La Mancha Burgers con Queso Fundido and Saffron Aioli

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika (Pimenton de la Vera)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
3/4 cup Sutter Home Chardonnay
8 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 ounces Cojita cheese, grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted red pepper
Oil to brush the grill
6 Portuguese Rolls, split
12-18 Arugula leaves
6 (1/4 inch thick) tomato slices



Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat.

In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and the kosher salt. Break the ground chuck apart into a large bowl and sprinkle with the paprika mixture. Drizzle the two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the meat and gently combine. Shape the meat into 6 equal sized patties and set aside.

To prepare the aioli, in a small food processor combine the mayonnaise, saffron and capers. Remove the zest from the lemon to measure 1 teaspoon and add to the mayonnaise. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small bowl, measure out 2 teaspoons and pour in with the mayonnaise (set remaining juice aside). Add 1 of the minced garlic cloves to the mayo and process until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To prepare the Queso Fundido, in a medium sized fire-safe pot on the hot grill rack, bring the Sutter Home Chardonnay to a simmer. Stir in the cheeses, remaining lemon juice and remaining garlic. Stir until melted and smooth then stir in the roasted red pepper. Keep warm on the side of the grill, stirring occasionally, while preparing the patties.

Lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Arrange the patties on the rack and cook 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. During the last 2 minutes of grilling arrange the rolls split side down on the edges of the grill to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the aioli on the bottom half of each roll. Top the aioli with several arugula leaves followed by a tomato slice. Center the patties on the tomatoes and spoon a generous amount of the Queso Fundido over each patty. Top with remaining roll halves and serve.