Candied Walnut Burgers with Pears, Stilton, Watercress and Zinfandel Wine Reduction

Pairs well with:


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


1 cup Sutter Home Red Zinfandel
1 T. sugar
1 T. honey
1/8 t salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs. freshly ground Sirloin
1 1/4 lbs. freshly ground Chuck
1 T McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 C finely ground candied walnuts
1 T A1 Sauce
Colavita Olive Oil for grill
6 Sourdough rolls
1 Bartlett pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into 12 slices
1/4 lb English Farmhouse Stilton, crumbled
6 sprigs watercress



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the wine reduction: In a flame proof saucepan, combine the Sutter Home Red Zinfandel, sugar, honey, salt and pepper. Place on a medium flame to simmer until reduced to a thick syrup. Cover pan with aluminum foil and set aside.

To make the patties: In a large bowl combine the ground Sirloin, ground Chuck, steak seasoning, ground walnuts and A1 sauce. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.

Brush Colavita olive oil on the grill rack to prevent the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 5 to 7 minutes per side on medium-high heat, until desired doneness. While the burgers are grilling, slice the rolls in half. When the burgers are almost done place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edge of the grill to toast lightly and warm up.

Place the bottom of each roll on a plate. Place a burger on top of each roll bottom. Top each burger with 2 pear slices and an equal portion of crumbled cheese. Drizzle with the wine reduction and top with a sprig of watercress. Add the bun tops and serve.