Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.

The Community where my husband and I grew up is a small community of Italian immigrants located in Greenpoint Brooklyn.We are still blessed with some of the neighborhoods specialty purveyors where we are able to buy wonderful homemade Italian meats, cheeses and other products. So for us this burger sums up the taste of home. It’s our American burger with an Italian twist.



Roasted Pepper-Basil Spread

2/3 cup fresh Basil
1 clove Garlic
1 7-ounce jar Roasted Peppers, drained, juice discarded
2/3 cup Ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons imported Provolone cheese, finely grated
1 ½ tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon fresh Mint, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pancetta Thins

18 thin slices Pancetta

Burger Patties

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
¼ cup Fontina cheese, diced small
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

Olive oil, for brushing on the grill rack
Sutter Home Merlot, for basting burger
6 slices Tomato
6 ¼-inch slices fresh mozzerella
6 (4 ½ inch) soft Ciabatta rolls, split or soft Sandwich Rolls with Sesame Seeds, split
Aluminum foil, for covering burgers



Using a Chimney and lighter prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover or preheat a gas grill medium high heat.

To make the spread, chop basil, garlic and roasted peppers in a mini food processor. Remove mixture to a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Set aside in a cool place until ready for use.
Place a 10 1/4-inch cast iron skillet on the grill, when hot add the thin slices of pancetta and cook until lightly crisp on each side. Set aside.

To make the patties, in a large bowl combine the chuck, fontina cheese, black pepper, Italian seasoning and grated cheese. Form into 6 burger patties.

When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place each patty on the rack and using a basting brush, baste the tops of the patties with the merlot. Cook 4-5 minutes. Turn each burger one quarter turn for grill marks. Baste again and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Turn patty over and baste the tops of the patties with the merlot again. Cook 3-4 minutes. Once again using a basting brush, turn patties a quarter turn and baste the tops of the patties with the merlot. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes for medium-rare to medium or cook until desired doneness.

During the final minutes of grilling the patties, place the rolls cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack and lightly toast. Then remove rolls. Place aluminum foil over rolls to keep warm, if necessary. When the patties are cooked remove from grill.

To assemble the burgers, place a burger patty on each roll bottom. Layer each burger with 3 crispy pancetta thins, 1 slice tomato and 1 slice mozzarella. Cover the top of each roll with the spread, place on top and serve.

Makes 6 burgers