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Matt Cole
October 6, 2011 | Food Pairings, France, Red Wine, Rhone Valley | Matt Cole

Comfort Food: A Top 2009 Rhone Value with Mushroom Risotto

If you’ve read our 2009 Rhone vintage report, you already know that it is a year that produced some brilliant wines. One of the top values that we’ve tasted from this vintage is Domaine les Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone ‘Cuvee les Trois Soeurs’.

Domaine les Grands Bois has deep roots in the Rhone Valley. It has been a family operated grower since 1929, and saw its first estate bottling in 1997. They make a number of different wines, including Les Trois Soeurs, from 60+ year old vines.

The blend is 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 20% Carignan. It shows initial flavors of dark fig and plum, with beautiful aromas of crushed black berry and spice. Herbs and earth round out the finish with just a touch of anise. Well textured tannins and some good acidity make this an excellent wine to be paired with foods, including lamb, veal, mushrooms, and game.

Fall is that time of the year when we all start craving comfort foods and one of my all-time favorite comfort foods is risotto. It is a generally easy dish to make, as long as you can pay attention to the pot.

Risotto Recipe:
8oz Crimini Mushrooms
8oz Shiitake Mushrooms
½ Spanish Onion
1 ½ C of Arborio Rice
1 C Parmesan Cheese
4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1qt of mushroom stock (can be bought)

Begin by cooking the mushrooms in a mixture of butter and oil on medium heat, season well with salt and pepper, do not overcrowd the pan, sauté them until browned in three to four batches. Set aside for later. Mince the onion and add some more oil and add to the pan. Cook until the onion has just begun to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with the stock and empty the pan into another pot and keep hot.

Add some more oil to the pan and add the Rice, cook for 1 min in the oil and ladle in 1 cup of Stock. Continue to add the stock 1 cup at a time until the rice is just done. Remove from the heat and add the reserved cooked mushrooms, the parmesan; and salt and pepper to taste, and finish with some butter. The rice should be fluid, if needed add additional stock.


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