Pairing: Lively flavors for a lively rice dish

Chicago TribuneJune 4, 2014 

Ever watch a pipe organist play something hearty by Bach? Bottom notes, from the feet pedals, like the rice and broth in this dish; a stop or two pulled from the console for some trumpet pipes, full-on middle tones like this recipe’s smoked trout; and then lots of high-pitched notes from the keyboard, as are the lemon and basil here, Tinker Bells of flavor flitting about the dish.

Wines with as much energy would fit in nicely: whites and dry pinks that layer flavor, verve and crisp acidity, some that even echo the citrusy notes of the lemon and basil.

THE FOOD

Rice with smoked trout, lemon and basil Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven. Add 3 minced shallots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 12/3 cups short-grain rice; cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup white wine; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken broth and grated zest from 1 lemon; heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook until rice is tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in 1 smoked rainbow trout, boned, flaked; 1/4 cup shredded basil leaves; and 1/4 cup cream.

THE WINES

2013 Raimat Xarel-lo/Chardonnay “Castell de Raimat,” Costers de Segre, Spain: Blends supercrisp, lemony xarel-lo with white peachlike chardonnay; refreshing, alive, juicy, especially aromatic. $15

2013 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri, Santorini, Greece: No great surprise that the Greeks fashion fish-friendly wines, such as this blend of the minerally, lemonlike assyrtiko grape with the softening athiri. $15

2013 Simi Winery Rose, Sonoma County, California: Ten percent malbec spices up the cabernet sauvignon in this nicely dry, zesty pink; rhubarb and strawberry notes; gorgeous salmon-coral color. $18

Yield: Makes 4 servings

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