Southwest-Style “Throwdown-Worthy” Burger

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.


Honey Chipotle Lime Aioli
1 ½ cups prepared mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. honey
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
3 tsp. fresh lime juice
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Spicy Panko-Crusted Vidalia Onion Rings
2 cups milk
½ cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup chili powder
2 eggs
2 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
2 Vidalia onions

Cilantro Garlic Patties
1 lb. ground beef (80% lean)
1 lb. Black Angus ground sirloin (97% lean)
¼ cup Sutter Home Merlot
½ cup cilantro, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for grill rack
6 ounces queso fresco
6 onion roll buns
2 Avocados, sliced
about 2 tbsp. paprika


Preheat gas grill to medium heat.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine mayonnaise, honey, chipotle, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the spicy panko-crusted onions, you will need four bowls. In the first, pour the 2 cups of milk. In the second bowl, combine the flour, salt and chili powder working the seasoning throughout the flour. In the third bowl, whisk the eggs and in the fourth bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs. Slice the onions ½ inch thick, separate into rings and dredge first in milk, then in flour, shake off excess, then follow in egg and finally breadcrumbs. Repeat with all onion rings and place on sheet of heavy duty foil. “Bake” on medium heat grill until lightly browned about 12-15 minutes, turning once.

To prepare patties, combine in a large bowl ground beef, ground sirloin, Merlot, minced cilantro, minced garlic and salt with hands. Be sure to thoroughly work flavors throughout the meat without overworking the beef. Form 6 equal patties to fit the size of the buns. Increase grill to medium-high heat and brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Grill patties for 5-6 minutes per side for medium doneness. For last 3 minutes of grilling, crumble 1 ounce of queso fresco on top of each patty. Also, for last 2-3 minutes of grilling, place cut side of buns down onto grill to achieve light toasting.

To assemble burgers, generously spread cut side of bun tops and bottoms with honey chipotle lime aioli. On each of the bottom buns, place 3 spicy panko-crusted onion rings. Place patties on top of onion rings and divide sliced avocados among six burgers. Lightly dust avocados with paprika and then finish off with top buns. Enjoy with Sutter Home Gewürztraminer!