Nation’s Longest Running and Highest Paying Burger Contest at Sutter Home Winery

Nation’s Longest Running and Highest Paying Burger Contest at Sutter Home Winery


St. Helena, Calif., February 10, 2014 – Sutter Home Family Vineyards is proud to reveal the highly anticipated finalists of the 2013 Sutter Home Build a Better Burger® Recipe Contest. Ten lucky casual cooks from around the country will compete for more than $120,000 in prizes at a cook-off at the Sutter Home Winery in St. Helena, California on Saturday, May 17th, 2014.

For more than 20 years, the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger® Recipe Contest has been pairing one of America’s favorite foods – the burger – with America’s original favorite wine. Sutter Home drastically changed the way wine was enjoyed by American consumers with the introduction of the first White Zinfandel varietal in the early 1970s. Since then, Sutter Home has continued to innovate and introduce new wines to new generations. “Sutter Home has always been a pioneer in introducing accessible and affordable everyday wines – from White Zinfandel and Moscato to the wildly popular Sutter Home 187 mini bottles,” commented Wendy Nyberg, vice president of marketing for Sutter Home, “Wine used to be saved for special occasions, but Sutter Home changed the way consumers think, and the way they drink. The Sutter Home Build a Better Burger® Contest is another way to incorporate wine into everyday occasions.”

In May 2013, Sutter Home awarded $100,000 to Erin Evenson of New York for her winning burger recipe – the 7 Train Caramelized Green Curry Burger. Evenson added, “Like Sutter Home and burgers – this contest is accessible to anyone. I’m just a home cook from Brooklyn who loves experimenting in the kitchen and, of course, burgers and wine!” Evenson is using her $100,000 winnings to travel and be inspired by the diverse flavors of the world.

Like Evenson, finalists are encouraged to showcase inspiration from their favorite foods and regional influences. Burgers are judged on originality, creativity and taste.

The five new recipes and finalists competing for $100,000 in the beef category include:


Chipotle Bacon Maple Jam Burgers with Creamy Blue Cheese and Pear, Spinach, and Hazelnut Salad

Recipe by Michael Cohen, Music Composer, Los Angeles, California

“In this burger, I employ my unique creation: Chipotle Bacon Maple Jam. It really does wonders to the burger, which is simultaneously sweet and spicy and a little bit smoky. There’s some creamy blue cheese to balance all that. This is really the ultimate bacon blue cheese burger, but all done in my own unique way.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Zinfandel

Lone Star Hoss Burgers with Smoky Bacon Cheese Spread and Apricot and Onion Jam.

Recipe by Maureen Hiller, Property Consultant, Katy, Texas

“Growing up on our weekend farm I experienced the joy of a garden full of fresh vegetables. There is nothing like eating tender corn on the cob, green onions, and fresh jalapeños. One of my favorite pastimes is to grill for my family and friends and enjoy meals around our pond. I love everything spicy and try to balance this with sweet and savory elements. Sitting outside with a juicy burger and a glass of Sutter Home White Merlot with loved ones is my idea of life to the fullest.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home White Merlot

Over-The-Top Truffled Burgers with Caramelized Balsamic Onion Jam, Roasted Garlic Aioli and Goat Cheese

Recipe by Kim Jones, Daycare Center Chef, Bloomingdale, Illinois

“My favorite way to enjoy filet mignon is to top it with goat cheese and a wonderful caramelized balsamic onion jam. The combination is incredible and I knew I could use the same flavors in a burger! The sweetness of the onion jam pairs superbly with the tanginess of the goat cheese, the light truffle flavor adds a decadent earthiness and marries with the roasted garlic aioli, and well, bacon is good on everything!”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Merlot

Mexicali Burger with Esquites and Pepita Crema

Recipe by Harold Cohen, Retired Surgeon, Hollywood, Florida

“This burger captures the flavors of the food from Mexicali, a town just south of the border. Esquites, a popular street food dish made of corn, gives a great texture and taste to the burger. Pumpkin seeds, a frequent component of authentic Mexican cuisine, make an appearance here in a uniquely delicious Pepita Crema. Lastly, the “secret” ingredient of Cocoa Chile powder really sets this burger apart.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Zinfandel

Savory French Toasted Burgers with Seasoned Arugula, Bacon-Shallot Chevre, and Merlot Mustard

Recipe by Bill Clifford, Hospital Chef, Exeter, New Hampshire

“I love Monte Cristo sandwiches; the eggy richness of the outside smoothly transitions into the warm meaty interior. Inspired by the classic French Croque Monsieur, one might argue that the patty melt, another iconic grilled sandwich, is a reworked “Croque on rye.” My Franco-American tribute to both sandwiches, wraps an all-American burger in French goat cheese, savory seared custard bread, peppery arugula, and a generous drizzle of luscious, gooey, Merlot-spiked mustard.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Merlot


The five new recipes and finalists competing for the $15,000 prize in the alternative category include:

Barbados Tuna Burgers with Caramelized Orange and Ginger-Garlic Aioli

Recipe by Kelly Randall, Registered Nurse, Vallejo, California

“The flavors of black rum, caramelized orange, and allspice compliment fresh tuna to transport you to an island vacation. A light and flavorful summertime burger!”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc

Sour Apple Pork Burgers with Cheddar Cheese, Cayenne-Apple-Candied Bacon, and Potato Chip-Onion Haystacks

Recipe by Cristen C. Clark, Stay at Home Mom and Softball Pitching Instructor, Runnells, Iowa

“My inspiration for this burger comes from my favorite dish to eat in the fall: roasted pork with apple compote. It is a meal that celebrates harvest, my favorite time of year. I wanted to turn it into a burger to celebrate my farming roots and the food memories from these times. Raising hogs also lends plenty of ground pork from the butcher! The wine I chose, Chenin Blanc, is a nice varietal for this dish because it incorporates the flavors of the apple without being overpowering.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chenin Blanc

Red Lantern Lemongrass-Glazed Chicken Burgers with Shiitake Mushrooms and Sriracha Mayo

Recipe by Jim Bradley, Quality Assurance Analyst, Chicago, Illinois

“My love of Chinese food and a great burger inspired me to create this recipe. This chicken burger brushed with a lemongrass glaze served on a bun smeared with a Sriracha mayo and topped with shiitake mushrooms and arugula is bursting with Asian flavors. The burger is a tribute to the American and Chinese fusion by combining fresh ingredients with layers of flavor.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Gewürtztraminer

German Currywurst Burgers with Tomato Curry-Ginger Jam, Curry-Glazed Pork Skins, and Sweet Pepper, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

Recipe by Krista Towns, Business Owner, Aiken, South Carolina

“As a first generation German-American and brat lover, I was thrilled to discover currywurst, a well-loved German street food made famous in Berlin by Herta Heuwer. The Berlin Wall no longer exists, but currywurst and its many variations are still offered across the country. I’ve included sausage-seasoned patties with a spicy, gingery jam, a refreshing crispy slaw, and crunchy, curry-glazed pork skins in my “burgerized” spin on this German fast-food favorite.”

Suggested Wine Pairing: Gewürtztraminer

“Chicken Dressed as Duck” Burgers with Spiced Cherry Mostarda and Orange-Thyme Aioli 

Recipe by Ellen Verdugo, Retired Management Consultant, Gloucester, Massachusetts

“The inspiration for these burgers comes from my fond memory of a favorite aunt who used to refer to other women her age who dressed “with airs” as “mutton dressed as lamb”! Now, we love our duck burgers, but they can be pricey to make for a crowd. So I decided to make my burgers with all the accoutrements that I usually choose for duck, substituting chicken thighs instead, thus my “Chicken Dressed as Duck” Burgers!”

Suggested Wine Pairing: White Merlot

Sponsors of the 2013 Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest, include KING’S HAWAIIAN®, Wholly Guacamole®, The Beef Checkoff, The California Milk Advisory Board, Kitchen Aid, Weber-Stephen Products LLC and Kettle Brand® Chips.

For additional information on the contest or to access past Sutter Home Build a Better Burger® recipes, along with wine pairing suggestions, visit

About Sutter Home

Sutter Home Family Vineyards is wholly owned and operated by the Trinchero family, Napa Valley vintners since 1948. Committed to preserving Sutter Home’s legacy and providing consumers affordable, yet quality wine, the Trinchero family continues to expand the Sutter Home portfolio which today includes 20 varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Pink Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, White Merlot and Gewürztraminer.

About Trinchero Family Estates

The Trinchero Family Estates portfolio includes more than 30 brands such as Sutter Home, Trinchero Napa Valley, Napa Cellars, Terra d’Oro, SeaGlass, Trinity Oaks, Folie à Deux, Ménage à Trois, and the number one alcohol-removed wine, Fre. TFE markets and sells Joel Gott Wines; Charles & Charles wines; and the Three Thieves group of wines: Bandit, Newman’s Own, and The SHOW. TFE’s import portfolio includes Angove Wines from Australia; Doña Paula wines from Argentina; Carmen Wines from Chile; Shatter Wines from France; and CRUZ and Tres Agaves Tequilas from Mexico. Visit to learn more.


Media Contacts: Nora Feeley Trinchero Family Estates/Sutter Home 707-603-6474 / [email protected]

Carissa Abazia Trinchero Family Estates/Sutter Home 707-321-7019 / [email protected]

Sutter Home Social Club: February Book Club

Book Club

Sutter Home Social Club: February Book Club