Lemon Infused Oregano Burgers with Raita

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


1 1/2 cups coarsely grated unpeeled Armenian or English cucumber 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. fresh sqeezed lemon juice, divided
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
zest from two lemons, divided
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallot
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
2 lbs. ground chuck vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
Peda bread, but into 6 wedges and cut to split horizontally



Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. To make the Raita: Toss the cucumber and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt in a bowl. Place mixture into a strainer for 10 to 15 minutes to allow excess liquid to drain off. Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, mint, lemon juice from one lemon and sugar in a bowl. Add the cucumber to the yogurt mixture. Mix well and refrigerate until serving. To make the Lemon Pepper Mayonnaise: Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Sweat shallots and garlic until shallots are just translucent. Take care not to burn the garlic. Stir in the Sutter Home White Merlot and cook until reduced in volume by about half. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine the oregano, zest from one lemon, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and wine reduction. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix the beef into the oregano mixture. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the Peda wedges. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the Peda wedges, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble burgers, place a generous amount of the lemon pepper mayonnaise over the cut sides of the bread wedges. On each Peda wedge bottom, place a patty and top with an equal amount of the Raita. Add the Peda wedge tops and serve.