On our way to Colorado, we stopped at McPherson Winery in Lubbock, Texas and loaded up. Truly. Our truck was p-a-c-k-e-d and yet I still found room for over a case of wine. Priorities, right? Before visiting, I had tried the Tre Colore and the Viognier, both of which I really enjoyed. I knew I would like his wine, I just didn’t realize that I would like ALL his wine. That doesn’t happen very often.
One of the gems we picked up was Les Copains, a white blend of Grenache Blanc (45%), Viognier (45%), and Roussanne (10%). Translated from French, Les Copains means, “the friends” or “the buddies.” This is a lovely, versatile blend which retails for about $14. The Viognier gives it rich floral notes, the Grenache Blanc gave it green and citrus notes, and the Rousanne balances the two to create a fantastic summer wine.
One of our last nights of the trip, we were staying with friends in Boulder and picked up some Italian food at a restaurant called Arugula. Since that is one of my favorite greens, I thought we were on to something. I ordered the Summer Vegetable Risotto and the Scallops for my husband. I figured that our “friends” would work with both. They did so splendidly.
When we returned home, I was still dreaming about the pairing so I tried to replicate it at home. Unfortunately, I could not find Les Copains that day, but the risotto replication was spot on. I think I will have to add some to our next shipment since we, of course, joined the wine club. See if you can find some near you, or go ahead and order some. In the meantime, try out this risotto and pair it with a light to medium bodied, crisp summer white.
Summer Vegetable Risotto (Inspired by the one at Arugula)
Warm 3 cups (I did half and half) water or chicken stock in a 2 qt sauce pan.
Add about 2 tsp. Olive oil to a sauté pan.
Sauté 1 medium onion over medium heat until soft, reduce to low heat.
Add about 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half.
Cut the corn off the cob from 1-2 ears and add to the pan.
Stir until warm and slightly wilting.
Salt and pepper to taste, turn off the heat. Warm again quickly when ready to add to risotto.
Pour yourself a glass of wine for the following steps. It will make it taste better. Trust me.
Put about 1-2 oz of white wine and 1 cup Arborio rice in a 3 qt. pan or similar.
Gradually add the warm water/broth, about a half a cup at a time, while stirring.
When the liquid is absorbed, continue adding until the rice has reached a creamy consistency. (The whole process took me about 30-45 min.)
When the risotto is cooked, stir in 3-4 oz. plain Goat Cheese.
Then add the warmed vegetables, and about 8 basil leaves, chiffonade.
I hope the recipe is easy to follow. I don’t generally write (or follow) recipes, but please let me know if you have questions. Cheers!