The Italian Connection Club Burger

Serves 6
Pairs well with:

Pinot Noir

Every pour of our Pinot Noir brings you a delicious blend of berry flavors and the romantic aroma of violet.

I recently returned from a sublime trip to the Umbria region of Italy. While there we had a wonderful picnic at the base of the beautiful Marmore Falls. A group of like-minded women were sitting under a shady tree, with the melodic sounds of the falls serenading us while sipping a crisp white wine accompanied by delightful sandwiches made of basil, arugula, and prosciutto topped with mozzarella cheese that was so creamy you would swear it was burrata – Fantastico! Fast forward to back at home in Southern California and the boys want to crank the tunes, fire up the grill, and have themselves some big beefy cheeseburgers, and yet I am wistfully reminiscing about that idyllic picnic in Umbria. So I switched gears, poured myself a glass of Sutter Home wine and The Italian Connection Club Sandwich was the result of two gastronomic worlds colliding in the best possible way – Delizioso!

The burger part of this club sandwich is a mixture of ground sirloin, ground chuck and Italian sausage for just the right ratio of fat to meat. The Fontina cheese is the perfect choice for an Italian cheese burger. The top layer of this club sandwich brings back all the flavors of the Italian countryside – Eccellente!



  • ½ Cup Sutter Home Pinot Noir
  • ⅓ Cup shallots, diced
  • ¾ Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet cherry peppers, chopped, stems and seeds discarded
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely grated using a microplane
  • 1½ Pounds ground sirloin
  • ¾ Pound ground chuck
  • ½ Pound Italian sausage (removed from casing if using whole sausages)
  • 6 Ounces Fontina cheese, grated
  • ¾ Cup olive oil
  • ⅓ Cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 18 Slices of quality white sandwich bread
  • 3 Cups baby arugula
  • 8 Ounces of Burrata cheese
  • 6 Ounces prosciutto
  • 12 Slices of vine ripened tomatoes
  • 24 Small pepperoncini, if desired



  1. In a skillet over medium high heat simmer the Pinot Noir and shallots until the shallots are translucent and the wine has almost completely reduced
  2. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, cherry peppers, basil and garlic. Stir in shallots
  4. Lightly mix together the ground beef and Italian sausage. Form into 6 patties
  5. On a medium hot grill, that has been lightly oiled, grill the burgers until they are almost done, turning once
  6. Move patties to the upper rack of the grill and top with Fontina cheese
  7. Allow the burgers to rest, continue cooking and the cheese to melt
  8. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, parmesan cheese and parsley in a bowl
  9. Lightly brush mixture on both sides of the bread and place on the grill until lightly toasted


  1. Brush one side of the 3 slices of the toasted bread with the mayo mixture
  2. Top 1 slice of bread with ¼ cup of the arugula, burger patty and another slice of bread, mayo side up
  3. Top this slice with another ¼ cup of arugula and dollops of Burrata
  4. Drape with slices of prosciutto, two slices of tomato and top with the final slice of bread, mayo side down
  5. Slice the sandwiches on an angle, pressing down slightly
  6. Cut the burgers into quarters, skewer each with a pepperoncini if desired and enjoy