Father’s Day Wine & Burger Pairing

Chesapeake Baja Burger

How about treating dear old dad to a good old-fashioned cook-out this weekend with a twist! Make my Chesapeake Baja Burger this Father’s Day for an unbelievably decadent meal. When it comes to burgers, we often think of pairing them with a beer or hearty red wine, but believe it or not, you can pair a juicy burger with a Riesling!

I was inspired to take surf ‘n turf off the plate, put it between a soft chewy vessel and pair it with an out of the box wine. I have been blessed to live by the Chesapeake Bay for a few years now.  Succulent sweet crab meat is always on hand. My Chesapeake Baja Burger is the perfect combination of land and sea with a little Mexican twist.

As you know, I love to experiment with wine pairings. I tried several different wines and found an intriguing match with an-off dry Riesling. The bright tropical fruit notes make a great compliment to the creamy avocado and cilantro lime mayo while balancing out the heat of the jalapeno and cayenne pepper in the burger.   The Riesling also brings out the natural sweetness of the crab meat. It’s a bold pairing at its best! Remember, meat is a blank canvas.

This recipe takes a little time, but a few of the items can be done ahead of time. Believe me, once you sink your teeth into this juicy burger, you’ll be glad you made it! Grab your favorite off-dry Riesling or give one of these budget-friendly wines a try!

Doctor Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett, Mosel, Germany
Frisk Prickly Riesling, Victoria, Australia
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington State
Eroica Riesling, Washington State
Kuentz-Bas Riesling, Alsace, France

Chesapeake Baja Burger
Cuisine: Gourmet Burgers
Author: Crystal Palate
Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6
Sink your teeth into a decadently deliciously surf n turf burger with an out of the box wine pairing!
  • [b]Cilantro Lime Mayo[/b]
  • 1 cup mayo (preferably Duke’s)
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • [b]Avocado Spread[/b]
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ lime juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • [b]Caramelized Onions in Riesling Reduction [/b]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion (fine dice)
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and deveined (fine dice)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup Riesling
  • [b]Patties[/b]
  • 1 ¼ lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • Caramelized onion & jalapeno mixture
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Canola oil (to brush grill rack)
  • ¼ cup (about 2 ounces) lump crab meat per burger
  • 6 slices pepper jack cheese from the deli
  • 6 slices vine ripened tomato (about ¼ in thick)
  • 8-9 mesclun greens per burger or 1 large boston lettuce leaf
  • 6 Kaiser rolls, split
  1. Preheat gas grill to medium-high
  2. While the grill is preheating, make the cilantro lime mayo and avocado spread.
  3. In a blender or food processor combine mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and salt. Put in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve (can be made a day ahead)
  4. For the avocado spread, mash the avocados, lime juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. For the caramelized onions, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in small skillet. Add onion, jalapeno and salt and cook for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Keep lid down, stir occasionally. Once mixture is lightly golden add Riesling and let reduce for another 10 minutes (can be made up to 2 days ahead).
  6. Set aside & let onion mixture cool to room temperature.
  7. To make the patties, combine ground beef, ground sirloin, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, pepper, sea salt, cilantro and onion mixture in large bowl. Divide meat into 6 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Once you form the patties, make an indention with your thumb in the middle of each patty.
  8. Brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the burgers on the rack and cover turning only once. 4 minutes per side for medium. After turning the patties, close the lid wait 2 minutes and add lump crab meat and pepper jack cheese.
  9. Place Kaiser rolls cut side down on grill rack to lightly toast.
  10. To assemble the burgers, spread a thin layer of the cilantro lime mayo on both sides of each roll. Place 8-9 mesclun leaves on top of the bottom bun, then place tomato slice on top of the lettuce. Add the burger with crab and cheese. Then spread a thin layer of avocado spread on top of the cheese and you are ready to take a culinary journey from Baja to Virginia.
  11. Makes 6 burgers