Recently Texas Monthly magazine published their 2016 list of top 50 burgers picks in the state of Texas. Cat and I will readily admit our love for a big, juicy, mouthwatering, delicious burger and feel blessed to live in the home of such beef-centric cuisine. Many a dining patron might ask for a big style micro brew with lots of extra calorie bloat on top of that juicy delicious high calorie count burger. I would like to suggest trying a new approach: Wine. Wine has a staggering list of anti-aging agents as well as cognitive and heart-healthy benefits, if integrated into your lifestyle early.
Looking for a Sign of Excellence
Cat and I will drive many a mile to enjoy a great cheeseburger and usually chase it with a nice robust wine. We are always looking for local restaurants with innovative dishes and in-house printed wine lists. A hand-selected wine list is a sign that you’ve found a restaurant that is passionate about their dining experience. The chef, owner or a wine specialist tastes each wine and selects the ones that match the chemistry of their sauces, sides and proteins. In contrast, a wine distributor sourced, pre-printed, quota-driven list will be stocked with recognizable commodity brand names that you might find on any wine aisle shelf. (Hint: Many times, these wine lists will not give any vintage information.) A restaurant with passion for food and wine chemistry may change their wine list every other week to reflect unique market conditions, much as they support local produce and meat purveyors.
I thought that it would be a good idea to match up these best burgers picks with their own in-house wine selections. Trying to stay within the criteria of reasonably priced by-the-glass (BTG) offerings and — in some cases — bottles, if you have 2 or more dining. These selections are based off our very own Go Pro Wine Guide axiom of “Location, Location, Location” in which the more information given on the label (i.e. vintage, region or AVA, sub -AVA, vineyard or estate), the better the bottle. No brand names or scores are needed. You can find hundreds of these under-the-radar/non-commodity sleepers at lower prices, if you will take it as a fun challenge to look for these gems. I have selected the best matches from the on-line wine lists of Texas Monthly’s top burger picks in San Antonio and the Hill Country, Austin and South Texas. These are my suggestions as to what reasonably priced wine would best pair well with these delicious creations. Look for wines with a medium to robust, firm tannic backbone to cut through the bacon, cheese and beef fat. Well-balanced fruit, acids and oak are the perfect match for these magical burger moments.
For more information on how to choose the best wine selection from a wine list or in a retail environment, check out our Go Pro Wine Guide.
Best Wine Match-ups for Top Burgers
FOLC (Olmos Park)
- Rock & Vine – Three Ranches Cabernet @ $10.00 BTG
- Moillard Les Violette Cotes du Rhone Rouge @ $38.00 per bottle
- Gomez De Segura Tinto @ $7.00 BTG
Cured (Pearl District)
- Beer, cocktails listed on menu, but not wine?
- Look for Cote du Rhone Reds, Tempranillo, Granache, Cabernets BTG
Rebelle (at The St. Anthony)
- GSM La Petie Fontaine Rhone @ $8.00 BTG
- Querciabella Mongrana IGT Blend @ $13.00 BTG
Zinc (River Walk)
- La Piuma- Montepuliciano de Abruzzo 2013 @ $7.00 BTG
- Chasing Lions Cabernet @ $7.00 BTG
- La Bastide Saint Dominque Cote Du Rhone 2011 @ $7.00 BTG
Little Gretel (Boerne)
- Columbia Winery Red Blend @ $8.00 BTG
- Gouguenheim Malbec @ $7.00 BTG
Chicon (East Austin)
- Cirelli Montepulciano Abruzzo @ $10.00 BTG
- Domaine de Servans @ $10.00 BTG
- Bodini Malbec @ $9.00 BTG
Clark’s Oyster Bar (West Sixth)
- Envinate “Albahra” Granacha @ $13.00 BTG
- Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon @ $13.00 BTG
- Maal “Biutiful” Malbec @ $13.00 BTG
Hopdoddy (South Congress menu, but multiple locations statewide)
- Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon @ $8.00 BTG
- Terrazas Malbec @ $7.00 BTG
- Rutherford Hill Merlot @ $8.00 BTG
Second Bar + Kitchen (Downtown)
- Cellers Can Blau Granacha Blend, Montsant @ $9.00 BTG (Perfect match!)
- Tenuta delle terre Nerre Etna Rosso, @ $14.00 BTG
- Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria de Los Tecolotes Syrah, @ $13.00 BTG
Texas French Bread (Central Austin)
- Moulin de Gassac ‘Guilhem’ Rouge Syrah/ Grenache @ $8.00 BTG
- Suriol ‘Negre’ Garnacha/Tempranillo @ $10.00 BTG
Post at Lamar Park (Corpus Christi)
- Catena Vista Flores Malbec @ $9.00 BTG
- Simi Cabernet Sauvignon @ $10.00 BTG
- Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot @ $11.00 BTG
House Wine & Bistro (McAllen)
- Ercavio Tempranillo @ $9.00 BTG
- Felino Malbec @ $12.00 BTG
- Evodia Garnacha @ $10.00 BTG
- Villa Puccini Super Tuscan @ $11.00 BTG
Umami.Life Honorable Mention Burger/Wine Match-up Perfection (not on the Texas Monthly Top 50 Burger List)
Abi-Haus is like a foodie/adult beverage oasis in the middle of a franchise desert. It’s as if someone transplanted a bistro from Austin or Napa Valley with all it’s prowess in the middle of Mecca or Medina. They select wines on weekly basis with a small selection of wines by the glass and bottle that best match their dining selections. I had a glass of Guigal Cote du Rhone, which is heaven all by itself, but when matched with a great burger, is ethereal. Ask the barkeep for suggestions.
The Cabernet Grill (Fredericksburg)
The Cabernet Grill is all about Texas wine. It stands at the top of the Hill Country shouting out a very nice selection of all the best that Texas has to offer.
- Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo @ $13.00 BTG
- McPherson Cellars Sangiovese @ $9.00 BTG
- Messina Hof GSM @ $9.50 BTG