Cheeseburger in an Oregon Paradise

Pairs well with:


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


42 ounces ground beef (preferably freshly-ground chuck)
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2-½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons Zinfandel wine
6 buns, preferably foccacia buns , split
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill
6 thin slices of Smokey Blue Cheese (or other blue cheese)
6 crisp romaine lettuce leaves
6 ripe tomato slices
6 thin sweet red onion slices



In a grill, prepare a fire for direct-heat cooking. In a bowl, mix the ground beef with the shallots, salt, pepper, and the wine until thoroughly combined. (But do not over-mix the meat mixture or it will toughen.) Form the meat mixture into six equal patties, making them slightly thicker at the edges. When the grill is hot, brush grill with the vegetable oil. Place patties on the grill and cook until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn the patties and cook for another 2 minutes. At this point place the split buns on the side of the grill to warm and toast them. Also at this point place the Blue Cheese on the burgers. Cover grill to help melt the cheese and cook for about another 2 minutes, until cheese is melted. Check the meat for doneness by inserting an insta-read thermometer into the side of a patty. 160o F is a good reading for medium rare. (For food safety reasons, never serve hamburger at less than 155oF.) Remove bottom halves of buns from grill onto serving platter. Remove patties from grill to bottoms of buns. Top with lettuce, tomato, and onion slices. Serve at once.