June 30, 2011

Red Wine Risotto with Côtes du Rhône

The other day we harvested the first vegetable of the season from our own garden. Or I should probably say, out of my hubby’s garden. He’s the one with the green thumb in this family. It was one solitary yellow squash. Hardly big enough to even amount to a veggie side dish, really. So what did I do with it?
I had the idea to use it in a risotto. Once you have mastered the basic concept of making risotto, there are really endless variations possible. Here is a good recipe, and then you can just substitute any number of vegetables, and any variety of liquids (broth and wine), and you can even add some cooked meat or seafood in the end. The important parts to keep, in my opinion, are the Arborio rice of course, and the parmesan cheese. Lots of cheese.
I also like the concept of a red wine risotto. It adds some interesting color of course, and an earthier flavor. For me vegetables, I had the yellow squash, a red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and some parsley.

The wine I picked to put in the risotto as well as to drink with my meal is the 2009 Perrin & Fils Côtes du Rhône Réserve. Wines from this area in Southern France are red blends made from a large number of different varietals, but usually Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (or GSM, for short) are the predominant ones.

Grenache is probably my favorite red wine varietal. Never had one I didn’t like. And the Perrin & Fils Côtes du Rhône can basically be called my “house wine”, as I always have it on hand and turn to it when I don’t want to have to think too hard about which red wine to choose. One day I will just have to splurge and shell out some cash for a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which is usually made from the same grape varieties, but from much more strictly defined vineyards.
The wine has aromas of red berries, cherries and black olives. The taste is very smooth and earthy, with some herbal notes of thyme. It was a great match with the risotto, which is not surprising, as the same wine was used in the dish, of course. Always a fool-proof way to have a successful food and wine pairing: drink the wine you put into your dish. My personal addendum to that is: provided the bottle cost less than $12… And stay tuned for more dishes containing ingredients from our garden!


red wines said...

You had a successful food and wine pairing! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I hope I could try to cook that this weekend!

Wine Combo said...

Hi red wines, I am glad you enjoyed the blog posting. Try to make some risotto at home, it's not as difficult as some people try make us believe... And if it doesn't turn out great the first time, just try again!