Albert Mann Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France, 2007
Mini Duck Burgers, Fingerling Chips, House Made Ketchup, Spicy Mustard, Onion Jam, Brioche Buns
Maria Hines’ duck burgers are something to write home about. Nestled on soft brioche buns made by a nearby bakery, topped with sweet-savory onion jam, spicy homemade mustard, and spiced homemade ketchup, they make for a near-perfect haute slider experience. ‘Near-perfect,’ because it’s really when they’re paired with a white wine with a bit of residual sugar that they reach their apotheosis. Chumas has a penchant for plush, soft, rich white wines, and the Albert Mann Pinot Blanc is just that. It has a beautiful spectrum: high acid, lovely earth notes, and viscosity that gives weight without any buttery or oakiness. This match is Chumas’ gateway pairing, if you will: “If people seem open [to trying to things], I’ll bring a glass of this or of Washington Riesling out with the duck burgers…And they’ll love it, and it will turn them onto Rieslings.” It’s not a hard sell, really. The wine cuts through the richness of the burgers but allows the savory and spice flavors to continue bouncing around in the mouth, and the sweetness is a lovely complement to the spicy and spiced components of the mustard and ketchup.