Risotto and wine pairing – at-a-glance:
- A good all-rounder wine to try is a Gavi.
- Mushroom risotto works well with aged whites with earthy flavours
- Try a dry Sherry with seafood risotto
- Truffle risotto would work well with aged Chardonnay.
Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish, originally from Piedmont, cooked slowly in stock and wine.
For an easy all-round match, Fiona Beckett suggests going for Gavi, in her article on ‘Italian food-friendly whites’ in the May 2019 issue of Decanter.
‘The most familiar local wine to most wine lovers will be Gavi, Italy’s answer to Chablis – well, inexpensive Chablis at least – a reliable buy from supermarket own-label ranges and a good match for risottos,’ she said.
What kind of risotto
First of all, you should focus on how the risotto is prepared, and what ingredients are used, said Eric Zwiebel MS, sommelier at Summer Lodge Hotel in Dorchester.
‘Personally, for me it’s fantastic if is served with Parmesan cheese and mushroom with an aged white like Riesling, Grüner Veltiner, Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay.’
‘These styles of wines get white truffles aromas and a very earthy quality too.
‘If you’re feeling adventurous, even an oxidative style or orange wine.’
‘I think it would be amazing to stay on the Italian track,’ said Alexandre Freguin, head sommelier at Moor Rooms and Taittinger Sommelier of the Year 2018.
‘It depends on the risotto, but a wine from Friuli such as a Verduzzo or Vitovska could be perfect with any kind of mushroom or earthy risotto.’
‘I didn’t mention Sake but some barrel aged ones along side a classic Parmesan risotto would be delightful,’ said Freguin.
‘For a seafood risotto, try a Fino Sherry style, or Catarratto from Sicily,’ said Zwiebel.
‘A Jerez Blanco based on Palomino could match extremely well with the saltiness of [a seafood] dish,’ said Freguin.
For truffle risotto, go for something slightly bolder and creamier and also fragrant enough to balance this savoury dish, said Piotr Pietras, head sommelier at London’s Launceston Place, in our guide to pairing wine with truffle dishes.
‘I had a great experience with mature Marsanne-based Hermitage Blanc, for example. Elegant, not-too-oaky, aged Chardonnay from Burgundy or California should do the job, too.’