Normally you accompany your favorite bistro burger with an icy mug of draft beer. Let's say you've tracked down the perfect cheeseburger. Excellent, but still there's something missing: the perfect cheeseburger wine.
Relax. We've got you covered. That wine is Liberty School cabernet sauvignon from California's Paso Robles near the central coast. It's widely available on restaurant wine lists and retail shelves in the bay area. The 2006 runs about $13 in wine shops and liquor stores, depending on where you buy.
A cheeseburger is an assertive pleasure, of course. Big and juicy for starters, medium rare for both of us, Swiss for him, blue for her and both want red onion and tomato sliced thin, a judicious touch of Dijon mustard, with a pile of crisp fries on the side. The Liberty School cab takes all that in stride. It's a full, soft red, with subtle blackberry and chocolate notes up front, plenty of body, easy on the tannins and a velvety, lingering finish. It won't bully your burger, but it won't back down either.
Next up: a lovely floral rose for fall patio sipping.
Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor. John Bancroft is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.