Best wine for Risotto

While it is easy to dump a bottle of wine over risotto and hope for the best, it is a certain way to ensure disappointment. To guarantee a perfect pairing you will need to select a wine that compliments both the flavor and texture of your meal. You will want to look for wines with low tannin and high acidity, as these will work with the rice. For other rice-based pairings, look at our articles on paella and sushi.

The most popular wines used with risotto are shown below:

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is one of the best wines for risotto that pairs brilliantly with the artichoke orange risotto Piave. The reason why Pinot grigio pairs perfectly with this risotto dish is due to the sweetness that the wine delivers. The sweetness of the Pinot Grigio and the sweetness of the orange match so well. Not only does it complement the orange, but it also goes perfectly with the artichokes too, reducing any bitterness.

Pinot Grigio is a sweet wine and you can experience a variety of fruits in a glass. Fruits such as lemon, yellow apple, melon, nectarine, and peach are all fruits you may taste. The nectarine taste would match perfectly with the orange in the artichoke orange risotto Piave. However, these flavors do depend on where the wine is produced.

The cooler climates will produce flavors such as lime and lemon, more citrusy flavors. Whilst in the warmer climates, nectarines, and apricots will be more present in a glass of Pinot Grigio. Therefore, depending on what you prefer, make sure you choose a wine from a region that you think will best suit your risotto dish.

Pinot Grigio

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is another white wine that pairs well with mushroom risotto. An oaked Chardonnay is definitely the wine to aim for when having a mushroom risotto dish. The primary reason for this is its oakiness. The process of being oaked allows the wine to age finely and gives it a warm buttery sensation with the risotto. The buttery feel creates a smooth texture, creating a pleasant sensation when combining it with the risotto. This rich and crispy white wine will bolster the flavors of the mushroom risotto.

Overall, Chardonnay is a fruity wine and is quite sweet. The contrast between the sweetness of Chardonnay and the earthiness of the mushrooms may be the perfect combination for some people. This contrast will allow the flavors in the dish to balance out, so one flavor is not overpowering the other.

Flavors such as yellow apple, starfruit, and pineapple are flavors you may experience with a glass of Chardonnay. However, this is subject to where it is produced. For instance, flavors such as quince and lemon may be present in cooler climates such as France, Northern Italy, Coastal Chile, and New Zealand. Whereas, in warmer climates, such as California, South Australia, Spain, and South Africa, flavors such as yellow apple and pineapple will be present in a glass of Chardonnay.

Therefore, it is key to know which flavors you wish to experience with the mushroom dish, as different regions consist of different flavors.

Chardonnay

Grüner Veltliner

Adding to the previous two wines, Grüner Veltliner is another white wine that pairs well with the risotto. In particular, chicken and mushroom risotto. 

The wine gives off a minerally, tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue (almost like sparkling wine) but of course, it is a white wine. It is sweet and fruity, meaning that every time you go for a bite from your risotto, the wine will cleanse your pallet. This effect will ensure that you will appreciate your dish. The reason why is that it will feel like you are tasting your risotto for the first time again, experiencing all the flavors that you would have done the first time you took a bite. Typically, what happens with the majority of drinks is they do not clean your pallet, meaning you taste the same flavors as you would before.

Grüner Veltliner is a fruity wine. Depending on where it is produced, fruits such as yellow apple and green pear may be prevalent. In cooler climates, flavors such as lime and green pear may be prevalent. Whereas in the warmer climates, you may experience flavors such as yellow apple and peach.

Rioja

Rioja from Spain, is an excellent selection for a risotto dish pairing, especially if it has mushrooms in it. It is made with the Tempranillo grape, creating earthy flavors. Rioja brings dark fruity flavors and the earthiness of the wine allows it to pair perfectly with the mushrooms in a mushroom risotto dish. Despite the fact that many people will rather pair wines that are soft in tannins such as Pinot noir or Gamay, the tempranillo is a great option for mushroom risotto despite having a high amount of tannins.

Flavors such as cherry, dried fig, cedar, tobacco, dill, sour cherry, strawberry sauce, blackberry, and raisin may be present in Tempranillo. This depends on where it comes from though. In cooler climates, you may experience flavors such as sour cherry and strawberry sauce. Whereas in the warmer temperatures, flavors such as dried blackberry and raisin may even be prevalent.

If you are looking for a great mushroom risotto recipe, this is the one I use.

Rioja

Conclusion

Overall, these four wines are excellent choices for risotto dishes, as they focus on complimenting every flavor for their specific dish. For example, the Pinot Grigio pairs perfectly with the artichoke orange risotto Piave because it is a sweet wine that compliments the orange and the artichoke in the risotto. 

Chardonnay also pairs very well with the mushroom risotto. An oaked Chardonnay will give off a buttery, smooth texture that will allow you to enjoy a mushroom risotto, with a pleasant sensation. Grüner Veltliner is another white wine that works, especially with chicken and mushroom risotto. The sweetness and the fruitiness of the wine allow the wine to cleanse your pallet, meaning that any bite you take from the risotto, will feel like the first time you tried the risotto.

If you’re looking for a wine that’s going to complement the earthy flavor of mushrooms, look no further than a Rioja. This full-bodied red wine has enough body and structure to stand up to the risotto’s rich texture and earthy notes, but it’s still light enough to let the mushrooms shine through. It’s also got hints of fruitiness that will pair perfectly with the mushrooms’ nutty flavor.

Check out our post on the best wines for Italian food here.