Red Chile Burgers

Pairs well with:


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



Makes 6 burgers

Avocado Lime Salsa

2 ripe avocados, diced
2 limes, cut and squeezed
2 red tomatoes, diced
½ cup fresh cilantro, finely-chopped
2 teaspoons salt (ideally, Kosher)
2 teaspoons black pepper (ideally, freshly-ground)
2 tablespoons olive oil


2 pounds ground chuck
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely-chopped
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons salt (preferably Kosher)
2 teaspoons black pepper (preferably freshly-ground)
2 teaspoons red chile powder
1 tablespoon oregano, freshly-chopped (or use dried Mexican oregano)
¼ cup red chile sauce (ideally, Cervantes brand of authentic New Mexican)
¼ cup Sutter Home California Zinfandel

Pepper Jack Cheese

½ pound of Pepper Jack Cheese, cut into 6 slices.


6 freshly-baked buns, split (preferably cornmeal)



Prepare Avocado Lime Salsa in a medium mixing bowl by mixing together diced avocado, the juice from two limes, diced tomatoes, freshly-chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir to a blended consistency, and set aside. Return occasionally and stir until ready to serve (giving the lime juice a chance to marinate everything).

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal barbecue-grill – or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

For patties, mix together ground chuck, diced onion, chopped garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper, red chile powder, and chopped oregano until fully incorporated into the meat. Next, pour in red chile sauce and Zinfandel and knead gently until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Portion and form into six patties.

When grill is ready, brush it with olive oil (to keep patties from sticking).

Place patties on grill and cook approximately five minutes. Flip burgers and add a slice of pepper jack cheese on each patty. Cook another five minutes, making sure cheese has melted.

Approximately three minutes before removing patties, place bun halves on grill until lightly toasted.

To build a better burger, place cooked patty on bottom bun, spoon a generous amount of avocado lime salsa on top of the melted pepper jack cheese, add top bun and serve with a glass of Sutter Home California Zinfandel and a smile.