Merlot Onion Burgers

5 from 4 votes

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It’s #SundaySupper, and the Gallo Family reminds us that, much like wine, I imagine, the best recipes always have a story. Juicy hamburgers so moist and flavorful from the addition of sautéed onions and red wine, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and homemade Worcestershire ketchup, then piled on a soft, slightly toasted bun will make you say Baby, That’s a Good Merlot Onion Burgers.

Baby, That’s a Good Merlot Onion Burgers

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

I cannot believe it, but Baby Smiles turned 1 year old yesterday! Of course he will always be my baby, but he’s well on the road to toddler. I’m rapidly retiring size after size of clothes, and while I love watching both him and The Bug grow, it is bittersweet knowing that each and every one of Baby Smile’s firsts will be my last.

And I realized, I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you their birth stories. No, I’m not gonna get into the gory details of water breaking and epidurals and pushing and all of that, but instead about the events leading up to their births, because naturally both involve food!

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

With The Bug, I went for a checkup on my due date because I was having some contractions and discomfort, and he wasn’t moving on the ultrasound, so they sent me to the hospital to monitor him for awhile. He was just not a morning person (still isn’t), and all was fine, but I swear it took them four hours to tell me that, even though I was only on the monitor for about 45 minutes. Even though I was barely having contractions while I was actually on the monitor, since it was now hours later, I was in a pretty fair amount of pain, but they were still sending me home. Honestly, I was kind of OK with this because it was around 2pm, I was super-duper pregnant, and hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I was STARVING. If they had kept me in the hospital, I probably would have been restricted to ice chips. So The Hubby and I headed over to a local pub called Tumulty’s, a place I’ve been going to since I was little, and both had the biggest, juiciest, most amazing burgers. By now I was also having MAJOR contractions at the table, so I was kind of glad it was a weird time of day and the restaurant was empty. After we ate, we headed home, and let’s just say it was a good thing we had such a filling meal, because we had a long night ahead of us, culminating in The Bug’s birth early the following morning.

As my due date approached for Baby Smiles, I was so done with the pregnancy. Between aches, pains, gestational diabetes, a cranky 2 year old, I had had enough. I was doing everything I could think of to get things moving along. Finally one evening I told The Hubby that I wanted to head to Tumulty’s for a burger, thinking it might have the same effect as last time. Sadly it didn’t work, but it was fun to tell The Bug the story of eating burgers there right before he was born. Then just a few days later I did have a feeling that the time was coming soon, so we made the call to Delaware to have my mom come up. Since we now had a babysitter, we decided to head out for what we figured would be our last dinner alone for quite awhile. This time it was steak. And yup, you guessed it, later that night we were off to the hospital, and we met Baby Smiles early the next morning.

Beef and babies!! HA!

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

And while I was full of so many emotions and so many reasons to be over-the-moon after my babies were born, one of the things I was happy about was that I could finally give in to something I craved throughout both pregnancies but were on the “no-no” list – a rare burger paired with a glass of red wine.

So these Merlot Onion Burgers are a little tribute to my babies and a little remembrance of the days they were born. Only instead of only pairing the wine with the burgers, I also put wine in the burgers. To keep things a wee bit healthier, I like to use lean beef in my burgers, then add flavor and moisture by mixing sautéed onions and some flavorful liquid into the meat, in this case, Gallo Family Merlot and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. Some nice, sharp cheddar is the perfect topping, and while you could use any old ketchup, my super simple homemade Worcestershire ketchup, with it’s intense umami-ness (is that a word?), just complements the beef and wine flavors, since Gallo family Merlot pairs well with tomato sauce and grilled meats.

Speaking of grilled meats, since I still had piles of snow between my door and my grill, I started these burgers in a cast iron skillet on the stove and finished them off in the oven. But if you can get to your grill, do it! It’ll make these burgers even more amazing. I guarantee you’ll be saying Baby, That’s a Good Merlot Onion Burger!

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

Gallo knows all about the importance of family, food, and the stories that intertwine them. Learn more about the wines of Gallo Family Vineyards, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, and check out the store locator to try some of their wines yourself.

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And check out all of today’s amazing recipes and the stories that inspired them at the bottom of this post!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

Do you have any special recipes with a story?

5 from 4 votes

Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger

Juicy hamburgers so moist and flavorful from the addition of sautéed onions and red wine, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and homemade Worcestershire ketchup, then piled on a soft, slightly toasted bun.


  • 2 tsp olive oil divided
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine I used Gallo Family Merlot
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • a few grinds black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • four rolls lettuce and Worcestershire Ketchup or your favorite toppings for serving


  • In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned.
  • Add the red wine and thyme, and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside
  • Preheat your oven to 300°F. (See Note for gilling)
  • In a large bowl, gently combine the beef, onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Divide into four balls and form into patties.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the burgers, cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Top each burger with about 1/4 cup cheese, transfer to the oven ad bake for 4-8 minutes, or to desired doneness.
  • Serve on lightly toasted rolls with lettuce, Worcestershire ketchup, or your favorite toppings.


Alternatively, you can cook on the grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.



Baby, That's a Good Merlot Onion Burger | | #hamburger #cheeseburger #beef

Here are some of my other favorite recipes with a story!

Lemon-White-Wine-Green-Beans-Mushrooms-5-title.jpg Beef and Potato Skillet Supper 2 title Skillet-Lemon-Chicken-4-title.jpg

And make sure you check out the rest of today’s recipes (and, of course, their accompanying stories) from the #SundaySupper family using or paired with the Gallo Family Vineyards Merlot or Sweet White Blend wines:


Mains and Sides:

Beverages and Desserts:

  1. I would love to make these on the grill. But I was wondering, what is the note about grilling? I didn’t see it, just a reference to it. This burger looks insanely good, and I bet the Worcestershire Ketchup is gonna really kick it up! Can’t wait to try them both.

  2. Debbie

    Thanks for sharing this Wonderful Recipe!! I like a burger that is well cooked, but still juicy!! This one hit the mark right on! I even grated Parmesan on top, and I never put cheese on my burgers…too gooey …but this was super!!

  3. Stephanie

    I found this amazing recipe on the show stopper link party – I love a different way to make a hamburger and can’t wait to try this.

  4. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Brianne, it’s very cool that you get to tell both of your kids that their births involved delicious beef! Lol. Your burger…WOW! I love that you added moisture not in the fat content but with the onions and liquid. And you’re brilliant for putting merlot INTO the burger. I can just imagine how intensely flavourful this burger is!

  5. What a great story! I always craved raw tuna & wine while I was pregnant –some how it always tasted fantastic after waiting so long! So cheers to “beef & babies!” This looks downright mouthwatering!

  6. Ha! There’s a restaurant in L.A. that serves a salad that has come to be known as “The Pregnancy Salad.” So many women have gone into labor after eating it that they flock there now when their due date is upon them, hoping to make the magic happen. The hostess takes one look at them coming through the door and knows exactly what booth they want to sit in and what they will order.

    1. Nicolai @ Instphil

      I love this, it sound delisious, burgers are my favorate of breakfast, i will try your recioe tomorrow. Thank for sharing!

  7. Katie

    What a flavorful combination indeed. I know my husband would go nuts for these burgers…everything involved is something he loves! I also love your story – and happy birthday to Baby Smiles (a little late)!

  8. My neighbor raved about the Merlot burgers she made last summer…but I forgot to ask for the recipe! SO glad to have one now!!! YUM.

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