Pairings by sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia, as told to Michael Austin:
2011 Pax Alder Springs Syrah, North Coast, California: Pax Mahle and his wife, Pam, who launched their own label in 2000, focus on single-varietal syrah drawn from cooler climate regions and vineyards in the northern portion of California. With dense aromas of black currant, black cherry, smoke, anise and a touch of dried tarragon, this wine will work beautifully with the richness of the meat, while also mimicking the herbal notes well.
2011 La Serena Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy: This small family winery was founded in 1988 but only recently began exporting more broadly. It uses organic practices and focuses on elegant wines, such as this lovely Brunello from 100 percent sangiovese grosso grapes. Notes of raspberry confit, brambly strawberry preserves, fresh cut herbs and a hint of new leather will balance the astringency of the mustard butter, while bright acidity will cut through the dish’s fattier components.
2013 Acustic Celler Acustic Montsant, Catalonia, Spain: From old vineyards of garnacha and carinena, with vines averaging 40 to 65 years old, this vivid red is light enough to accommodate the nuances of the parsley and toasted bread buns, while its touch of tannin and acidity will lend good grip to the meat of the burger. Fleshy red currants and a hint of smoked meat in the wine will also balance the earthiness of the dish.