Smile and Say, ‘Cheese… burger!’ With Your Glass of Wine

As I was binge watching “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” over the weekend, it dawned on me that we are just days away from the 2020 edition of National Cheeseburger Day.

It’s this Friday, September 18.

A little research reveals that the “invention” of the cheeseburger is credited to 16-year-old Lionel Sternberger, who was working the grill at his dad’s sandwich shop in Pasadena, Calif., in 1926.

There are two stories that have been put forward. One is that Lionel was flipping burgers when he simply decided to add a slice of American cheese to a meat patty on the griddle. Another is that a homeless person passing by made the suggestion to add cheese to the burger.

Either way — or perhaps another way — the cheeseburger was born, and untold billions have been consumed in the ensuing years.

And while many people enjoy washing down a cheeseburger with a cold beer, I much prefer a glass of wine — almost always red, and paired, primarily, to the type of cheese on the burger.

After all, while the “classic” cheeseburger may feature American cheese, there are many other choices available.

My favorite is medium to sharp cheddar, and that kind of cheeseburger calls for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

When topping a burger with blue cheese, a spicier wine is called for. California Zinfandel makes a great partner, and so does an Argentine Malbec.

Another amazing pairing involves a burger topped with garlic and herb cheese served with a glass of Merlot.

And if you’re adding Gruyere to your burger, opt for a wine with some earthy notes — Pinot Noir, anyone?

What about other burger toppings? Honestly, with a quality patty of beef and a flavorful slice or serving of cheese, everything else is just “extra.” For the best wine pairing experience, stick with the basics. Your palate will thank you.

Now let’s all raise a glass… smile… and say, “Cheese… burger!”

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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