“We have a saying in the Veneto,” Raffaele Boscaini of Italy’s Masi winery told me. “The rice is born into the water and dies into the wine.”
I’ve long thought the idea of “leftover wine” a bit of a farce. But last week while tasting with Boscaini, he told me about his family’s risotto recipe that uses half a bottle of Amarone for cooking and the “leftover wine” is meant for drinking with dinner. This is something I can get behind – so I tried his recipe out this weekend. Boscaini uses Masi’s Costasera Amarone – a rich, baked cherry and cassis-scented wine. The method used to make Amarone (some of the grapes are dried for months to concentrate the sugars) gives it great depth of fruit, important for wines that are going to be cooked.
Rather than using Arborio rice for this dish, Boscaini uses Vialone Nano, a shorter, rounder variety native to the Veneto – and I promise, it’s worth hunting for. The wine turns the incredibly creamy rice a pretty purple color and gives it a little tang – a simple, impressive-looking dish for harvest season.