I’m not a huge fan of the Fourth of July. This may come as a surprise because I love grilling, drinking and pool parties but I just have memories of being dragged to the local park by my parents with what felt like a million other people to watch fireworks. And guess what I hate-- crowds and loud noises. I have an anxiety disorder, dude. Seriously, the only way I make it through large concerts is a small dose of Xanax beforehand. So there you go, it isn’t my favorite. However, my husband and I usually just chill out, maybe have some friends over and make something delicious on the grill. Oh and drink.
Tonight we are making some simple cheeseburgers-- so easy and so good. I was contemplating what wine would pair well with cheeseburgers and of course I decided I had to go with a red. Red is always my go to when I’m pairing it with something meaty and delicious. However, it is legit hot and humid so not just any red would do. I needed something that could be chilled a bit and was light but still had the body and depth to stand up to the heartiness of the meat. I decided to go with a sparkling Shiraz I had tried a few months ago when my local wine shop had just gotten it in.
This Shiraz is from Flegenheimer (whew, that’s a mouth full) Bros and is made with grapes from South Australia. You might not think that a medium to full-bodied red like Shiraz would be very good in chilled/sparkling form but it totally is. On the nose it is so bright, oozing with notes of cranberries, tobacco and sage. Sage is one of my favorite scents and the bouquet of this wine takes me back to college when I used this sage soap I purchased from the French Market downtown. It was delightful. I love finding an herby red.
There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, but it is not overwhelming at all. I am a fan of drier wines but I actually like a red with a little sweetness from time to time. I used to buy this Lambrusco from Trader Joe’s and it was a little sweet and so delicious. It was also like $5 and probably filled with so many additives. This is a nice grown-up version of that. The wine is so fruit forward and tastes just like blueberry pie which is actually perfect for Fourth of July. The light sweetness cuts through the fattiness of the burger in a great way.
I didn’t actually like burgers until a few years ago. Growing up, my dad would attempt to make healthy burgers. He used what I can only assume was 99% lean beef and cooked them until they were VERY well done. They were pretty tasteless and I didn’t get what the hype around burgers was so I just stopped eating them. Then, maybe two years ago, my husband convinced me I had to try a Town Topic burger. Town Topic is this old school burger stand in Kansas City and their burgers are SO GOOD. After one bite I was sold. Then I experimented with making my own burgers at home. I was drawn to the simplicity, whether on the grill or the stove, they are one of the quickest, easiest meals to make. For me, the perfect burger is cooked medium and served on a pretzel bun with some kosher cheddar, preferably accompanied by a nice glass of wine and NO FIREWORKS unless I’ve had my Xanax. Happy Fourth, y’all.