Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
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There’s a useful wine-pairing bit of advice which runs, “It’s not the meat, it’s the sauce.” What that means is when you’ve got a chunk of protein in front of you –unless you prefer your meat à la Cro-Magnon, i.e. rare and dripping with blood - you’re most likely pairing wine to the sauce or condiments on it as much as the meat itself.
In other words, smother a chicken with mushroom-cream sauce, and you’ve got a whole different wine situation than if you take the bird, dip it in sriracha, and roast it on a bed of limes (Admittedly, I’ve never done that and it would probably taste god-awful, but you get the idea).