Burger Buzz

Whether you're at a pub, a swanky restaurant, or a cookout, these pairings from three local beverage experts will help you make the most of your burger experience.


Photo by Sam Kaplan

Matt Reiser: UpStairs on the Square, Cambridge
Red: “To highlight the char of the grill, choose full-bodied wines that mimic the flame with rich, dark fruits — think syrah, pinotage, and malbec.”
Try 2007 Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah (Central Coast); 2008 Warwick “Old Bush Vines” Pinotage (Stellenbosch, South Africa); and 2011 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina).

White/Rosé: “Although deep, rich reds go great with burgers, so do lightly oaked chardonnays and rosés. And when in doubt, pull the grüner veltliner out. With tons of minerality, naturally high acidity, and the ability to play well with the most difficult pairings — like veggie burgers — this is definitely a wine you want to keep in good supply for when you’re in a pinch.”
Try 2011 Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina); 2009 Errazuriz Chardonnay (Aconcagua Valley, Chile); and 2010 Hiedler Grüner Veltliner Löss (Kamptal, Austria).

All wines available at Bauer Wine & Spirits, 330 Newbury St., Boston, 617-262-0363, bauerwines.com.


Kate Baker: Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont
Double/Imperial IPA: “Because of the thick, resin-y character of hop oil, this kind of bigger, bolder IPA can cut through fattier textures like cheese, avocado, or even a salmon burger.”
Try Wachusett Larry Imperial IPA; Uinta Detour Double IPA; and People’s Pint Double IPA.

Amber Lager/Brown Ale: “These kinds of beers have a lot of caramel malt. I always equate it to the cooking process of caramelization, that sweet note you can get in food from grilling or sautéing. ”
Try Cape Ann Fisherman’s Brew; and Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale.

All beers available at Craft Beer Cellar, 51 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-932-1885, bostoncraftbeercellar.com.


Joe McGuirk: Highland Kitchen, Cambridge
The Presbyterian Cocktail: “A classic, whiskey-based tall drink, it will refresh your palate after the salt from your fries and burger.”
Pour 1½ ounces of whiskey (McGuirk prefers Crown Royal) over ice in a highball glass and top with equal parts soda water and ginger ale. Jazz it up with a dash of Angostura bitters.

Amaro: “A shot of Fernet-Branca is mandatory after I eat a good burger.”
To savor this herbal, medicinal spirit, known for its digestive benefits, pour over ice and sip.

Find fernet-branca and crown royal at most local wine and spirits shops.