Canlis wine director Nelson Daquip spends his working hours in Seattle's most storied outpost of fine dining, but he's mighty partial the burgers at the Dick's on Lower Queen Anne. In fact, when we asked him to name some of his top burger and wine pairings, he came back with one especially for a Dick's cheeseburger. He's also partial to the lamb burger at Matt's in the Market.
While Daquip clearly has an amazing palate, the man loves his ketchup. He keeps a stash on hand at the restaurant, and always requests an extra helping for his fries. Here he shares his picks for wine and burger pairings from the humble Dick's to more upscale iterations.
2007 Kiona Lemberger (Red Mountain, WA): Only a handful of U.S. wineries grow this Central European grape, which has just a bit of spice but is otherwise earthy with a bright red fruit, according to Daquip. The flavors are modest, but not simple, and the pairing brings out the best of both the wine and this most humble of burgers. Originally Daquip envisioned pairing this with a Dick's deluxe, but, he says, "my heart is really with a regular Dick's cheeseburger." Two of these is his standard Dick's order; "I've had this combination on more than a few occasions," says Daquip.
2009 El Corazon Malbec (Rattlesnake Hills, WA): This is an "up-and-coming winemaker that needs our attention," says Daquip. A rare Malbec that isn't from Argentina, the El Corazon has the grape's charactaristic earthy, spicy notes of dark berry fruits. This wine cries out for something with a bit of spice and kick; for Daquip it calls to mind a beef and short rib burger with kimchi he had at Joule recently.
2005 Zenato Amarone (Veneto, Italy): At the very back end of the palate, this wine has a touch of sweetness that makes it a standout pairing with burgers that have a sweeter sauce, like Red Mill Burgers, or are dressed with barbecue sauce, says Daquip. "Something that's a little smoky, very hearty. When I think of amarone, I think of it being rich and opulent, a drive of fruit and earth that very few wines can match."
2007 Domaine Tempier Bandol (Provence, France): Pop open this wine and the immediate flavor is odd--earthy with a bit of a stink, says Daquip. "But it's the stink you know and identify with Old World wine." Hearty and hard on the palate, it definitely speaks to terroir. Drinking this with salmon would be a mistake, but a rich, fatty beef, or even the gamy notes of a grass-fed patty, brings out the beauty of this unusual wine. It must be paired carefully to bring out its best qualities, says Daquip. "It has priority in my world as a great burger wine."
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