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I might be weird, but I think hamburgers make for great, fine dining. I remember a great cooking show with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child where they both cooked hamburgers their favorite way....

We grilled some good ground beef yesterday, and served them on toasted onion rolls, with roasted tomatoes and vidalia onions... ketchup and creole mustard. Man... how good is that?

So my first question is - Hamburgers: fine dining or not?

And, my second question... which my wife posed to me, and which made me pause for a second: What's the best wine to serve with a juicy, flavorful burger like this?

My first reaction was to pull out an everyday, simple red... but I thought more about how good this food was going to taste, and I pulled out an aged zinfandel... a 1995 Cline Bridgehead Zin. It was definitely a mature wine.... but delicious. And a great match for the burger.

Sooooo.... a poll:
1. Fine dining?
2. What wine pairing?
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I have never ordered (or even had it offered on the menu) a hamburger at a fine dining establishment.

But I have to say that I am guilty of having a hamburger and fries with my wine before. And I also admit that I think that the texture and fat content of hamburger meat goes well with a Merlot much better than a steak would. Just my opinion.
I'm not sure I'd order a burger at a "fine dining establishment", but I've grilled some on the deck with friends that I thought were "fine dining". I'll second Rothko; with my burgers, I like an over-the-top zin like Sobon Estates Rocky Top (Amador Cty) or a big Shiraz like Shingleback (McLaren Vale).
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I definitely think a burger can be considered fine dining. The fact that I would probably pass on ordering one at a "fine" restuarant in favor of something else on the menu doesn't change that opinion. Using ground sirloin, great cheese, the freshest of veggies and top-notch rolls all combine to make a very fine dish indeed.

As for a wine pairing (I would probably prefer beer, however, but for the sake of the topic... Wink), I enjoy a peppery syrah with my burgers. Man, is it summer or what? Big Grin

I don't consider hamburgers "fine dining", but man, they can be good, if you do them yourself. I prefer very fruity, intensive wines with burgers.

The interesting question though; why aren't hamburgers fine dining? It must be an image question, don't you think?

Could the factors below be of any matter in the why-not-fine-dining-issue?

1) Too strongly flavoured
2) Too little complexity of flavour
3) Most people combine the image of hamburgers with McDonalds and eating with your hands
4) Provenance of recipee - they haven't been around that long
5) Heavy reliance on sauces

I'm not really sure, but isn't number three the only one that cannot be said about any other fine dining dishes? Image then?
I think the burgers at Jump in Toronto that Slan and myself had a couple of months ago could be considered fine dining. Ground sirloin stuffed with pulled bbq pork. One of the best burgers I have had.

I find regular bbq burgers go with most red wines (Aussie shiraz, cabs, rhones) IF you avoid slathering all kinds of gunk on ther burger. Avoid mayo, garlic sauce, spicy mustards, etc.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by BillyBoy:
"We grilled some good ground beef yesterday, and served them on toasted onion rolls, with roasted tomatoes and vidalia onions... ketchup and creole mustard. Man... how good is that?"

Dude, you're making me so hungry! Screw the whole concept of fine dining. It sounds like you've made a beautiful burger...roasted tomatos, vidallia onions with ketchup AND creole mustard!

So, you're blending sweets (onions and ketchup) with bitter and spicy (creole mustard), creating a culinary and cosmological conundrum worthy of an ancient Greek philosopher.

Have you ever heard of a lemberger? I'm not mentioning it becaue it simply rhymes with hamburger. I think it would go really well with your burger. It's not as spicy as a zinfandel, but it still has the fruitiness that would match the acidity of the tomatos/ketchup and mustard. It's also mellow enough to work with the fat in the ground beef.

Find your local fine wine store and demand a lemberger with your hamburger!
Make 'em thick, use ground round or good quality ground chuck(juicier than ground sirloin), 1/3 to 1/2 lb each, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and rub in worcestershire (sp?) sauce on both sides, sear them three minutes on both sides over hot coals or high setting on gas grill, finish on indirect heat, cook 'em medium so still pink in th middle, top with Maytag blue cheese in final 2 minutes of cooking. Remove from grill. Top with slice of fresh, home grown tomato. Mustard and onion up to individual choice. Buns soft and big enough to hold it all together. Nothing better.

Fine dining at home, not in a restaurant. Never order hamburger out.
There are some great ideas and tips here.... thanks a bunch.

I'll march right into my local wine merchant and demand "a lemberger to go with my hamburger." By the way, where is lemberger from?

I'd never added water or broth or beer to the ground beef before shaping the burger, but I'll try it next time....

And, maybe I'll just top it off with Maytag blue cheese next time also....

I think that hamburgers aren't thought of in the same "fine dining" class as, say grilled steak, is because you pick them up with your hands. I think that is THE reason. Every individual ingredient used could be easily integrated into a "fine dining" experience.

Reading all of this makes me want to cook burgers again tonight....
Originally posted by TexasVines:
people say a hamburger could not be fine dining, but if you took some round steaks and finely ground them....threw the buns in the trash.....forget to cook the damn thing.....and crack a raw brown egg on top it IS fine dining Roll Eyes

What about a ground beef tartare w/ a spicey aioli resting on a bed of butterleaf lettuce tossed in a mustard vinaigrette, with a piece or two of toasted baguettes?
Originally posted by Purple Teeth:
No one else has mentioned Sangiovese as a wine pairing, so I will!

Originally posted by grunhauser:

TBird said Chianti...

My mistake...In that case I second Chianti as a good match for hamburgers!

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