We’re often asked for recommendations on wine pairings for a specific meal, and we’re always happy to lend a hand. One of the most common dishes is risotto, and it’s always a tricky one because of the variety. Risottos come in very different styles, with very different levels of richness, the wine match for one risotto won’t be the same for another. For example, if you’re indulging in an asparagus risotto, that’s relatively light, so you don’t want a wine to overpower the flavours, so you’d go for something like a Gavi. However the richer you go, the richer you’d go with your wine, up from Gavi to Chardonnay and the choice for today’s recipe, Viognier.
Wine Match: Big Mo Viognier
The natural progression for us after a runaway success with The Big Mo’ Shiraz was to add a white partner. So we sourced this wonderful, fragrant, intense Viognier from cooler pockets in Southern Oz. These breezy little pockets help to keep the exuberant Viognier grapes from blowing their top; keeping it all on balance. So you get a graceful wine with wonderful apricot and peach flavours, plus a good old backbone of acidity to keep it all vital.
1 Butternut Squash, Peeled and chopped into small chunks.
Bunch of sage finely chopped or 1 tablespoon of dried sage
2 Chicken stock cubes
3 tbsp of butter
1 large onion finely chopped
200g Arborio risotto rice
1 Small glass of White wine
Handful of parmesan cheese.
5 strips of Parma Ham or Prosciutto
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
1. Lets get the butternut squash roasting. Take a mixing bowl, put the olive oil and half of the stage into the bowl and give it a good mix. Then take your cubes of butternut squash, pop them into the bowl and stir until completely coated. Put them onto a baking tray covered in foil and place into the pre-heated oven at 220C fan, 200 standard or gas mark 7. Cook for around 30 minutes.
2. First of all get your stock ready. So take your two cubes, place them in a bowl and cover with around 300ml of boiling water. Stir to ensure the cubes have fully dissolved.
3. Next turn the hob onto a medium, high heat and put 2 tbsp of butter in and wait until it’s melted. Then take the chopped onion and sweat off for around 6-8 minutes. Don’t let the onion go brown, but it should be just soft.
4. Next place the onion in with the onions and stir for 1-2 minutes to get the rice coated and starting to cook. Then add the white wine and leave to completely evaporated. (you’ll notice how delicious it all smells at this point).
5. Once the wine has evaporated, simply add the stock a spoonfull at a time and continue to constantly stir the rice over a low heat. The rice will absorb the stock and expand and the flavours will continue to intensify. After around 25 minutes, the rice will be al dente which means it’s cooked but still has a little crunch to it.
6. At this point open the oven, give the butternut squash a good stir and place the Parma Ham over the butternut squash, you’re 10 minutes away from finishing and the parma ham will crisp up and infuse some extra flavour into the butternut squash.
7. Take the butternut squash and mash it up leaving a handful of chunks.
8. Take the mashed up butternut squash and add it to the risotto, at this point add one tablespoon of butter and the Parmesan and stir throughout until the butter has melted.
9 Serve in a nice bow with the chunks of butternut squash on top, the sage and a sprinkling of Parmesan.