Wine and Food Pairing: Hearst Ranch Winery

The Paso Robles Wine Club and Hearst Ranch Beef Burgers

Hearst Castle might be the biggest tourist attraction on California’s Central Coast and a tour of the castle is a not to be missed adventure. But, there’s another Hearst adventure well-worth enjoying and that’s a trip to Hearst Ranch Winery where you can taste the wines and where your palate will be entranced by the magical flavor profile of the wines--the result of sound agricultural practices and talented winemaking.

If you’re a member of The Paso Robles Wine Club, your latest wine shipment included two of our favorite Hearst Ranch Winery selections: Three Sisters Cuvee, a lovely white wine with notes of lemon and honeydew (perfect for sipping on a warm fall afternoon) and the Pergola 2013 Petite Sirah.

The Pergola 2013 Petite Sirah manages to both be decadent and versatile, which is no small feat! During the blending trials the descriptors of chocolate, sweet bacon fat, vanilla and spiced stone fruits were oft repeated. While being delicious is of great importance, it is also imperative that the depth and structure add intrigue to the wine. To rein in the bold tannins inherent to Petite Sirah, Hearst Ranch Wines employ a cooler fermentation than normal, which limits extraction. The resulting mid-palate is nothing short of velvety and allows the acidity to keep the wine composed.

This wine is delicious on its own, but it is pure magic when paired with fat and charcoal to tame the tannins and enhance the underlying notes of coffee, clove, and dried raspberry.

Open a bottle and let it breathe while you stoke the coals. Our favorite food pairing for this wine: Hearst Ranch Beef Burgers grilled over an open flame and topped with aged cheese and crisp bacon on buttery brioche buns.

Hearst Ranch Beef Burgers
1 ½ pounds of Hearst Ranch ground beef, divided into four 6oz patties
8 strips of good quality bacon, cooked until crisp
4 thick slices of aged cheddar (or Blue cheese, if you prefer)
4 brioche buns, split and lightly toasted
Condiments of your choice, including grilled onions and pan fried mushrooms

1.       Sear burgers over hot coals until charred on the outside, then finish over indirect heat until medium rare.
2.       Top with cheese and cook until cheese is softened and melted.
3.       Transfer to toasted buns and top with bacon and condiments.

4.       Enjoy with a glass—or two—of Hearst Ranch Winery Pergola 2013 Petite Sirah and say hello to delicious!