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4 min read

Spring Grilling: Wines and Recipes for Grilled Meats

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The big question about grilling is whether you are old school charcoal or a gas grill master. Whatever your preferred method, we know Minnesotans are burger crazy, and a hot one straight from the grill is the best kind.

And, we know that a charbroiled burger on a Minnesota spring day deserves a wine worthy of the effort. Sure, you can go straight to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon — you can’t go wrong with this classic pairing partner for beef or other great grill meats like lamb or bison. Or, your can venture off and try a few different varieties, depending on the type of burger you are crafting.

If you enjoy your own version of the famous Juicy Lucy, a bacon burger, or classic California burger with mayo, tomato and lettuce, we have a few suggestions that might make your seared burger experience even better. So fire up some burgers and give one of these wines a try, they all go great with the grill:

  • Rosé
    There are a slew of delicious dry rosés right now. They look pretty and are delicious to drink. These are serious wines that are food friendly.
  • Rioja
    A nice Spanish wine with spicy and fruity flavors that is pairs nicely with grilled meats, especially burgers with onions and the works.
  • Syrah/Shiraz
    If you are a fan of big, fat juicy burgers, here is a wine that will hold up well.
  • Zinfandel
    Lots of black pepper and mushrooms on your burger? Nice bold flavors need a bold wine.
  • Chardonnay
    If you want a white wine, look for a full-bodied Chardonnay. The richness will help cut through the fat and bring out the buttery beauty of a burger.

Spring Grilling Recipes

Making a good burger is all about the meat, and the fat.

Too much fat, and it is too greasy. Too lean, and you end up with a dry burger. For beef, we recommend an 80/20, lean/fat mix. Happy Grilling!

Chile-Stuffed Cheeseburger


  • 4 chiles — 2 Anaheims and 2 jalapeños
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 kaiser rolls, split
  • Lettuce leaves, sliced onion and tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup, for serving

Start the grill. Rub the chiles with olive oil. Thread the jalapeños and garlic onto a skewer and grill until charred all over. Using tongs, repeat with the Anaheims. Peel the chiles and discard the stems and seeds. Peel the garlic. Chop the chiles and garlic and transfer to a bowl. Fold in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Cut eight 6-inch squares of wax paper; divide the beef among them. Pat each portion into a 5-inch round, a little thicker in the center. Using a 1/4 cup measure, mound one-fourth of the cheese mixture in the centers of 4 patties. Top with the remaining patties; press the edges to seal. Flatten the centers so that the burgers are even. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the cut sides of the rolls with oil. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the burgers over a hot fire, turning once, about 7 minutes for medium to medium-rare meat. Toast the kaiser rolls. Place the burgers on the rolls and top with lettuce leaves, onion, and tomato. Serve with mayonnaise and ketchup.

Recommendation: Try a sparkling wine like a Prosecco.

Spiced Lamb Burger


  • 2½ pounds ground lamb, preferably shoulder
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 8 thick medium pita breads with pockets

Using a fork, mix lamb, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup oil in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Prepare grill for medium heat and oil grate. Working one at a time, open each pita pocket by cutting along seam, halfway around perimeter. Spoon filling into pitas, spreading to edges. Close, pressing on filling to seal. Grill pitas until filling is cooked through and bread is crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Filling can be made 8 hours ahead; keep chilled. Pita breads can be stuffed 1 hour ahead; cover and chill.

Recommendation: Consider a Rioja Reserva. For a white, try a dry Reisling.

Bobby Flay’s Turkey Burger with Goat Cheese


  • 1 1/2 pounds 90-percent lean, freshly ground turkey (not all white meat), chilled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices goat cheese, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled

Reheat the grill to high. Form the meat into four 6-ounce burgers. If you are not going to cook right away, keep the burgers cold in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. During the last minutes of cooking, add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, cover the grill, and let the cheese soften slightly, about 1 minute. Put the burgers on the buns, drizzle with some of the Meyer lemon-honey mustard and top with a few sprigs of watercress. Serve with extra mustard on the side.

Recommendation: Keep the Pinots in mind here. For a red, try a Pinot Noir and if you are looking for a white, a Pinot Gris works well too.

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Founded in 1934, Haskell’s has championed fine wines for over 80 years. We have 13 wine stores in Minnesota, two delis and one restaurant. As one of the top wine shops in North America, Haskell’s is known for legendary service and one of the finest collections of wine, beer and spirits. Led by Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell, and the Farrell family, Haskell’s continues to be at the forefront of the wine scene throughout the world. Haskell’s also can ship wine, beer & spirits all throughout the world, the U.S. and we deliver locally. 


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