Saturday, August 2, 2008

Burgers and Côtes du Rhône Red

Burgers are a rare treat in our house, but tonight we indulged in a couple of big juicy burgers with caramelized onions on St. Joseph's rolls--and yes, they were rare, and all the better for being made from local grass-fed beef. Of course, we could have had them with beer but, as I said, this was a special meal and called for a little more thoughtful pairing. Definitely a red, but nothing too heavy. A Côtes du Rhône Grenache/Syrah blend fit the bill.

Louis Bernard 2006
Côtes du Rhône
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $11.99
Color: Plum
Intensity: Dark
Aromas: Blackberry, smoked meat, anise, coffee, garrigue
Flavors: Black currant, chokecherry, prune, anise, allspice, tobacco
Body: Full
Acidity: Moderate
Finish: Long

Wine Spectator usually rates this producer in the 86-87 range but don't let that deter you from trying it. Wines under 90 points are inexpensive and are often a steal compared to their higher-priced >90 point counterparts.

This wine benefits from at least 45 minutes of decanting to let the aromas open up (just don't let it get too warm). The flavor is fruity on the front-end, and quickly progresses to a dusty tobacco/spice/blackberry finish. It was a good pairing with our meal: Enough panache to complement our flavorful burgers but, casual enough to drink with burgers and fries. Gretchen over at Everyday Wine found this wine also pairs well with bleu cheese. This wine is a solid value at $11.99.

Read more about why grass-fed beef is better.


Anonymous said...

I had this one very recently although I used to drink it when I lived in the Côtes du Rhône region a few years back. It's not my absolute favorite but I do like that it isn't terribly sweet.

Taster A said...

I know what you mean, Foodieman. I found it to be enjoyable, and for this price point, I'd drink it again. (But then, I'm not re-drinking very many wines these days!) This is not the best Côtes du Rhône wine we've had either. It did very well with the bergers mentioned above. It did have a nice Garrigue characteristic to it.

I wonder how many people pair wine with burgers. I happen to love it (sans Heinz 57, thank you!). I think I really pissed off the waiter at the Girl and the Fig when I ordered a burger and Pinot Noir. We had been eating so much fancy food, I needed a simple meal. Good thing that Pinot Noir held up to the over salted burger.