My Achilles’ Heel-William Chris Enchanté

There have been a few moments in life that I have surprised myself with my own strength. Hiking the Na Pali coast, natural childbirth (x2), and the Dr. Junger Clean Gut diet that I have been doing for the past 14 days. No coffee, alcohol, grains, sugar, fruit, or fun. I resisted pizza (x2), cut an Italian cream cake without a lick. I made apple crumb pie and while others oohed and aahed, I had raspberries with almond meal. We held dinner parties, a football party. Nothing swayed me. But last night I crumbled. My Achilles’ heel, it turns out, is William Chris Enchanté.

I would say that I’d had a perfect track record until last night, but that wouldn’t be the case. I went to both the pick up party and industry party at William Chris last week. I had the tiniest of tastes, then dumped or shared, except for the Enchanté. I couldn’t resist; no dumping for this gem.  But honestly, that’s some dang good will-power.

IMG_4404Then last night, we made a belated birthday dinner for my father-in-law who is visiting from Sonoma. My husband and I teamed up to make something delicious that I could eat without cheating. We decided on grilled lamb chops with rosemary. For sides I made acorn squash with braised balsamic leeks and a kale salad which I massaged with avocado, garlic, lemon juice and salt. I was home free. Until my husband asked me to pick the wine.

I tried to pick something I wouldn’t mind missing, but it was staring at me. I knew it would be perfect. Merlot, Cab, Malbec, Petite Verdot. The acid, bright cherry, subtle tannins. It was too much. And I knew that if I opened it, I would not be able to resist.

So I did what any Texas-wine loving, soft-spined woman would do. I listened to my “gut” (ha,ha) and declared it Splurge Sunday. And I’m so glad I did.

It was honestly one of the best pairings I’ve had in a long time. Each dish brought out a different nuance in the wine. A bite of acorn squash brought out subtle notes of baking spice. The lamb complimented the earthy Malbec notes. After the kale, the bright red cherry notes shined.

It’s not easy to impress my Sonoma father-in-law but the 2013 William Chris Enchanté did just that. How impressed was he? Well, I am writing this from the back seat on our way out there. Well done, gentleman. You made a believer out of him and broke my will. But it was well worth it. I may have to create my own “cleanse” that allows wine in moderation.  The question is, do I pretend it never happened and continue to day 21?  Or just avoid everything but wine on the weekends?  I’ll be pondering that, but in the meantime, I’ll be planning my Texas Wine Month post-cleanse splurge. Cheers, y’all!

 

Everything’s Coming up Rosés

I feel guilty buying wine when I have a closet full, but my closet is filled with mostly reds.  At this time of the year, I am into pink.  Or crisp, bright whites but that is another post. When dry Rosé started coming back on the scene a few years ago, I was a happy girl.  Love it.  Love, love, love.  A few years ago, it was a little more challenging to find one that was under $20 that didn’t have a bite, but that seems to be changing.  In the last few weeks I’ve had five, all under $20 and four out of five made it on my love list.

If you’ve tried one or two and aren’t sure if you like them, keep trying.  Depending on the region, the grapes, the style, they vary widely.  There are three main style of production.  And because I am writing on borrowed time (sick kids) I am going to quote from an article on Wikipedia.  It pains me, but if you read the previous post, you understand why.

When rosé wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically one to three days.[3] The must is then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine.[4]

When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage in what is known as the Saignée (from French bleeding) method. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration becomes more concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.[5]

In other parts of the world, blending, the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart color, is uncommon. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions, especially in France, where it is forbidden by law, except for Champagne. Even in Champagne, several high-end producers do not use this method but rather the saignée method.[

Now for the fun part.  I tried three from France and two from Texas.  Here’s the lowdown.

1) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I really like Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes Tradition Rose 2011.  Good structure and fruit, bright minerality. Fresh, fun, and fruity.  I’ve been feeling like that myself after a few sleepless nights. From the Rhone region, this wine is 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache.

2) From the Coteaux d’Aix in Provence, Bieler Père et Fils is making a lovely Rosé.  As they should.  This blend is 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Cab.  Great mouthfeel, both soft and sturdy which I like in my pink friends.  The fruit and minerality is well-balanced.  At around $12, it is a steal.

3) Chateau Paradis 2011 (on sale for $15) This was an interesting one to compare with the Bieler.  I think the higher percentage of Grenache gave it a little more tannic bite.  A great food wine, but it seemed a little harsh after sipping on the previous wine.  I’d buy it again, but I’d serve it with , savory and herbal. Also from Coteaux d’Aix, it is 60% Grenache, 20%  of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

4) Becker Vineyards in Fredricksburg, Texas recently released their ode to the above region with their 2012 Provencal Rosé.  I really like this wine.  A Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blend, this wine has earth and fruit.  Fuller bodied, lively, great for summer barbeques or more refined fare. You can find it in the 10-12 range.

5) The first Rosé I fell for made in Texas was from McPherson Cellars.  It is a little more fruit-forward than the others, but by no means sweet.  This is a great one to introduce someone to the drier style of pink, and Texas wines!  It retails for about $14 and is one of my favorites.

If you haven’t wandered down to the pink aisle yet, this gives to a place to start.  Now I want to hear from you.  Have you discovered any that I need to try?  Share them!

And a little pat on my back and disclaimer.  We’ve been fighting three kinds of funk in the last three weeks around here.  After two nights this week of 3-5 hours of interrupted sleep, I managed to write something, so you can’t get rid of me that easily.  I won’t say it’s my best work, but it works.  And since I wrote half of this with my son sitting in my lap, I neglected nothing.  I think that’s a win-win.  Cheers!

A Field of Dreams

I guess you could say this story began nearly a year ago.  Our trek to Colorado started in the early morning hours, before the sun rose.  By the time we arrived in Llano, the first light was beginning to show.  The countryside was awakening as we rounded a turn and I remembered why I love mornings.  One field in particular caught my eye.  It was a small vineyard with a vintage tractor, a great photo-op, so we pulled over so I could take a few photos.

There was something magical about the place.  A two-story sandstone home in the background, a windmill towering over the grapes, green and plumping.  I allowed myself a moment to take it in.  I wondered about life there, a life I’ve often yearned for.  The daydream was interrupted by a quick wave to the gentleman in the field and we were off.

Taken July, 2012, from the side of the road

Taken July, 2012, from the side of the road

Fast forward to last week.  Jennifer McInnis of the San Antonio Express published a piece on the town of Pontotoc and the family behind Pontotoc Vineyards, each with its own storied past.  I was instantly fascinated and elated that it was going to be a stop on my journey west with Texas wine writers and friends.  Jennifer did so well at capturing the essence of what Carl Money is building and the inspiration behind the vision that it would be redundant for me to retell, but I highly recommend stopping here and heading over to her piece.

So how are these stories connected?  I didn’t know myself until we began the tour of Pontotoc.  We arrived around 5pm and were warmly greeted by Frances Money and her lovely daughters.  In the Tasting Hall, we met Carl Money, his Uncle and Vineyard Manager, Ronnie Money, and Don Pullum, the Winemaker.

After introductions and a few nibbles, with Mason jars filled with the 2011 Tempranillo, we made our way around the property.  The Tasting Hall was once the General Store.  The rest of the Sandstone strip once included the Post Office, the Barber Shop, and a Movie Theater.  By October, it will also house Dotson-Cervantes and Akashic Vineyards, Don Pullum’s own boutique winery.  The movie theater will become a performance venue for music, plays, and old movies. We continued to the farmhouse.  Built in 1872 , this two-story home was crafted from the local sandstone by the German Emigration Company to house immigrant families.  Four bedrooms, several families, and countless stories began here in Pontotoc.  If Carl Money has his way, there are many stories to come.  Each piece of art, each piece of furniture has its tale to tell.  Carl is giving them an audience.

Don Pullum, Ronnie Money, and Carl Money

Don Pullum, Ronnie Money, and Carl Money

We went out through the back porch to the vineyard.  As the sunlight began to soften, Ronnie told us about the different plots, the different strains, and the trials and successes they have faced thus far.  We walked to the well, and that is when I realized the connection.   The tractor, the windmill, the farmhouse came rushing back and, with much gratitude, I realized I was standing in the very vineyard I’d admired the year before.

Another Point of View

Another Point of View

We walked back to the tank room and began tasting samples.  We compared the 2012 Tempranillo, bright red fruit, raspberries and cream, as compared to deep black fruits in the 11.  We tasted the red cherry in the Cab and the fresh fruit and clean earth in the Mourvedre.  Don introduced the Alicante Bouschet, a grape I’ve long admired in Wellington Vineyards Noir de Noir.  This began with dried apricot and faded into raspberry truffles.  It is a hefty red-flesh grape with tons of potential.  And then he blended them.  With little effort, Don took a little of this, a little of that and created a blend that silenced the room.  Wow.

Carl in the Tank room

Carl in the Tank room

There is a saying that has become a bit cliché.  To say that a person, place, or experience “feeds your soul” can sound almost trite, but as I reflected on this past weekend, it seemed the best way to describe the trip.  A balanced dish, a balanced diet needs variety.  A little acid, a little spice.  We need energy to fuel, vitamins to heal.  When it comes together with the right mix, your body gets just what it needs to continue.  Each person brought what only they could.  Like the wine in each individual barrel, each contributed something to blend.  Shared stories and wisdom, humor and vision.  Tranquil and alive, with a history and a budding future, Pontotoc and the people I was with fed my soul.

M. Robert Kidd is said to have named Pontotoc, which means “the land of hanging grapes,” after his home in Mississippi.  He could not have known then what Carl Money would be doing now.  When I stopped on the side that day, I knew the spot was special, but I could never have imagined that, within a year, I would be toasting friends, old and new, on that same plot of land.  It is a magical place indeed and one I hope to return to frequently.  Many thanks to the Money family and Don Pullum.  We could not have asked for more gracious hosts.  Thank you Denise, Jessica, Jennifer, and Margaret for making it that much more memorable.

A Toast to Our Chef, Don

A Toast to Our Chef, Don

Cabernet Showdown

On the last Tuesday of every month, the Texas Wine and Food Consortium hosts a good old-fashioned duel.  While there may not be a definitive winner, there is definitely a good time had by all.  Gusto Tastings Sommeliers, Daniel Kelada and Oscar Montes-Iga choose a grape and draw a line between producers from all over the world and those in Texas.   We get to enjoy the battle.

TWFC

I previously attended the tastings in which we looked at Viognier and Tempranillo, both grapes that do very well in the Texas climate.  This month, Cabernet Sauvignon was the star of the show.  I will admit that I had my doubts.  After all, how well can Cab really do here?  Denise Clarke, shared my skepticism and chose to taste blindly.  I think we were both surprised by the evening. 

As with each of the competitions, the evening was divided into four flights: Old World, New World, Texas, and then a vertical tasting of a Texas wine.  This month, Becker Vineyards provided the vertical tasting.

For the Old World tasting, we had two French and one Israeli wine.  For the New World flight, we tasted Washington, Chile, Napa, and South Africa.  We then moved to nine Texas wines and the vertical flight.

Tasting this many wines can be a funny thing.  My palate begins to fade.  I can taste through a flight and think I know which one I prefer.  Taste them again, and it becomes less clear.  As a wine opens it changes.  Have a snack, it changes again.  If you asked me which wine was my favorite, I would also have to ask, “With food or without?”  And if you asked the person next to me, there may be very little overlap in the list of favorites. 

Some of my tasting notes of the evening included the classic terms such as, “cherry, leather, tobacco, greens.” And then there were some less common descriptors: “dill pickle, green pepper with cherry on top, cream soda, tomato leaf.”

Some personal highlights included:

Le Relais De Dufort-Vivens, Margaux, Grand Vin, 2009 (classic notes, Bing cherry, tobacco)

Marques de Casa Concha, Puento Alto, 2010 (Less classic but friendly, cherry cola, Eucalyptus, Green tomato leaf)

Flat Creek, Texas High Plains, Newsome Vineyard, Reserve 2010 (Big, impressive, yet subtle fruit, cherry, and greens)

The Vineyard at Florence, Williamson County, ‘Veritas’ 2010 (huge sour cherry and berry blend)

Becker Vineyard, Texas High Plains, Canada Family Vineyards, 2007 (elegant nose, hazelnut and cranberry, some vegetative notes)

Becker Vineyard, Texas High Plains, Canada Family Vineyards, 2009 (earth, leather, fruit, surprising elegant for age)

Becker Vineyard Claret 2011 (drought year so concentrated fruit, bright sour cherry, some green, cocoa)

As an encore, Tim Drake of Flat Creek Estate, decided to finish the evening with something very special.  He opened a 2002 Flat Creek Cab that was amazing.  If there was any question about whether Texas can do Cab, more importantly, a Cab that can age, Flat Creek gave us the answer. 

So who was the winner?  Well, there is no clear answer to such a subjective question, but you can judge for yourself.  Next month’s tasting will look at Tannat and will be featuring wines from Bending Branch.  In April, Texas Wine and Food Consortium will bring us fortified wines (port, Sherry, Madeira) with Haak winery.  Upcoming tastings will feature Roussane, Rose, Red Blends, White Blends, Merlot, Malbec , and Sangiovese.

For more information on these tastings, contact Daniel Kelada.

 This piece was originally written for and posted on Texas Wine and Trail

Wines

A Carnivore’s Dream

Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Wine and Food Foundation at Cowboys and Gauchos.  These people know how to put on a fabulous event.  Picture flamenco dancers, fire pits, clinking glasses, and smiling faces and you kind of get an idea of the day. 

pig

The event was held out at the Salt Lick Pavillion and included a wide variety wines from Texas, Argentina, and Uruguay.  The grilled meats ranged from lamb to antelope, beef tongue to buffalo.  Matt McGinnis did a fantastic write up on the event, but I wanted to share some of my personal highlights.  I skipped the wines I was familiar with and tried those that were new.  I only got to some of the food vendors but everything was delicious.

coreyFood:

Wild Boar Tacos from Fore

The chorizo gastrique from Cafe Josie

The wild bison chili from High Country Bison

The whole lamb from IO Ranch and the whole pig from Tink Pinkard

 

 

photoWines:

Becker Vineyards Provencal Rose

The debut of Hye Meadows’ wines

Flat Creek Tempranillo and Cuvee Blanc

Pedernales Cellars GSM

El Libre Torrentes and Rose

Alamosa Wine Cellars Graciano

Branching Out on the Trail

This month a new online magazine launches which aims at promoting the Texas wine industry, Texas Wine and Trail.  I was honored to be asked to contribute and my first piece is now available on their site.  When I was approached about doing a piece in November, I began brainstorming about something I could do that I have not seen covered, something a little different.  I found my inspiration on the Facebook page for William Chris Winery: the launch of the 2011 Artist Series wine.

2011 Artist Blend

So when my brother came into town with hopes of hitting a winery, I knew where we were going.  We packed up the crew and headed west to Hye so sample some of their wines and learn more about the artist series.  I first visited William Chris last spring for the Watermelon Thump.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you already know how wonderfully that evening began, and how it ended in rather dramatic fashion.  If not, you can read about it in Living the Hye Life.

On this visit we successfully sampled all they were pouring, enjoyed some music on the porch, and left with a few bottles, including a gift of the Artist Series 2011.  I sipped the wine while writing my first piece for Texas Wine and Trail, with a big smile on my face.  While I found plenty of inspiration on the visit, I found even more in the bottle. 

To read more about the Artist Series at William Chris Winery, head over to Texas Wine and Trail and keep checking in for more news about Texas wine.  Thanks for reading!

Greatest Hits of 2012

At the end of the year, WordPress sent me a summary of my year.  Sort of a year in review for the writer.  How many visitors, which posts were the most viewed, et cetera.  They invite you to share the information with your readers.  At first, I thought, “How Silly.  That is like Justin Bieber releasing a Greatest Hits.”  After all, I’ve only just begun (I hope you heard Karen Carpenter just then).  But then I looked at my top five posts from the year and I thought, “Yes, that is a pretty good cross-section of what I have done.”  So I am sharing it with a little back story.  Think of it as a pathetic version of Storytellers.  Cheers!

1 “Hey Girl…I love SAHMs” October 2012

Don’t you love new friends?  Especially those that share your affinity for all things Gosling?  And can make you laugh out loud with a text?  And inspire silly posts?  Me too.  It is no wonder this got a lot of views.  He’s impossible to resist. 

2 Grief and Gratitude  September 2012

I was due to write a new post, but it was September 11th, and I could not write about anything but.  I asked a group of ladies that write about wine if it was okay to venture outside that box.  With their encouragement, I did so.  This is my tribute to a dear, dear friend.

3 OTBN- A Gift from Gundlach Bundschu  February 2012

The first piece of writing I ever put out publicly was a 3rd place poem for a poetry contest at Gundlach Bundschu.  The second piece took first.  It was their encouragement that inspired me to write.  This was a post in which I “shared” the 1997 Cab Franc I received as a prize with my readers.

4 Trends, Schmends-I never gave up on you, Merlot January 2012 

If you have read for very long at all, you know that it is not uncommon to get a hint of psychology in the front and some introspection in the finish.  In Vino Veritas.

5 Molto Bene, Y’all  April 2012

I have loved, loved, loved getting involved in the Texas wine scene.  So many great things being produced, so many great people, and still so much to learn.  Thank you for welcoming me in and for your generous spirits.  This is a piece on a local winery that I grow more fond of with each visit.

So, there you have it.  A little personal stuff, a little humor, a lot of wine.  Some paired, some shared.  Yes, this is a blog about wine, but it is really so much more to me.  Thank you for reading and giving me a place to share, to grow, to learn.

Three “Wines-men”

I could tell you about a few of my picks for the holiday season, and I probably will at some point.  But I thought it would be a little more interesting to hear from those who know just a little more about Texas wines than I do.  I elicited help from three fabulous Texas wine makers to tell you which Texas wine they might be pouring this holiday season and the pairings they would choose.  The catch?  It had to be someone else’s wine.

Dave Reilly has been getting a lot of attention as the winemaker for Duchman Winery.  And with good reason.  Just this year his wines has received several awards and three spots on the Jessica Dupuy’s Top Texas Wines list.  What Texas wine would he pour?  A Roussanne.  He thinks that it is one of the most interesting grapes being produced in the state. 

Although he didn’t name a specific producer, I have had lovely Roussannes from both Cap*Rock Winery and McPherson Cellars.  The McPherson Reserve Roussanne was on Russ Kane’s list of his favorite Texas whites of 2012 and Jessica Dupuy included a Roussanne from Perissos Vineyards on her list.  Promising, indeed.  The traditional pairings are seafood and buttery dishes.  You could also pair with poultry.  Doing a Christmas turkey?  This would be lovely.  Especially with a chestnut stuffing or with butternut squash to bring out the nutty flavors in the wine.

Tim Drake made the move to Texas from Washington in 2010 because he and his family saw that something special was going on in the Texas wine industry.  He joined Flat Creek Estate in 2011 and we are just now seeing the first of his whites.  If the 2011 and 2012 barrel sample of Viognier are any indication, we are in for a whole lot of special.  And if his pairings are any indication, I’ll be asking for an invitation to dinner. 

Tim chose William Chris Merlot paired with a Demi-Glace Veal Chops served with Gorgonzola Risotto and sautéed green beans.  Yes, please.  William Chris is located in Hye, Texas and they produce some incredible wines.  I have a bottle of Enchante that I have been saving for the holidays, so you’ll hear more about them in the near future.

Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars knows a thing or two about wine.  In fact, he is kind of wine royalty here in Texas.  His father, “Doc” McPherson, was one of the fore-fathers of the Texas wine industry and Kim has continued the elevation of Texas viticulture.  His wines have received over 450 awards.  So what would he choose? 

A peek at either Jessica or Russ’ list will tell you that Tempranillo does very well here.  Kim agreees.  He chose Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo with a Hanger Steak made in a Spanish style.  That shouldn’t be a problem since his wife, Sylvia, owns La Diosa Cellars.  Think Romesco sauce, rubs with herbs and paprika.  Smoky, spicy, with some lime juice for acid.  Serve with polenta or fingerling potatoes.  Maybe some greens with roasted peppers?  Yum.

Although most of these specific wines are not available nationwide, these pairings are great inspiration no matter what state you call home.  And great inspiration to visit us here in Texas.  Thank you to all of the winemakers who helped me in writing this.  You are doing amazing things.  Merry Christmas and happy pairing!

A Day Late…But Not a Bit Short

Last night was the Texas Wine Twitter chat featuring three lovely wines and Chef Josh Watkins of The Carillon Restaurant here in Austin (see pairings below).  I will be making that Celery root and apple soup with Duchman Viognier soon.  Because we have been in full combat mode, fighting a nasty respiratory virus, I had to miss the tasting at a fellow Texas wine lover’s house and could only tweet vicariously.  I made up for it today.  

My husband made a pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto and sage.  My brother-in-law made salad with pears sautéed in maple syrup which became part of the vinaigrette.  My job was to pair and hold my sweet son.  Honestly, a kangaroo pouch would have come in handy the last few days since he’s too big for a sling and can’t be off me for more than a minute at a time when he’s sick.

I paired the meal with McPherson Sangiovese.  A good pairing brings out the best in both and this was spot on.  The fruit was subtle as to not compete, but with enough earthy backbone to hold its own.  The salt of the prosciutto, the sweet of the pear, the acidity of the vinaigrette all worked with the Sangiovese.  Yum.

This is a very food friendly wine that can go in many directions and blend right in.  I have joked before that I think Kim McPherson and I have kindred palates.  I love everything he makes.  The Sangiovese is no exception.  Thanks to Chef Josh Watkins for the great suggestions and to all the Texas wine advocates and producers for all you do!

 Duchman Family Winery Viognier

Celery root-apple soup
Spiced apples with brandy syrup

McPherson Sangiovese
Free-raised veal tenderloin with sweet potato hash, and mustard greens with bacon gastrique
Beef tenderloin with Brussels sprouts and potato puree
Braised beef short ribs with grill romaine and pickled radish

Fall Creek or Messina Hof Muscat Canelli (semi-sweet)
Buttermilk panna cotta
Manchester cheese
Almond cake

A Friend Indeed

On our way to Colorado, we stopped at McPherson Winery in Lubbock, Texas and loaded up.  Truly.  Our truck was p-a-c-k-e-d and yet I still found room for over a case of wine.  Priorities, right?  Before visiting, I had tried the Tre Colore and the Viognier, both of which I really enjoyed.  I knew I would like his wine, I just didn’t realize that I would like ALL his wine.  That doesn’t happen very often.

McPherson Tasting Room

One of the gems we picked up was Les Copains, a white blend of Grenache Blanc (45%), Viognier (45%), and Roussanne (10%).  Translated from French, Les Copains means, “the friends” or “the buddies.”  This is a lovely, versatile blend which retails for about $14.  The Viognier gives it rich floral notes, the Grenache Blanc gave it green and citrus notes, and the Rousanne balances the two to create a fantastic summer wine.

One of our last nights of the trip, we were staying with friends in Boulder and picked up some Italian food at a restaurant called Arugula.  Since that is one of my favorite greens, I thought we were on to something.  I ordered the Summer Vegetable Risotto and the Scallops for my husband.  I figured that our “friends” would work with both.  They did so splendidly.

When we returned home, I was still dreaming about the pairing so I tried to replicate it at home.  Unfortunately, I could not find Les Copains that day, but the risotto replication was spot on. I think I will have to add some to our next shipment since we, of course, joined the wine club.  See if you can find some near you, or go ahead and order some.  In the meantime, try out this risotto and pair it with a light to medium bodied, crisp summer white.

Summer Vegetable Risotto (Inspired by the one at Arugula)

Warm 3 cups (I did half and half) water or chicken stock in a 2 qt sauce pan.

Add about 2 tsp. Olive oil to a sauté pan.

 Sauté 1 medium onion over medium heat until soft, reduce to low heat.

Add about 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half.

Cut the corn off the cob from 1-2 ears and add to the pan.

Stir until warm and slightly wilting.

Salt and pepper to taste, turn off the heat.  Warm again quickly when ready to add to risotto.

Pour yourself a glass of wine for the following steps.  It will make it taste better.  Trust me.

Put about 1-2 oz of white wine and 1 cup Arborio rice in a 3 qt. pan or similar. 

Gradually add the warm water/broth, about a half a cup at a time, while stirring. 

When the liquid is absorbed, continue adding until the rice has reached a creamy consistency. (The whole process took me about 30-45 min.)

When the risotto is cooked, stir in  3-4 oz. plain Goat Cheese.

Then add the warmed vegetables, and about 8 basil leaves, chiffonade.

I hope the recipe is easy to follow.  I don’t generally write (or follow) recipes, but please let me know if you have questions.  Cheers!