Wine Country Burgers with Tapenade and Goat Cheese

Pairs well with:


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


1 cup small red seedless grapes, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted brine-cured ripe olives, such as Niçoise, coarsely chopped
1 cup small pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons drained small capers
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 teaspoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons mild honey

2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Winery Zinfandel
1/4 cup Lea and Perrins Original Worchestershire Sauce
1 cup Cape Cod Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Chips, placed in a bag and smashed slightly
1 teaspoon sea salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 soft Kaiser rolls, split
1(6 –ounce) log fresh goat cheese, chilled and cut into 6 even slices
1 large bunch arugula


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the tapénade, combine the grapes, 2 kinds of olives, capers, raisins, olive oil, and honey in a bowl and mix well. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

To make the patties, combine the beef, wine, worchestershire sauce, chip pieces and salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit the rolls.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, place 1 slice of cheese on each patty.

To assemble burgers, on each roll bottom, place some arugula, a patty, and a generous amount of the tapénade. Add the roll tops and serve.
Makes 6 Burgers