Bruschetta Burgers with Red Wine Reduction and Garlic Aioli

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


3 cups Sutter Home cabernet sauvignon
2 cups ruby port wine
2 whole heads plus 6 cloves garlic; heads for roasting, 2 cloves crushed and 4 cloves pressed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 2 for roasting garlic, 1 for sautéing, 3 for the bruschetta
5 roma tomatoes; halved, seeded and diced to approx. 1/4" cubes
6 Spanish Queen olives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons capers
8 basil leaves, chiffonaded
2 1/2 teaspoons salt; 2 tsp for the beef and 1/2 tsp for the bruschetta
3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper; 1/2 tsp for the beef and 1/4 tsp for the bruschetta
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 lbs ground chuck
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
6 round slices pancetta, approx. 1/8" thick
6 ciabatta rolls, sliced to use as buns
1/4 lb Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved thin with a vegetable peeler Canola or other vegetable oil for brushing the grill



Heat your grill to 400 degrees. In a cast iron pan (on the grill) sauté the 2 crushed cloves of garlic in 1 tblsp olive oil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the flame and add the Sutter Home cabernet and the ruby port. Allow this to boil until it becomes thick and just begins to coat the bottom of the pan, approx. 60 minutes. When done, divide this reduction into 2 containers, 1 for basting the burgers and 1 to use as a sauce. Cut the tops off of the 2 whole heads of garlic and place them in another cast iron pan. Drizzle on 2 tblsp olive oil and cover with foil. Place this pan on the grill. Check after 30 minutes and periodically thereafter if not yet done. Garlic is done when brown and caramelized and the cloves are starting to pop out of the head. Remove and set aside to cool when done. While the garlic and wine reduction is cooking combine the diced tomatoes, olives, 4 pressed cloves of garlic, capers, basil, 3 tblsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper for the bruschetta topping. Mix well, cover and set aside. When the roasted garlic is sufficiently cooled, squeeze the cloves into a bowl and mash them. Add the mayonnaise and combine well to make the roasted garlic aioli. Cover and refrigerate. Thoroughly combine the ground chuck, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and the Italian parsley. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form patties approx. 3/4" thick. Set aside during the following steps to allow to come closer to room temperature. Take the tops of your sliced ciabatta rolls and scoop out a little of the bread to form a hollow. This will help hold the bruschetta later. Lightly coat the insides of the tops and bottoms of the rolls and grill, aioli side down, until toasted. Set aside. Using one of your cast iron pans, cook the pancetta just long enough to render off some of the fat. Do not cook crisp like regular bacon. Place a slice on each of the roll bottoms. Rub down your grill with a rag soaked in the vegetable oil. Put the burger patties on the grill and cook approx. 4 minutes on each side, or until an instant read thermometer shows 137 degrees in the center of the burgers. Baste the patties during cooking with one container of the wine reduction sauce. For each burger: place a patty on top of the pancetta, cover the patty with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings, drizzle on the wine reduction from the container saved for this purpose, and top with 2-3 tablespoons of the bruschetta mixture. Spread some of the roasted garlic aioli on the top bun and place it on top of the burger. Enjoy.