’re using toppings like mayonnaise or garlic aioli. One outstanding example is the Chilean Casas del Bosque Chardonnay, which is almost nutty and crisply citrussy. This wine is zingy enough to cut through the richness of a burger but creamy enough to enhance and uplift the chicken flavours. As an alternative, why not try an English sparkling wine with chicken or turkey? The Exton Park Brut Reserve NV has all the citrus notes and crispness you crave with poultry, but with an added decadence. This wine could also be delicious with a white fish burger, especially if the fish is breaded and covered in tartare sauce or salad.
Now, although white wines seem the obvious choice with poultry, there is still a place for red at your burger party. If you are combining your chicken burger with more powerful toppings like blue cheese or bacon, a light red wine might be a better bet than a white wine. Try a floral Pinot Noir with liquorice notes to cut through any saltier, fattier flavours.
Finally, white fish burgers can pair straightforwardly with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chenin blanc, but oily fish like salmon burgers are a different ballgame entirely. For example, if you’re going for an Asian-style salmon burger, a Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Grenache Blanc will bring out your burger’s aromatic spices, zing and any chilli notes. Subtly acidic wines like these are great to cut through oily salmon flavours. If it is a special occasion, you could really push the boat out and go for a sparkling rosé, as long as it is light and fruity with floral notes.
Congratulations, you have made it to the end of the shortest guide to pairing burgers with wine. Hopefully, I have convinced you that burgers and wine can be best friends, maybe even better friends than burgers and beer. The key takeaway (pun intended) is that there is a wine to suit every burger and a burger to suit every wine.
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