Hamburgers pair best with full-bodied red wines with plenty of tannin, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz.  The grippy tannin in a rich red wine is softened by a grilled hamburger’s heavy protein and fat content, making the wine taste more flavourful and smooth.

Medium-bodied red wines with a touch of acidity, such as Zinfandel, Baco Noir and Chianti Classico, are also delicious with Hamburgers as the acidity adds a touch of zing that brings out the flavour of the hamburgers and toppings.

The following pairings are recommended for homemade hamburgers or restaurant quality hamburgers where quality beef is used.  These pairings will also work with fast-food hamburgers, however, if the hamburgers are more bun than meat, and the patties are full of fillers, don’t spend too much money on your wine.

Best Wine Pairings with Hamburgers

Red WineZinfandelHamburgers
Red WineMontepulciano d'AbruzzoHamburgers
Red WineCabernet SauvignonHamburgers
Red WineBaco NoirHamburgers
Red WineMontepulcianoHamburgers with Mushrooms
Red WineChâteauneuf du Pape, RedHamburgers with Mushrooms
Red WineShirazHamburgers
Red WineSyrahHamburgers
Red WinePetit VerdotHamburgers
BeerNut Brown AleHamburger with BBQ Sauce
BeerKentucky CommonGrilled Hamburgers
BeerIndia Pale Ale - IPAHamburgers
Red WineBeaujolaisHamburgers with Ketchup & Mushrooms
BeerBlack IPAHamburgers with Cheese
Red WineGarnacha TintaHamburgers with smoked Gouda
Red WineRibera del Duero - ReservaGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedImpossible Burger
Red WineRibera del Duero - ReservaHamburgers with Mushrooms
Red WineGarnachaGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineMerlotHamburgers
BeerOatmeal StoutHamburgers with Cheese
Red WineSaumur - Red WineGrilled Hamburgers
BeerAmber AleHamburgers
BeerRauchbierGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineLambruscoGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineSagrantino di MontefalcoHamburgers
BeerRed IPAHamburgers
Red WineMontefalco Rosso DOCHamburgers
BeerAmber AleGrilled Hamburgers
Red WinePetite SirahHamburgers
Red WineFrappatoHamburgers
Red WinePrimitivoHamburgers Well Done
White WineChardonnayHamburger with Grilled Pineapple
BeerAmerican Brown AleHamburgers
Red WineMerlotImpossible Burger
Red WineChâteauneuf du Pape, RedHamburgers
Red WineVinsobresHamburgers
BeerPale AleHamburgers
BeerPiwo GrodziskieGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineCornas AOCGrilled Hamburgers
White WineGrüner VeltlinerHamburgers with Cheese
White WineGewürztraminerHamburgers with Sweet Pickle Relish
Red WineNerello MascaleseHamburgers
BeerEnglish Brown AleGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineDolcetto d'Alba (DOC)Hamburgers
Red WineChianti (DOCG) Hamburgers
White WineWhite ZinfandelHamburgers with Sweet Pickle Relish
Red WineRioja ReservaHamburgers
Red WineNero d'AvolaGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineMalbecHamburgers
Red WinePinot NoirHamburgers
Red WineRioja, RedHamburgers with Cheese and Bacon
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedHamburgers
Red WineMonastrellGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineCabernet SauvignonImpossible Burger
BeerBelgian BeerHamburgers with Everything (The Works)
Red WineBurgundy, RedHamburgers
Sparkling WineSparkling WineHamburgers with Mustard
Red WineCôtes du Rhône, RedGrilled Hamburgers
Red WineCôtes du Rhône, RedHamburgers
R Wine BrandApothic Red WineHamburgers with Ketchup
BeerVienna LagerHamburgers

Zinfandel Wine & Burgers Pairing

Red Zinfandel pairs well with Hamburgers as this wine is often acidic, meaning it cuts through all the grease of your hamburger.  This ensures each bite of hamburger tastes just as delicious as the last.  Higher in acidity, Zinfandel also acts similar to ketchup, in that you get this blast of fruitiness from the wine that livens up all the flavours of the meat.

Zinfandel’s main flavours are blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and plum.  However, you’ll also find notes of black pepper, spice, and chocolate that complement the grilled flavours of your Hamburgers.

Zinfandel can be insanely expensive and full-bodied, and a wine such with this will be marvellous with your basic beef burger grilled in your backyard.  These wines are monster trucks in a bottle and feature chewy flavours of jammy fruit, spice, vanilla, licorice, nuts, chocolate and coffee.  If you are heavily into BBQ to the point where you make your own sauces, the pricier bottles of Zinfandel are something you’ll want to explore.

My advice, however, is stick to a mid-range Zinfandel that’s between $25-$40, if you are a casual hamburger level.  This style won’t see much in the way of oak aging, and has more of that refreshing acidity to it that will make it more suitable for a delicious hamburger cooked in your backyard after a long day at work.

Shiraz & Grilled Hamburgers Pairing

If I’m going to a backyard BBQ where Hamburgers are being grilled up, Shiraz is the wine I’ll bring, as it’s a crowd-pleaser with its jammy notes, along with its smoky and black pepper edge.

Shiraz pairs well with hamburgers as this dense and rich red wine brings juicy flavours of blackberry jam, plum, cherry and raspberry that keep you refreshed throughout your meal.  Meanwhile, you’ll also find amazing flavours of dark chocolate, vanilla, black pepper, and smoke that complement your hamburger’s meat and charred flavours.

For jammy flavours that are velvety and ripe, along with lots of black pepper notes, select an Australian Shiraz.  If you want earthier and herbal notes, like mint, olives, rosemary, and bacon fat, select a Syrah from France or California.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Hamburger Pairing

A young Cabernet Sauvignon often needs a few years of aging before it is in its prime.  All of this waiting can be avoided when pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with a juicy grilled hamburger. The protein and fats of the beef tame the tannin, making the wine taste smooth and approachable.  Tannin also breaks down protein, and the combination of beef and wine makes your beef taste even more delicious.

With lush notes of blackberries, cassis, and plum, Cabernet Sauvignon serves up lots of rich dark fruit flavours.  The wine also delivers amazing flavours of eucalyptus, chocolate, cedar, leather, meat, vanilla, and smoke, which complement the meat and the charred marks of the beef.

This pairing works best with simple Hamburgers with a minimal amount of toppings.  Toppings such as bacon or cheese are fine with Cabernet Sauvignon, however, acidic toppings like mustard, ketchup, pickles and relishes will clash with the tannin in Cabernet Sauvignon if they are heaped on.

Furthermore, the more you cook your beef, the less delicious a young Cabernet Sauvignon pairing will be.  Cooking knocks a lot of the fat out of your hamburger, and the fat helps tame your tannin.  If you insist on well-done hamburgers, add fatty toppings such as cheese or bacon to make the wine taste smoother.

Finally, feel free to pair aged Cabernet Sauvignon with Hamburgers as well.  It may not seemed justified as aged Cabernet Sauvignon is pricy, and hamburgers are often considered everyday eating, however, the pairing will remain amazing.  If you are going all out, pair this wine with a homemade hamburger or hamburger made at a specialty restaurant where quality is top-notch.

Medium Grilled Burgers & Baco Noir Pairing

Baco Noir is a red wine popular in Ontario, Michigan and NY.  Medium in tannin and high in acidity, Baco Noir pairs well with medium-cooked hamburgers, as the medium bodied flavours of blackberry, blueberry and plum won’t drown out the subtle beef flavours.

Baco Noir is a rustic wine, meaning it tastes earthy. You’ll get lots of black pepper, meat, smoke, and leather notes that not everyone loves.  However, when paired with a grilled Hamburger, the wine will complement the meaty flavours.  Thus, while it’s not a crowd-pleaser on its own, people will enjoy it with their food.  Baco Noir is also not very expensive, so it’s a good wine to serve at large events if you are trying to keep costs down.  I just wouldn’t bring it out until people are ready to eat, meaning I’d serve an alternative red wine at cocktail hour, as people might be turned off by its rustic flavours.

Merlot & Hamburger Pairing

A medium-bodied Merlot pairs well with Hamburgers as it has rich flavours of dark chocolate, plum and cherry that are delicious with a grilled hamburger.  Smooth and refreshing, nobody will have anything to complain about when drinking Merlot with their hamburger.

Merlot doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention in the wine world unless it’s from the Bordeaux region.  However, a lot is going on behind the scenes with Merlot that often goes unnoticed.  In some instances, it can be as fierce as Cabernet Sauvignon.  However, more often than not, it’s a wine that comes off as moderate, but delivers lots of hidden flavours of cedar, leather, mint, violate, vanilla and herbs that are there if you look for them.