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Risotto Wine Pairing: Chardonnay

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Why Chardonnay pairs with Risotto?

The full-bodied profile of Chardonnay makes it the perfect match for creamy risotto. The oak notes can stand up to the robust flavor of the dish, and its acidity balances the richness of the cheese and cream. This makes Chardonnay the best wine for Risotto.


Chardonnay grapes
Chardonnay grapes

Chardonnay


Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to produce white wine. It is arguably the most famous of all white wine grapes, being grown in wine regions all over the world. Chardonnay is known for its versatility in the winery and can take on various styles based on its growing conditions and how it is made. Often oak-aged, Chardonnay can be rich and full-bodied, boasting notes of apple, pear, citrus, and tropical fruits, underpinned by stony minerality and hints of vanilla and toast from the oak.



Chardonnay can have three types of profiles:

  • Unoaked (light, fresh, and fruity)

  • Moderately oaked (rich, creamy, and buttery) - mostly French

  • Heavily oaked (full-bodied, toasty, and complex) - usually American


Color

Chardonnay is famous for its beautiful golden hue, ranging from pale lemon to deeper gold, often shimmering in the light. The wine's color can provide clues about its age and style; younger, unoaked Chardonnay tends to be paler, while more mature, oak-aged wines can exhibit a deeper, richer gold.


Taste

On the palate, Chardonnay ranges from light and zesty to rich and buttery. Unoaked versions tend to feature bright fruit flavors, crisp acidity, and notes of green apple, pear, and citrus. On the other hand, oaked Chardonnay brings flavors of tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, and sometimes a hint of butterscotch.


Serving Temperature

Chardonnay is best served slightly chilled, between 9 and 14°C (48 and 57°F).


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Risotto
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Risotto


Risotto is a northern Italian dish made from Arborio rice, slowly cooked in a broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. Key ingredients often include butter, onion, white wine, and parmesan cheese.


Arborio Rice

is a high-starch, short-grain rice used primarily to make risotto. Named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley of Italy where it's grown, Arborio rice is firm, creamy, and chewy when cooked, making it ideal for risotto.


Parmigiano Reggiano

is a hard, granular cheese produced from cow's milk. Known as the "King of Cheeses," Parmigiano Reggiano is aged for at least 12 months, with some even matured for over 36 months. It is characterized by a complex flavor profile that's nutty, salty, and slightly sweet, making it the perfect cheese to round out the flavors of risotto.


Tip

Achieving the perfect risotto is all about patience and attention. Stirring constantly is the key to releasing the starch from the rice, creating that desired creamy texture. Remember not to rush the process by adding all the broth at once. Instead, ladle it gradually, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid slowly.




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