The holiday season provides interesting opportunities for food and wine and family and fun. Here was one of our weekend days in December:
– Lori took granddaughter Elli to a local (Santa Rosa area) production of the Nutcracker. Nice little production, front row seats, and great grandmother-granddaughter special time.
– Daughter-in-law Kim went and got a massage. Some wonderful me-time for her.
– Winemaker B and his father (that would be me) took care of his son Eden for the afternoon, and took responsibility for dinner.
On the menu for the evening was Seafood Risotto. (The recipe can be found on our Food and Wine Pairing page.) I had never made risotto before, so this was going to be a bit of an adventure. Lori and I stopped at the fish market on the way up to Santa Rosa and picked up some bay scallops and salmon, both of which looked quite good. We already had all the other ingredients needed. Once in Santa Rosa, we all split up to do our thing, as noted above. This included taking Eden for a walk to the grocery store to get a nice loaf of fresh bread to go with the meal. Then the cooking started.
The chef (that would be me again) needed some white wine, both for himself and for the risotto. So out came a bottle of 2012 Armida Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. Nice, basic Chardonnay, good bottle to get things started. Winemaker B pitched in by cooking the fish, and taking care of Eden himself while I cooked. I found that risotto is a bit of work, as once you put the rice in and start adding the stock, you have to keep on stirring. It ended up being about 30 minutes of adding stock and stirring, adding more stock and stirring, until the risotto got to the right consistency. Then the seafood and other ingredients were added in, and we were ready to eat.
Our younger son, Jacob, his wife Brittany and their daughter Zinnia joined us for dinner. We had interesting wines to go with our risotto:
2011 Arista Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard, Russian River Valley
2011 Armida Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Yes, two Pinot Noirs made from grapes from the same vineyard. That was fun! The wines were quite different, with the Armida having bigger fruit and body, and the Arista being a bit smoother, with better finish. Both of the wines worked great with the risotto, which turned out good enough for us to publish the recipe.
It was a great day. I hope your holiday season went well also.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2014!