|The only element in this recipe worth any wine worry is fat, in the olive oil and whatever fat there is in the ground turkey. Fat carries flavor, but italso can be a barrier to other flavors getting through. A little tannin in a red wine would help mollify that. Keep in mind that the red wine world isn’t all about heft and high alcohol. Buy the more humble and unassuming reds from the places where folk appreciate good food, such as Grenache from the Rhône; or Pinots from Burgundy, Oregon or New Zealand; or Sangiovese from Italy. And that’s only three of many possible sources from around the globe.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 2 slices Marczyk white levain bread
• 1 pound lean ground turkey
• 2 ounces Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar cheese, on special at our friends next door, Marczyk Fine Foods, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
• 1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
• Salt and pepper
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 12 Marczyk brioche burger buns
• Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and ketchup and mustard, if desired.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
In a food processor, pulse the levain bread until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the ground turkey, the cheese, and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently just until combined. Form 12 2-inch patties (about 3 tablespoons each). In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook patties until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve on the buns with the garnishes, if desired.
AND THE WINE PAIRINGS…
this week from Bob Blair.
The weather doesn’t say rosé, but the turkey burger does; drinking rosé in cold weather makes me feel better anyway. I want a rosé with a little more going on than just a simple light summer rosé.
The Chateau Pas du Cerf Le Merle rosé from Provence ($14.99/btl) hits the spot for a delicious turkey burger with cheddar. Light, but not just a porch-pounder. Enough acidity to balance the warm saltiness of the Barber’s cheddar. Perfect if you are in the mood for a lighter wine.
But I do love red wines with burgers, even turkey. Turkey burger with American cheddar sounds pretty Californian to me. Try the Matthew Fritz Pinot Noir (Friends & Family $16.99/btl, reg $18.99).
A lighter turkey burger calls for a lighter-style red — just not enough fat in the meat to call for a big red. The Fritz Pinot is light, but not simple. A warm smoky earthiness will go great with the burger. How about a slice of Niman Ranch bacon to go next level?