Monday, October 31, 2011

Shrimp Risotto Paired with 2010 Delaplane Cellars Indian Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Shrimp Risotto-1

The last month was a real wine inspired eye opener for me.  Not being impressed with the local (Maryland and Virginia) wines for quite some time, recent finds have changed my mind.  I am always open to revising my views based on new information, and Delaplane Cellars did just that.

Chef Sue and I recently embarked on an impromptu trip to the Shenandoah to visit the annual balloon and wine festival.  After making the trek West from DC, we found the winds to be unsuitable for balloons (steady 20 knot winds with gusts above 30 – based on my well calibrated thinning hair).  With diminishing expectations of seeing the balloons, we short stopped our trip and decided to visit a few wineries.

2010 Delaplane Cellars Virginia Indian Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay-1

We were not particularly impressed with a couple of the wineries, but one was a true standout – Delaplane Cellars.  We tasted five wines and were entertained in the beautiful tasting room by Jacqui.  We enjoyed two Viogniers, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Franc, and a blend.  We enjoyed all five wines tremendously, bought several bottles, and immediately joined the Delaplane Cellars wine club.

2010 Delaplane Cellars Virginia Indian Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay-2

My clear favorites were the Viogniers – some of the best I have ever tasted.  Period.  In short order, I will be constructing a pairing with one of the Viogniers.  However, today we are featuring the 2010 Delaplane Cellars Indian Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay paired with Chef Sue’s Shrimp Risotto.

Shrimp risotto is a wonderfully rich and creamy dish with full flavor of the shrimp at center stage.    We are always searching for the perfect complement between food and wine, and this is a particularly wonderful example.  At first bite and sip, Chef Sue and I met eyes and nodded in approval.  The pairing was spectacular.

Shrimp Risotto-5

The 2010 Delaplane Cellars Indian Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is a small batch wine (200 cases) made from whole cluster Chardonnay grapes from a single vineyard – Indian Springs.  The wine was fermented in small French oak barrels and aged for 10 months before bottling.  This wine starts with a pleasant herbaceous nose and hints of peach and melon.  Slightly off dry, the wine features flavors of ripe stone fruits, melon, grass, and subtle notes of vanilla supported by a well balanced acidity.  The creamy mouth feel is pleasantly contrasted with a lingering yet crisp finish.

If you remain in search of good wine from Virginia, look no further.  Run, don’t walk, to Delaplane Cellars to enjoy wine by a serious winemaker producing serious wines.  Now that we are wine club members, you are sure to find future pairings featuring great examples of the winemakers in Virginia can aspire to.


Shrimp Risotto

Garlic Marinated Shrimp


  • 12 extra large shrimp peeled and deveined (save the shells to make stock)
  • 1 diced onion (save the skins and extra bits for stock)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 threads saffron
  • 1 cup risotto
  • Four cups shrimp stock (see preparation instructions)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 ounces grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • Scallions for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Shrimp Risotto Ingredients


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp (save the shells).
  2. Place shrimp in a small bowl, add garlic, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Coat the shrimp by tossing and allow to marinade while you prepare the shrimp stock.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, brown onion skins and shrimp shells in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.
  4. When the onions begin to caramelize, add 6 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, five threads of saffron, and one bay leaf. Cover and let reduce for about one hour over low heat.
  5. Strain the shrimp stock, and put the liquid back on low heat and reduce by 1/3 - to approximately four cups. If you reduce too far, add enough water to make up four cups.
  6. In a sauté pan, sauté shrimp for one minute on both sides after lightly coating the pan with olive oil (they will not be cooked through). Remove shrimp and set aside.
  7. In the same sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil and heat. When the butter is melted, sauté the risotto, mushrooms and onion until risotto turns pearl like.
  8. Deglaze with 1/2 cup white wine. Turn heat to low. From here on, you must continuously stir the risotto.
  9. When the liquid (wine) is absorbed, continue to add shrimp stock 1/4 cup at a time as the liquid is absorbed. Continue this process (and continue stirring) until the risotto is a smooth consistency and is cooked through.
  10. Humidity and altitude will determine the time and amount of stock necessary. At sea level, it should be about twenty minutes and between three and four cups of stock.
  11. With the last addition of stock, add peas.
  12. When the texture of the risotto is "right" add shrimp, cover, and take off heat. Allow to rest for five minutes.
  13. After five minutes, add parmesan cheese, stir, check to see if more stock is necessary, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Shrimp Risotto

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


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