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Wine and Food Pairing 101: Grilled Blue Cheese Burger with Narrative Cabernet Franc

For Okanagan wine enthusiasts, it’s important to know what wines go with what food.

We at Okanagan Crush Pad Winery can appreciate this desire of local wine lovers to enjoy complementary wine and food pairings. In consideration of this, and as a spin-off from the last blog we posted (Your Ultimate Okanagan Summer Wine Pairing Guide: Pairing Wine with Food), we have decided to do a wine and food pairing blog series on what wines go with what food!

As much as we Okanagan folk disdain the phrase “end of summer”, Fall in the valley is intoxicatingly beautiful with blue skies, crisp fresh air, and a whirlwind of burnt orange, crimson red, and maize yellow—not to mention, red wine lovers have been awaiting the moment to bust out their secret summer stash of red wine.

Hence our decision to identify a pairing that combines one of our red wines with a summer-inspired entrée (that has a gourmet twist). Low and behold, the first pairing of our series is our Narrative Cabernet Franc 2016 paired with a Grilled Blue Cheese Burger and Sautéed Mushrooms.  Yum!

Recipe for Grilled Blue Cheese Burger with Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 4

  • 22 oz (600 g) fresh lean ground beef
  • ½ Cup (125 mil) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) light soy sauce
  • 8 oz (250 g) Stilton or any good Blue Cheese, crumbed in ½-inch (1.25 pieces)
  • Focaccia bread, cut into 4 squares 5 x 5 inches
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, onion slices, tomatoes

Sautéed Mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1 lb (500 g) white or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Preheat grill to medium.

For the burgers, add lean ground beef, breadcrumbs, Tabasco, salt and pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Using hands, mix the mixture until well blended. Divide and shape into 4 patties.

Place burgers on preheated grill and cooked until desired doneness or heat 1 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil in a skillet until golden brown on both sides. Top patties with blue cheese, cover grill or skillet and allow the cheese to melt.

For the mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Mix in the thyme leaves.

Slice the focaccia buns and chargrill on the barbecue grill for a minute or so to toast the top of the burger. Wait for the burger to cool and add condiments as desired. Pile mushrooms on top of the burger.

Ready to kick back, relax and take a big bite into a warm and nourishing burger? There’s one more step. Whip out a bottle of Narrative Cabernet Franc, pour a glass, and enjoy this delightful organic wine and food pairing.

Meet Okanagan Crush Pad’s Wine and Food Pairing Expert Nathan Fong

This delicious wine and food pairing was created by internationally published food and travel journalist, Nathan Fong.

Currently, Fong is celebrating his 27th year on Global BCTV News with his “Saturday Chefs” and “Fong on Food” segments, and, has been a regular contributor to Canada’s public radio network, CBC Radio One.

Want to know more about what wines go with what food? Stay tuned for our second blog in the series! And if you try this pairing, we would also love to hear your feedback.

Ready to put this pairing to the test? Come out to our organic winery, purchase a bottle of Narrative Cabernet Franc 2016, and while you’re here, sit out on our Crush Pad Patio to soak in the last days of summer!