School's in session, on your terms: We're asking the Valley's top wine gurus to answer all your wine-related queries, tackling them one at a time each Wednesday, so we can all stress less and pour more. Today's teacher: Pavle Milic, the co-owner and wine director at FnB.
With spring in the air and the near-perfect weather in Phoenix, it's time to fire up the grill and make some burgers. We asked Pavle Milic, co-owner and wine director at FnB, to pair up Martha's best burgers with wines that make them shine.
"Burgers? You're making my job easy," says Milic. "Almost always a red wine would be the ideal match. Fat loves the tannins in red wine."
"Two wines come to mind right away," Milic says: The 2008 Durigutti Malbec and the 2008 Keeling-Schaefer Three Sisters Syrah.
Click through for beef on Milic's top two picks and his suggestions for pairing in general.
"For $15, the 2008 Durigutti Malbec is a great deal," Milic says, "It's supple in terms of tannin structure with a lot of berry notes."
Milic notes the Durigutti made Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2010 but adds "I always say that intelligent people formulate their own opinions."
The Three Sisters is a bestseller at FnB. "It's lush, fruity and dense," Milic says of his second top choice, which comes from Cochise County.
The most important thing to know when pairing burgers -- or any other kind of food -- with wine?
"The fun is not knowing what works and finding out for yourself what does," Milic says, noting that breaking the rules of white wine with fish and fowl and red wine with red meats can actually work sometimes. "Trust your instincts. Trust your palette. Wine is a personal experience and as long as you're an authority on what you like, you're there!"
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The method of enjoying your pairing can also impact your experience, Milic explains.
"Next time you are having wine with your food try introducing a little wine while you're still chewing," Milic recommends. "Food by itself tastes a certain way as does wine by itself. Both together are a completely different recipe. Give it a try!"
What do you drink with your favorite burger? What meals do you need a hand pairing with wine? Leave us your suggestions and recipes in the comments section below. And fire up the grill already!
Leave your questions for the wine gurus below, no hand raising necessary and check back for Wine School every Wednesday.