Spicy Goat Cheese Burger with Figgy Berry Wine Sauce

Pairs well with:


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

My husband and I enjoy entertaining friends and family and love to experiment with new flavor combinations. One of my very favorite appetizers is bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese. My husband on the other hand loves jalapeno poppers with pepper jelly as a dipping sauce. I decided to combine the flavors of our favorite appetizers to create this burger. It is a wonderful balance of spicy, sweet, creamy, and crispy.


Figgy Berry Wine Sauce
• 1 Cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
• 4 ounces Dried Mission Figs
• 1 Pint Fresh Raspberries
• ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper
• ½ Cup Red Pepper Jelly
• 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Spicy Goat Cheese
• 12 ounces of Chevre Goat Cheese
• 4 Fresh Jalapenos

• 2 ¼ Pounds Ground Sirloin
• 6 tablespoons of cold salted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper

12 Strips Thick Cut Peppered Bacon
6 Tablespoons room temperature salted butter
6 Brioche Buns
3 Cups Lightly Packed Arugula


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high

To make sauce, pour wine into a fireproof saucepan and place on a gas grill over medium-high heat. Add figs and raspberries and bring to a slow boil, stirring often. Remove from heat once wine has reduced by half, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, red pepper jelly, and balsamic vinegar. Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover with foil and set aside.

To make cheese spread, remove ribs and seeds from jalapenos. Pulse in a food processor until peppers are finely diced. Add goat cheese to processor and pulse until peppers are evenly distributed into cheese, about 30 seconds. Set cheese mixture aside.

To make the patties, combine ground sirloin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix together well while handling the meat as little as possible; this prevents it from becoming too dense. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions (6 ounces each) and form into patties leaving a slight indention in the center of patties. Dice chilled butter and press small pieces of butter into each patty. Set aside until grilling.

Cook the bacon in a fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside.

With grill still on medium high heat, place patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip once and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon approximately 2 ounces of goat cheese mixture onto each patty during last minute of cooking.

Transfer the patties from the grill to a plate. Place foil tent over the top to keep warm.

Liberally spread butter on cut side of brioche buns. Grill on the outer edges of the rack until lightly toasted.

To assemble the burgers, top each bottom bun with a patty. Top with 2 strips of bacon and arugula, 1/2 cup on each burger. Spoon 2 tablespoons of figgy berry wine sauce on each burger and top with toasted bun.

Makes 6 Burgers