Schramsberg 2013 North Coast Blanc de Noir ($42) is a real stunner, a complex sparkler with layers of flavor and exuberant bubbles that evoke the tiny stars in a clear night sky. If you or someone you love needs cheering up, this dazzling wine will go a good distance toward that end.
The first flavors you notice suggest pear, Asian pear, ripe green melon and custard. It is round and full in the mouth, characteristics that resolve into an invigoratingly crisp acidity. It is threaded through with suggestions of earthy yeast.
Enjoy this wine with everything from buttery toast to lobster poached in butter. One of its best matches — and an easy one for home cooks to prepare perfectly — is a creamy risotto.
In today’s recipe, chanterelle mushrooms are complemented by fonduta, a rich Italian-style cheese sauce. When white truffles are in season — as they are now — the sauce is often enriched with them. If you happen to have some, add very thin slices to the fonduta immediately before serving it.
Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto with Fontina Fonduta
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/4 ounce dried porcini
1 cup boiling water
— Fonduta (recipe below)
6 tablespoons butter
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, brushed free of dirt and broken into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup sherry
— Kosher salt
— Black pepper in a mill
4 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
6-7 cups chicken stock or mushroom stock
3 shallots, minced
2 cups Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) freshly grated Vella Dry Jack
Put the porcini into a small bowl, cover with the boiling water, and set aside for 20 minutes.
Prepare the fonduta (below) but do not add the egg yolk.
Meanwhile, put 4 tablespoons of the butter into a medium sauté pan set over medium heat; when it is melted, add the mushrooms and sauté, tossing frequently, until they are tender and have given up most of their liquid, about 10 minutes.
Increase the heat, add the sherry, toss, and simmer until the liquid is nearly completely reduced. Season with salt and pepper, add half the parsley, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Put the remaining butter into a deep sauté pan or medium saucepan set over low heat, add the shallots, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the liquid off the porcini and add the liquid to the stock. Cut the porcini into small dice and add to the shallots, along with the rice. Stir with a wooden spoon until each grain of rice turns milky white, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
Add the hot stock to the rice ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock and stir until the rice is tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Adjust the heat as needed so that the stock simmers when it hits the pan but does not immediately evaporate.
When about ½ cup of stock remains, stir half the mushrooms and all the cheese into the risotto. Season with black pepper, taste and correct for salt.