Which wines go best with burgers?

You have ketchup. Sauteed mushrooms and onions. A whole array of cheese options. But when it’s burger night, do you have wine ready?

Whether you grill or griddle, how you top your burger makes a big difference in the wine you’ll want to drink.

The meat

The first consideration, when pairing a wine with your burger, is the meat used to create the burger. Beef is most common and works well with a fruity cabernet sauginon, but gamier patties, like lamb argues for earthy wines such as a pinot noir.

Grilled onions

The caramelized sweetness of grilled onions works well with many new world reds. Pairing suggestions include Merlot, Syrah and Bordeaux blends. Afraid to pull the cork on your expensive wines? Don’t be. It’s just going to sit there, waiting for the perfect moment until, years from now, you discover they’re over the hill.


Whether cooked on the grill or on the stove-top, mushrooms pull your burger’s wine pairing in the direction of earthy red wines like Pinot Noir.


This ads another layer of complexity as far as what wine to choose with your burger. From the vast sea of cheesy options, which do you choose?  Is your burger topped with melted Kraft Singles or Swiss?  Blue cheese or goat cheese?  Cheddar?  Limburger??  It’s impossible to recommend a single wine that will be a home run with each cheese option, but as a general rule of thumb the added complexity cheese brings to a simple burger argues for a more complex, earthy wine.


The most common, of course, is ketchup. And the sweet/acid nature of the beast makes me think of blush wines. A dry Rosé works with so many foods, it should be one of your go-to utility players.

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