Pork Apple Burgers & Wine

Food & Wine Friday: Pork Apple Burgers & Wine

Today In Food & Wine: Pork Apple Burgers & Wine

One of the things we most enjoy at THEGRAPE is finding and pairing our weekly Grape Certified wine recommendations with delicious recipes. We look for recipes that are unique or unconventional or easy to make or so tasty you’ve gotta try them or some combination of the three. And this week is no exception. Normally we tease you, dragging out the wine we’re planning to pair with the recipe we’ve chosen, but we’re switching our focus because each week the wine comes before the recipe. This is our answer to the chicken before the egg debate.


2013 Justin Focus Syrah - thegrape.com

The 2013 Justin Focus Syrah is from Paso Robles, California, which is known for growing delicious apples, among other things. That is why this week’s food and wine pairing is the Justin Focus Syrah and Pork Apple Burgers. This is another food and wine pairing that focuses on pairing foods that are native to soils of the weekly wine suggestion. Every so often you come across or hear about a wine that’s so good you’ve gotta try it. Then you realize it’s just a little, or maybe a lot, outside of your (normal) price range.

Well, the 2013 Justin Focus Syrah might just be that wine. At $100 per bottle, it’s well outside the wine price range ($15 – $25) we typically recommend but this red wine is just too good to pass up. And if you’re not familiar with the Central California wine region, including and especially Paso Robles, you’re really missing out on some of the best wines California’s wine country has to offer.

Pairing red wine and pork isn’t uncommon and pork and apples were made for each other. Ever dip your pork chops in apple sauce? If not, you’re really missing out. This is a food & wine combination that will wow! You’ll want to decant this delicious red wine for about an hour, so grab a bottle and let it breathe. Even though you should let it breath for about 60 minutes, we also recommend taking a sip every 10 – 15 minutes so you too can understand the difference in taste over the short term.

Let’s get to chef’ing! This Pork Apple Burgers recipe, which is from the Food Network Show, Giada At Home, takes about 1 hour & 20 minutes to make (so worth it), and feeds up to 6 people.




  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4-to-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • 2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella (8 ounces)
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 6 soft burger buns, halved
  • Serving suggestion: Lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes 


Cooking Instructions


  • Bring the apples, onion, apple juice, vinegar, maple syrup and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated and the apples are soft, about 45 minutes.
  • Cool and season with salt and pepper.
  • Note: The chutney can be made 1 day in advance.



  • In a large bowl, combine the cheese, pancetta, apple, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the pork and mix well.
  • Form the mixture into 6 burgers.
  • Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
  • Oil the grill with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  • Drizzle the burgers with oil.
  • Cook on low heat until cooked through, for 10 minutes on each side.
  • The burgers are also ready when a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F when inserted into the side of the burgers.
  • Allow the burgers to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Place the burgers on buns and top with chutney.
  • Serve with lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes if desired.
  • Cook’s Note: The burgers can also be cooked over low heat for 10 minutes on each side in a nonstick skillet or on a nonstick griddle.


We believe, at least once a week, you should reward yourself with a truly delicious food and wine pairing. You work hard and deserve to sow, eat and drink the fruits of your labor. This week’s reward is Smoked Pork Apple burgers & wine, the 2013 Justin Focus Syrah. We think you’ll absolutely love it. The only thing we think would make this food and wine pairing better is an evening sharing it with friends and family. So why not invite everyone over for a Saturday afternoon of food, wine, games and chill! Still have some wine left after dinner? For dessert try making this Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler recipe from Crazy for Crust. After all, you deserve it!

Thanks for joining us for this weeks edition of Food & Wine Friday where we share with you our favorite food and wine recipe pairings. We’re truly excited for you to try this Grape Certified Gold wine paired with this delicious pork apple burgers recipe. If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like it, share it (with your friends), and share your experience with us below. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week for another edition of Food & Wine Friday’s. Cheers!


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