Risotto and Champagne
4th March 2022
Combining the pleasures of the Italian creation of Risotto and France’s creation of Champagne, will there be a rivalry between them or will they work together for your benefit?
This article contains, a recipe for Risotto, some interesting facts about Risotto and a brief history of a family-run Champagne label, so keep on reading, you won’t be disappointed.
We have the Italians to thank for the creation of Risotto, but it wasn’t until the 14 century when their production of rice began, the earliest rice cultivation in Italy, was documented in 1468 in the wetlands of Tuscany. Rice has been with Italians since the Roman Empire, but back then it wasn’t even seen as food, they used it as medicine and it was an extremely expensive commodity which they imported over in very small quantities from India.
Like a lot of dishes, their creators are often lost to time, it is believed that Risotto was created in Milan, the first Risotto recipe is believed to have come from 1809, it consisted of rice, sautéed in butter, onions, bone marrow, sausages, with broth and saffron gradually added, but the first documented recipe for the kind of Risotto we eat today was in a cookbook from 1854, called Trattato di cucina (‘Treatise on Cooking’) by Giovanni Vialardi, assistant chief chef to kings.
I can’t tell you fully why Risotto is called Risotto, but what I do know is that ‘riso’ is Italian for ‘rice’.
There is a legend around the first Risotto recipe, which you can read quickly here- “In 1809 a young man, who worked as an apprentice of a glassblower at a now 600-year-old organization in Milan (Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano), use to use saffron as a pigment, so he decided to add it to a rice dish at a divine wedding feast, we’re just not sure what the married couple thought of the first Risotto.”
A small grower Champagne with an amazing personality and fantastic Champagnes.
Champagne Roger Constant Lemaire is led by brothers Guillaume (winemaker) and Sébastien (head of international marketing and sales) with guidance from parents Gilles and Brigitte, they are currently in search of someone to stock their wines in the UK, so if you’re interested in dealing with this previous World’s Finest Trophy Winner, then you can contact them directly firstname.lastname@example.org
Their story begins in the 19th century, with a man who was both a gardener and poet, Mr. Désiré Lemaire, he was the one who bought the first pieces of land in Hautvillers, which became the epicenter to the Maison Roger-Constant Lemaire
It wasn’t until 1945, when his grandson, Roger-Constant, had the vision to expand their estate, he doubled the area of the estate and moved the epicenter of the family to Villers-sous-Chatillon.
Then it was Roger-Constant’s daughters, Brigitte Lemaire, and her husband, a talented young winemaker by the name of Gilles Tournant who breathed further life into their family tradition, combined with their children Sebastien and Guillaume, they continued producing exceptional Champagne, forging their own path.
Their estate now extends to 12 hectares and the family is proud to export its production of Champagne throughout the world under the name of Roger-Constant Lemaire. They’ve invested in their ecological methods, like purchasing organic seaweed to fertilize their vines. All their grapes are handpicked and they use only the first press of their grapes to make their Champagnes.
We were able to visit them in 2020 and what an unforgettable experience it was, it truly is a fantastic place to visit, if you ever get the chance, take it, here is my Trip To Champagne Roger Constant Lemaire.
Champagne Roger-Constant Lemaire – Trianon 1966
Aroma 👃 “Pastry, flaky pastry green apple pie, freshly squeezed green apple juice, green apple skins, lemon and lime, and peach aromas.”
Flavour 👅 “Green citrus, peach, apricot, minerals and pastry flavours.”
This Champagne Won a Gold Medal in the Gastronomic Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2021
Risotto and Champagne
Risotto and Champagne Pairing Notes – “Bold and powerful flavours from the Risotto, the Champagne arrives with clean zesty flavours, fruity and citrus flavours soak into the dish, zesty citrus even makes its way into the bacon and when biting down on it releases another wave of fizzy citrus.”
Bacon & Pea Risotto
- Oil for frying
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 small onion finely sliced
- 300g arborio rice
- 150ml sparkling wine
- 1.2 litres hot chicken stock
- 200g fresh or frozen peas
- Juice 1 lemon
- 50g parmesan, grated
- Chopped fresh mint
- Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and add the bacon lardons. Fry for 2-3 minutes on high heat until starting to colour.
- Add the onion and fry for 5-8 minutes more until they’re starting to soften.
- Stir in the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes until it turns translucent.
- Pour in the wine and bubble for 1-2 minutes until it has nearly all evaporated.
- Start adding the chicken stock, a little at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed into the rice before adding more stock.
- Keep cooking and stirring the risotto, adding stock as needed. Once all the stock has been added, simmer until the rice is tender (about 30 minutes).
- When the rice is almost done, stir in the peas and lemon juice, then simmer for a few minutes to heat up/cook the peas.
- Stir in most of the parmesan.
- Serve the risotto scattered with a handful of chopped mint and the remaining parmesan.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.