Imagine this. You’re at the backyard grill, flames licking at the fat dripping from that perfect patty. You’ve got a burger that’s a work of art, and the question pops up: What wine goes with burgers? We’ve all been there—caught in the conundrum of choosing the right bottle to complement our bun-encased delight.

Look, I get it. Burgers aren’t just a quick bite; they’re a culinary staple. And the right wine? That elevates your meal to gastronomic nirvana. I’m talking about transforming your casual dining into a sophisticated, palate-pleasing experience.

You’re in luck because this is where I deliver. By the end of this savory read, you’ll have the know-how to pair Cabernet Sauvignon with that beefy beast or maybe a Pinot Noir that just dances with your deluxe veggie variant.

Pull up a seat. Let’s uncork the secrets to wine body, the mystery of tannins, and the synergy of spices and seasonings with our beloved burger. Dive in, and let’s journey through a flavorful world where burgers and wine are the ultimate duo.

What Wine Goes with Burgers

Burger Type Red Wine Pairing White Wine Pairing Rosé Wine Pairing Notes
Classic Beef Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay (oaked) Provence Rosé Bold reds match the meatiness, white for balance
Cheeseburger Zinfandel Viognier Spanish Rosado Zinfandel complements the cheese well
Bacon Burger Syrah/Shiraz Riesling Bandol Rosé Syrah for smoky flavors, Riesling for sweetness
Turkey Burger Pinot Noir Sauvignon Blanc Côtes de Provence Lighter wines to match the lighter meat
Veggie Burger Grenache Pinot Grigio Tavel Rosé Fresh, fruity wines to pair with diverse toppings

Understanding the Basics of Wine Pairing

Wine pairing is like matchmaking. Think of it like Tinder, but for food and wine.

The Role of Tannins in Wine

Ever sipped a red and felt like your mouth dried up a little? Kinda felt like you just sucked on a tea bag? That’s tannins for you. They’re naturally occurring compounds found in wines, especially reds. And these little bad boys play a huge role in pairing.

For our burger lovers out there, this matters. Why? Because that rich meaty burger needs something strong to balance it out. Tannins in wine do just that. It’s like when two strong personalities find a balance in a relationship. A love-hate thing.

The Impact of Acidity in Wine

Now, if tannins are the robust partners in the relationship, think of acidity as the zesty, lively ones. Acidic wines can be like a splash of cold water on a hot day. Imagine eating a super greasy burger; it’s yummy but heavy, right? What you need is something that cleanses your palate, makes everything feel fresh again. Enter: acidity in wine. It’s the life of the party, the one that keeps everything vibrant and zingy.

How Flavors in Wine Complement Flavors in Food

Remember the saying, “Opposites attract”? Sometimes, in the world of wines and burgers, it’s true. But other times, it’s all about finding that familiar flavor in both.

Say you’ve got a burger with blue cheese. That strong, punchy cheese flavor could be matched with a wine that’s equally bold. But then again, you could also go for a wine that’s sweet and fruity, contrasting and taming the strong cheese taste. It’s like dancing – sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

And what wine goes with burgers with smoky BBQ sauce? Think of wines with a hint of smoke or oak. It’s like they were born to be together, two peas in a pod.

Factors Influencing Burger and Wine Pairing

Alright, here’s where things get interesting. Think of burgers and wines as personalities. Not all of them get along right off the bat. Some might need a little nudge, while others… it’s love at first sight.

Type of Meat used in the Burger

Okay, so not all burgers are made equal. You’ve got your beef, chicken, lamb, and even those vegan options. And here’s the deal: each meat has its own flavor profile.

Beef, for instance, is rich, bold, and downright meaty. It needs a wine that can stand up to it, maybe even have a playful tussle. On the other hand, chicken is subtler, more laid-back. It’s cool with something light and breezy.

And let’s not forget those veggie and plant-based burgers. They’ve got a different vibe going on, often earthy or spicy, and they’re looking for wines that can groove with them.

Burger Toppings and Condiments

Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, it’s not just the meat but the stuff on top that’s dictating what wine goes with burgers? Those crispy onions, tangy pickles, or that spicy mayo can be the game changers.

Imagine a burger loaded with spicy jalapenos. You might want a wine that’s slightly sweet to soothe that heat. Or say you’re going all out with a truffle mayo (fancy, I know!). You’d want a wine that complements those earthy flavors. It’s all about balance.

Cooking Method of the Burger

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It’s not just what’s inside, but how it’s cooked. A grilled burger has those charred, smoky vibes, while a pan-seared one is more about the juiciness. And don’t even get me started on those slow-cooked, BBQ pulled pork style burgers. Each cooking method adds its own flair, its own character to the burger.

A grilled burger? It might be looking for a wine with a hint of smoke or oak. Pan-seared? Maybe something fruity to complement the caramelized meaty goodness. It’s like each burger has its own mood, and finding the right wine is like picking the perfect soundtrack.

Best Wine Pairings for Burgers

Dude, diving deep into burger territory and thinking about what wine goes with burgers? It’s like picking the perfect outfit for a night out. It’s gotta match the mood, right? So, let’s break it down.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Let’s call Cabernet the leather jacket of the wine world.

Characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon

So, Cabernet is basically the bold type. It’s like that friend who’s super outgoing and confident. It’s packed with flavors of blackberry, cherry, and sometimes, a little green pepper vibe. Oh, and those tannins? They’re like the sturdy zippers on that leather jacket.

Why it pairs well with beefy burgers

Beef burgers are the real deal. Juicy, full of flavor, and pretty epic. So, when you take a bite of that and then sip some Cab, it’s like everything just clicks. The boldness of the wine kinda tames the richness of the meat.

Recommended Cabernet Sauvignon wines

  • Honest Abe’s Cab: Fresh from Cali and legit affordable.
  • Bold & Brash: Not just a name, it’s a statement.
  • Midnight Rendezvous: For those late-night burger cravings.


Think of Merlot as the chill hoodie you love.

Characteristics of Merlot

Merlot’s smoother than your Spotify playlist. It’s fruity, with hints of plums, cherries, and sometimes even chocolate. Low on tannins, it’s super approachable, just like your fave hoodie.

Pairing Merlot with different burger toppings

What wine goes with burgers loaded with mushrooms or blue cheese? Merlot’s your answer. Its subtle sweetness balances out those umami flavors like a charm.

Recommended Merlot wines

  • Plum Delight: Because it’s all in the name.
  • Easy Vibes: Chill nights, burgers, and this.
  • Mellow Mood: Goes well with, well, everything.


It’s like the cool graphic tee everyone asks about.

Differences between Shiraz and Syrah

Alright, so here’s the tea: Shiraz and Syrah are kinda like twins. Same grape, but different vibes. Syrah’s all about elegance, while Shiraz is more in-your-face.

Ideal burger pairings for Shiraz/Syrah

BBQ sauce-slathered burger or something spicy? Shiraz has got your back. Going for something a bit sophisticated? Syrah’s where it’s at.

Recommended Shiraz/Syrah wines

  • Spicy Affair: No points for guessing the flavor notes.
  • Twilight Tango: Smooth and kinda mysterious.
  • The Bold Twin: Packs a punch, every time.


Zinfandel’s like those retro sneakers everyone’s after.

Unique attributes of Zinfandel

Zinfandel’s got this unique fruity yet spicy thing going on. It’s like biting into a berry while dancing on a pepper mill.

Why Zinfandel complements grilled burgers

Got that smoky, charred burger off the grill? Zinfandel’s fruity-spicy notes are the perfect counter. It’s like matching those retro sneakers with vintage jeans.

Recommended Zinfandel wines

  • Berry Blast: Because, berries.
  • Spice Route: Adventure in a bottle.
  • Grillmaster’s Choice: For the BBQ kings and queens.

Other notable red wines

Sometimes, you just gotta switch things up, right?

Grenache, Malbec, and Baco Noir

These are like those wild card outfits you’re unsure of, but they always turn heads. All three have their own thing going on, but trust, they all vibe with burgers.

Modern Tuscan reds and Bordeaux blends

Ever tried these with a burger? Game changer. They’re like pairing high-end fashion with street style. Just works.

Pairing suggestions for each wine

  • Grenache: Perfect for those lamb burgers.
  • Malbec: It’s all about those spicy toppings.
  • Baco Noir: Keep it classic with a simple beef burger.

Non-Red Wine Pairings for Burgers

Alright, so you’ve been there, done that with the reds. Let’s switch it up. Who said what wine goes with burgers has to be red? Step into the more chilled-out section of the wine world.

Rosé Champagne

Man, just saying it sounds fancy, right?

Characteristics of rosé Champagne

Imagine being on a beach, sun setting, soft breeze… That’s rosé Champagne for ya. It’s got this beautiful blush color, like a summer sunset. On the taste? Fresh red fruits, citrus, and sometimes even a hint of spice. And those bubbles? It’s like a mini party in your mouth.

Why it’s a luxurious pairing for burgers

Pairing burgers with rosé Champagne is like wearing sneakers with a tuxedo. Unexpected but dang, it’s a vibe! The bubbles cleanse your palate from the fatty goodness of the burger, while the fruity notes just dance with those meaty flavors.

Light and crisp white wines

Ever thought of pairing a burger with a white? Trust me, it’s the unexpected plot twist in the what wine goes with burgers saga.

Verdicchio di Jesi and Trebbiano di Abruzzo

Okay, let’s unpack these.

  • Verdicchio di Jesi – Sounds exotic, right? It’s this Italian white that’s light, citrusy, and has this cool almond aftertaste.
  • Trebbiano di Abruzzo – Another Italian masterpiece. It’s like Verdicchio’s chill cousin. A bit more on the fruity side and, let me tell you, ultra-refreshing.

Pairing white wines with spicy burgers

Got a burger with some kick to it? Think jalapeños, spicy mayo, or even some pepper jack cheese. Now, here’s where these whites come in. Their crispness and light body sort of act like a fire extinguisher to that spice. It cools things down and gets you ready for the next bite.

Alternative Pairings for Burgers

So, you think the whole what wine goes with burgers game is played out? No worries. I’m gonna let you in on some alternative sips that you may not have considered. And believe me, these are some game-changers.

IPAs and double IPAs

What’s the deal?

IPAs, or India Pale Ales for the uninitiated, are hop-heavy beers with a good hit of bitterness and, sometimes, a burst of citrus or pine. Double IPAs? Well, they’re like the older sibling who’s been hitting the gym – stronger and bolder.

Why with burgers?

That bitterness is kinda magic. It can slice right through the fattiness of a juicy burger. Got a burger slathered in a tangy BBQ sauce? The citrus notes in the IPA will be like, “Hey, I gotchu.”

Manhattans and other cocktails

The swanky choice

Who said you can’t be fancy with a burger in hand? A Manhattan is a classy blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. It’s smooth, a touch sweet, and packs a punch.

Why this over wine?

Sometimes life needs a cocktail. Especially when you’re biting into a gourmet burger topped with blue cheese or maybe some caramelized onions. The sweet and strong notes of a Manhattan can keep up and won’t get overshadowed.

Milkshakes and non-alcoholic pairings

The sweet escape

A cold, creamy milkshake with a hot burger? Heaven. And don’t get me started on those fries dipped in the shake. Sweet, salty, savory. It’s a whole mood.

Non-alcoholic but still cool

Sparkling water with a dash of lime or a minty iced tea. They’re refreshing and won’t make you drowsy. Perfect for a lunchtime burger feast.

Tips for Successful Pairing

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what wine goes with burgers. Or beer. Or cocktails. You get it.

Considering the overall meal

Look at everything on your plate. Got some spicy sides or tangy pickles? They’ll influence what drink will pair best. It’s like choosing a playlist based on your mood and the weather combined.

Adjusting wine choices based on burger complexity

So you got this burger with all the toppings, right? Avocado, bacon, three kinds of cheese. It’s complex. Don’t drown that with a super dominant drink. Find something that complements rather than competes. Remember, it’s a partnership.

Experimenting and personal preferences

Lastly, throw out the rulebook if you want. Who cares about the perfect pairing if you’re not into it? Love that cheap beer with your fancy burger? Go for it. Prefer water over wine? Do you. The best pairing is what you enjoy. Period.

FAQ On What Wine Goes With Burgers

Can a Cabernet Sauvignon truly complement my beef burger?

Absolutely. A Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of reds when your burger is brimming with robust flavors. Its tannins slice through the fat, balancing the richness. Picture this: a sip after a hearty bite—perfection.

What wine pairs best with a turkey burger?

Lean turkey burgers love the company of something light. Go for a Chardonnay. Its crispness will elevate the subtle flavors. It’s like a breezy conversation, where neither overpowers, both just… blend.

Should I consider a wine’s body when pairing with a burger?

100%. Match the wine body with your burger’s heft. Think full-bodied Zinfandel with a loaded cheeseburger. They’re like a power couple, harmonizing without skipping a beat.

Can veggie burgers and wine be a thing?

You bet. Bring in a Merlot. It’s versatile. Its softness complements the earthiness without wrestling for the spotlight. It’s harmony, it’s understanding, it’s meant to be.

Is there a white wine that can stand up to a juicy burger?

Indeed, a spirited Sauvignon Blanc can be the yin to your burger’s yang. Its acidity is like a zesty remark in a monotonous day; refreshing.

How do condiments affect my wine choice?

Condiments are loud guests at the party. A tangy ketchup matches the zest of a Pinot Noir. The trick? Let the wine echo your condiment’s tone.

Could I venture into sparkling wines, or is that too rebellious for burgers?

Rebel away! A Sparkling wine can lighten up the densest of beef patties. It’s the spark that ignites the flavor explosion.

What if my burger is spicy? Any specific wine suggestions?

Bring out the Shiraz. It has that spice-box character that loves to mingle with heat. The bold meets bold, and it’s a thrill ride.

Are there any food pairing principles I should know about?

Think of food pairing as a duet — the wine and burger should enhance each other. Aim for harmony in flavors, like matching acidic wines with fatty burgers, creating a balance that’s just symphonic.

Is there a wine that is considered a safe choice regardless of the burger?

Shiraz again clinches it. It’s like that friend who gets along with everyone. With a burger rich in toppings or a simple patty, it adapts, it suits, it pleases.


Here we are, at the tail end of our flavor-filled adventure. It’s clear now, what wine goes with burgers isn’t just a question, it’s a portal to a universe of taste. We’ve danced through the aromatic vineyards, waltzed around the sizzling grills, and now?

  • You’re armed with the knowledge that a Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t shy to buddy up with a hearty beef burger.
  • Merlot? That’s your veggie burger’s newfound best friend.
  • Even a Sauvignon Blanc found its cheerful place beside the classic burger in your hand.

We’ve untangled the mysteries of tannins and textures, cooking techniques, and so much more. So grab that burger — be it beef, turkey, or an artful veggie creation. Uncork the bottle you feel vibes with your meal. The rules? There are none. Just pure, unadulterated joy. Here’s to the burgers and wines that make our world spin, cheers!

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