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Red for sirloin burgers with onion jam and stilton

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I'm hosting a soiree on Sunday and have 3 of the 4 wines picked out. I'm having an issue choosing the wine I want to serve with the sirloin burgers accompanied by onion jam and stilton. I've been tasting and tasting, but can't seem to get it right. I am serving the Borsao Tres Picos Grenache with lamb burgers accompanied by tapenade and feta beforehand. I tasted the Morgante Nero d' Alvola and it was close, but... A Napa Cab seems obvious but I want the fruit-forward not too lip-smacking finish on the end because of how the Tres Picos finishes. Thoughts?

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  1. "not too lip-smacking finish on the end"

    As opposed to the finish on the beginning?

    Why "not too lip-smacking" because of the finish of another wine? That course, with lamb and olives, is over. For another, you are following feta with Stilton, if you see my analogy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FrankJBN

      I'm enlightened. Thanks for the recommendations...

    2. Rosso di Montalcino (2005) ...

      1. I had two immediate thoughts.

        1; Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red, a Mendocino blend with Zin, Syrah and a bunch of other stuff. It's a great burger, bbq, etc wine. We LOVE it!

        2. Amethystos. A Greek blend of Cabernet and Limnos.

        1. Are you flexible on the Stilton ???

          If so.... for the most delicious exotic steak and cheese burger try:

          Cabernet or Zinfandel with a parmesan steakburger
          Syrah with a Pecorino stagianato steakburger
          Cabernet with a provolone (val padana) steakburger...

          If insistent on a blue cheese try:
          Rioja and gorgonzola steakburger
          Zinfandel and a roquefort steakburger.

          As stilton is (like gorgonzola), a cow's milk blue cheese, I'd probably go with Rioja as first choice for a stilton burger.... a mellow nice rioja riserva at that, the nicest your wine vendor(s) can supply.

          1. This is one of my favorite burgers, and we do it with Cab all the time. The Stilton needs something with some intensity, and I like how the onion jam fills in the mid-range on the Cabernet. Other variations I've made are pickled red onions with gorgonzola. Same deal.

            I wouldn't worry at all about the other wine.

            6 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine

              Maria - I won't disagree with your pick (no reason to do so) but when I noticed this thread, nero d'avola came to mind particularly the Firriato Chiaramonte

              1. re: ibstatguy

                ibstatguy, you've got a good palate...sure, give the nero d'avola a shot if that's what you've got on hand...only question: stilton and onion jam have a lot of heft, and I wonder if the nero has enough punch to it. I say Cab just because I've done it 50 times, and it's always been great, and I happen to have a bunch of Cabs handy, living here in Cab country. I should try the Chiaramonte...will do so when I get a chance. I've only had about ten neros -- and liked Morgante the most.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  the onion is just what kinda throws me here, particularly with with Stilton/Cab being such a classic combo. I was looking to reach a bit; I guess now I'll have to grill up a burger and do a taste test!

                  1. re: ibstatguy

                    Onion "jam" is really a misnomer; it's actually a onion compote. There are many versions of onion compote or onion "jam," but all are essentially caramelized onions with a touch more flavor.

                    So adding caramelized onions to the Stilton/Cab combo isn't much of a stretch. It is a tasty stretch! I like the Cab because of the flavor intensity created by the beef, grilling/charring, Stilton and onion compote. Many red wines will work though.

                  2. re: maria lorraine

                    Maria, was it the basic Morgante or the Don Antonio? Hard to think the Don Antonio wouldn't have the stuffing. If you can still find the 2004 Don Antonio on shelves I'd pick some up. It is fantastic and at under $40, a steal. (I remember when it was a $28 bottling, though...)

                    1. re: whiner

                      I remember the chair, the table, the room, the place, when I first tasted the Don Antonio. Yes, of course, lovely. With stuffing!