What wine would you pair with Hamburger Helper?

I cannot remember the last time I had or ever made Hamburger Helper. Since moving, I am in an area that gets all kinds of free samples from cereal to tuna. So you can imagine my surprise when a box of Lasagna Hamburger Helper arrived at my doorstep.

Considering the economic times I thought I would get in the spirit and whip up this dish. Of course, I did use organic extra lean ground beef from Beretta Farms which cost me triple the price of normal lean ground beef purchased from a discount grocery store. I followed the recipe and made the creamy version by adding a bit of milk to mixture.

While it was cooking and tasting the flavours in the dish, I was trying to think of wine to pair with it. For white, I was thinking Chardonnay with some barrel aging to as it would have a more creamier texture than an unoaked Chardonnay. It would also have to have good acidity, too. So I was thinking a Sonoma or even Ontario Chardonnay would work here. For a red, a Valpolicella or Chianti would work as both have nice red fruit flavours and great acidity. I decided on a 2007  Barbera D’Alba ‘Torriglione’ from Renato Ratti which is currently available for $19.95 in Vintages. This wine hails from the Piedmont region in Italy but most people know this area for Barolo. What is so great about the Barbera grape variety is that it is very approachable when young and pairs well with many foods because of its high acidity.

What a wine! Very floral on the nose, lots of violets here but also had nice red berry characteristics both on the nose and in the mouth. Very nice finish too. Although the alcohol on the label said 14%, it was well integrated in the wine and did not over power the dish. It was so good it had my husband and I going back for seconds not only for the wine, but the food too.

Would I make this again, for sure but it’s our family’s little secret!

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