Blackberry Sage Beef Burgers

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

I love the sweetberries of late summer combined with fresh green fragrance of sage. The Zinfandel wine and spicy arugula compliment the sweet, heat of the glaze perfectly. Finish with some fresh vegetables and creamy Gorgonzola and all that is needed is a glass of Sutter Home.


¾ cup Sutter Home Zinfandel Wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/3 cup blackberry jam
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1-1/4 pound ground chuck, preferably grass fed
1-1/4 pound ground sirloin, preferably grass fed
3 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh blackberries
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed green peppercorns
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 red onion slices, cut in strips
2 fennel bulbs cut in strips
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce cheese, crumbled
1 head crisp lettuce
6 best quality artisan sandwich buns, split


Preheat gas grill for medium high direct grilling. Place the wine, vinegar, sage, garlic and chipotle in a grill proof pan. Place over heat and cook, while stirring, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Return to pan and add the preserves and lemon juice. Heat, while stirring for 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Combine the beef with the sage, blackberries, salt and crushed green peppercorns. Form into 6 patties. Lightly oil grill and place patties on grill. Cook for 4 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is reached, brushing burgers with glaze while grilling. While burgers are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a grill proof skillet. Place the onion and fennel slices in oil and sauté until soft and golden. Remove from pan and toss with remaining glaze. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the sage leaves in hot oil, turning once until crisp. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Brush the cut surfaces of the buns with a little oil. Place on grill, cut side down and brown. Place bun bottoms on serving plate. Top with lettuce leaves, and a burger patty. Use a slotted spoon to place relish on top of burger. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and top with a layer of crisp fried sage leaves. Replace bun top.