Burgers and Cab Franc

Cab Franc and Burger

I had been craving a burger for weeks it seemed. Juicy red meat with a soft bun and lots of fun and interesting things on it. Michael had been making pickles and I had come upon a carrot ketchup recipe that I was ready to riff on. And…we had a bottle of Carhartt Vineyards Cabernet Franc that was looking perfect to go with this.

The Vegas temps had risen and we were clearly in triple digits and grilling outside was not an option. So I picked up my phone and searched for “perfect Burgers”. Bobby Flay & the food network saved the day. I’ll just leave this link right here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/perfect-burger-recipe-1957542

So we took Bobby’s advice and went to find 80/20 ground chuck and returned to make these burgers inside, out of the heat, in our cast iron skillet. Nothing added but salt pepper and a bit of attention, but no fiddling! Heat the pan with some canola oil in it. Make the patties, salt & pepper, put a thumbprint on the top and put them in the pan, then just be patient, flip them after 3 minutes, then let them cook on the other side for 4.

We added Muenster and did the quick trick of putting the cheese on, then tossing in just a little water and sticking on the lid. 30 seconds and your cheese is perfectly melted.

burger with beet and carrot ketchup and Cabernet Franc

Top a burger with a little Muenster some arugula and some home made yellow beet and carrot ketchup and pair it with a Cabernet Franc

We topped the burgers with fresh pickles, arugula, and some of this amazing beet and carrot ketchup that I had made from farm fresh veggies

Carrot Yellow Beet Catsup

Full of umami, this yellow beet and carrot ketchup is just the thing to spice up your burger condiments


Beet & Carrot Ketchup Recipe

This was perfect with the cab franc and I was in burger heaven.

The Carhartt Cabernet Franc was a 2013 from Curtis Vineyard. Curtis is out on Foxen Canyon Road and is part of the larger Santa Ynez AVA.

Cab Franc seems to thrive at this vineyard, which has been around for a while and is a warmer site. This wine is dark currants, raspberries and plums with nice spice and a richness that melded beautifully with my medium rare burger.

This Cab Franc was rich and lush without being too heavy.  It paired with the umami of the rare grilled meat and was mellow enough that it allowed the other ingredients to shine though.  The ketchup with the little bit of Worcestershire had a nice zing that it didn’t cover up and it didn’t fight with Michael’s homemade pickles.  All the ingredients danced happily in my mouth.

Don’t be afraid to try new pairings and stop back here at Crushed Grape Chronicles  for more insights and recipes for pairings.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Wine pairings at a burger joint?

Wine & Burgers

Wine & Burgers?  You find wine pairings for all kinds of crazy things these days, girl scout cookies, junk food and yes cheese fries.  I live in Vegas and it is an amazing town.  I’m lucky enough to work near a Shake Shack, you know great simple burgers that started  in 2004 in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. The one at the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Vegas was the first on the west coast.  The place usually has a line and it’s pretty quick.  Read the Shake Shake story.

Wine & Burgers?

Wine & Burgers

The menu board with all it’s mix and match goodness.


The menu board has a wide selection of sandwiches, sides shakes, concretes and even treats for your four legged friends.    And if the menu isn’t extensive enough for you, insiders tell me you can mix and match all of the basics, kind of like the secret ‘animal style” at In & Out.  Not sure if you want a burger or a chicken sandwich?  You can just have both, the chicken patty on top of the burger.  Want to take it a step further, have them top that with the ‘Shroom burger, a portabella stuffed with melted muenster and cheddar.  Or try their Smoke Shake and top that bacon with some peanut butter sauce from the shake menu!  So the mix and match combinations are endless.  Then…you can choose your beverage.  Being a wine blogger, I opted for a glass of wine.  Yep…they serve wine at Shake Shack. Frog’s Leap Vineyard is in Rutherford California, in Napa Valley and they make a special red blend as well as a white blend for Shake Shack.  Mind you you can also order several other wines, by the half bottle, bottle or carafe.  They revolve the wine menu but you can find great wines like a Talley Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande or a Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and it being Vegas they have a full bottle of Krug Champagne if you just won big and want to spend $250!  Of course this is nothing new to Shake Shack when they opened the first location they featured a half-bottle of Opus One, one of the world’s most expensive wines. Picking up a tray with a burger, fries and a glass of wine and taking it out to sit and watch the people go by on the Vegas strip is a thing of beauty.

Not just Wine…organic biodynamic Wine

Frog’s Leap produces organic & biodynamic wines and created these blends specifically to pair with the Shack menu.  I highly recommend giving the Frog’s Leap Story a read.  You will see why Frog’s Leap and Shake Shack are such a good pairing.

“The Shack white is a Sauvignon Blanc that is fermented and aged in steel tanks and has 12.5% alcohol, while the red is made from Cabernet Sauvignon with a little bit of Cabernet Franc, aged for 11 months in French oak, and contains 13% alcohol, Rosati says. Those percentages are slightly on the low side and help keep the wine fresh on the palate.”David Marcus, The Street – quoting Mark Rosati, Shake Shack’s culinary development manager in February of 2015.

On to the Wine & Burger Pairings!

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So….what about the wine & burger pairings you ask?  Well my first was the Shack White paired with cheese fries.  Simple Yukon potato crinkle cut fries topped with drippy Cheddar and American cheese.  All that ooey gooey goodness can coat your palate though…so a sip of Shack white which is a zippy Sav Blanc, cut through the layers cleansed my palate and had me diving back in for more gooey messy cheesy fries.

My next pairing I shared with Michael.  We went late night after a show.  I got the ‘Shroom Burger he got the Smoke Shack, we shared fries and got a glass of the Shack White and Red.  The red was great with both burgers and the white paired nicely with the ‘Sroom burger and the fries.  I must admit that I was tempted by the Champagne.  Those bubbles would be the perfect palate cleanser and what could be more perfectly Vegas than chomping on a burger and cheese fries and sipping champagne, right on the strip!

So if you find yourself in Vegas, do it!  Shake Shake is at the NYNY Hotel and Casino on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana.

And stop back here for more insights on pairings, wines, wineries and winemakers!