Twisted BLT Burger

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.


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

Brown Sugar Bacon
12 slices thick-cut black peppered bacon
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar

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

Citrus Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp. fresh pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup quality extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt

Panko-Crusted Beefsteak Tomato
½ cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 eggs
2 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
2 Beefsteak tomatoes

Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 onion roll buns
3 cups baby spinach, washed and dried


Preheat gas grill to medium heat.

To prepare aioli, thoroughly combine mayonnaise, honey, chipotle, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To prepare the bacon, place metal baking rack on top of 12″x17″ rimmed baking sheet. . The baking sheet will act as a drip pan to contain any fat drippings from flaring up on the grill. Place strips of bacon on baking rack and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar on each piece of bacon. Move rack and drip pan to preheated grill. Cook bacon for 10-15 minutes until sugar is melted and caramelized and bacon is crispy – be sure bacon does not burn.

For the patties, combine in a large bowl ground beef, ground sirloin, Merlot, minced garlic, and salt by hand. Be sure to thoroughly work flavors throughout the meat without overworking the beef. Form 6 equal patties to fit the size of the buns and set aside.

To prepare the citrus vinaigrette, in medium bowl combine, lime, lemon, grapefruit and pineapple juices. Add the Sauvignon Blanc and whisk in the honey, Dijon and mint. Continue whisking and slowly add in olive oil and salt.

For the panko-crusted tomatoes, you will need three bowls. In the first, combine the flour, salt and pepper working the seasoning throughout the flour. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs and in the third bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs. Slice the tomatoes ½ inch thick and dredge in flour, shake off excess, then follow in egg and finally breadcrumbs. Repeat with all tomato slices and place on sheet of heavy duty foil. “Bake” on medium-heat grill until lightly browned about 12-15 minutes, turning once.

After tomatoes and bacon has been removed from grill, brush grates with vegetable oil. Grill patties 5-6 minutes per side, turning only once, for medium doneness. Add buns with cut side down to the grill for the last 2 minutes of grilling to achieve a light toasting.

Before assembling burgers, toss citrus vinaigrette with spinach. Then generously spread honey chipotle lime aioli on cut sides of both top and bottom bun. Next, layer two pieces of bacon, each broken in half, on each of the bottom buns and then top with the patties. Equally divide spinach among the 6 patties, top with one panko-crusted tomato each and finish off with the top bun. Enjoy with Sutter Home White Merlot!