Burgers with Cabernet and Dried Cherries

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


4 chunks cherry wood about 2”
10 strips bacon
Cabernet Sauvignon–Dried Cherry Panade
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1½ cups Sutter Home Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
1½ cups beef stock
5 slices white bread
2 pounds ground beef 85% lean
1 egg
2 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser Rolls
¼ cup softened butter
2 cups organic baby spinach leaves



Directions Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. Submerge cherry wood chunks in water to soak. On the grill rack, fry bacon in a 12-inch fire-proof skillet until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate and save for other recipes, such as side salad. Reserve 3/8 cup of the bacon fat in heat proof bowl for incorporation in the patties. Cover and allow to cool. To make the Cabernet Sauvignon–Dried Cherry Panade place dried cherries in a 2 quart fire-proof sauce pan, add Cabernet Sauvignon and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Add beef stock and place on grill rack. Bring to full boil. Reduce by 75%, about 15 minutes. While stock reduces, remove crust from white bread and cut into ½” pieces. When reduced, remove sauce pan from grill. Strain to separate cherries and liquid. Place bread in a small bowl and add 3/8 cup of retained liquid and allow to saturate bread, about 5 minutes. While bread saturates, chop cherries for topping the finished burgers. After bread has saturated, mash with fork to form a smooth paste. To make the patties, in a medium bowl break beef in small pieces. Separate egg. Discard yolk and add egg white to beef. Mince garlic using a garlic press and add to beef. Add retained bacon fat, panade, salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit the rolls. Drain cherry wood chunks. Check grill temperature. Adjust if needed. Add cherry wood chunks directly to charcoal. Oil cooking rack. While allowing the wood to begin smoking, spread buns with the butter. Grill burgers, with grill cover on, until seared on both sides, about 7-10 minutes total. Remove burgers to a plate and cover. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble burgers, place patties on roll bottoms. Top with chopped cherries and baby spinach. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers