Inspired by this recipe but feeling sort of lazy, I made a quasi-homemade version tonight. I brought 1 cup of an inexpensive Pinot Grigio to a boil and poured it over 1 package of Mycological Dried Lobster Mushrooms. I let them steep for 20 minutes, drained and rinsed them, and chopped them fine. Next I briefly sauteed the finely diced white parts of 4 green onions and three finely minced garlic cloves in a tablespoon of butter in my trusty Oster 12-Inch Electric Skillet. After about 40 seconds, I added the mushrooms and a teaspoon each of dried chives and dried parsley. I sauteed them for a couple of minutes and then added 2 and ½ cups of low-sodium organic vegetable stock. I had previously drained a 14.5 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes and added them to the pot. I brought everything to a boil and added 1 package of Alessi Pomodori Risotto mix. Put on the cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it had not gone dry. At 15 minutes it wasn't quite ready, so I added a ¼ cup of water and let it cook 4 more minutes until the rice was al dente. I added the green parts of the onions, finely chopped, a few pinches of good grated parmesan cheese and served. Yum. And a lot less fuss than traditional risotto.
I poured a 2000 Behrens & Hitchcock Ode to Picasso, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Gawd knows what else. When I last blogged about this wine in April 2010, it was "still a huge wine."Well, it's still huge. It's thrown a ton of sediment (I had to filter it through unbleached coffee filters as there was so much sediment floating in the wine that regular decanting was impossible), but even so it remains an incredibly deep purple all the way to the edges. This bottle offered remarkably youthful blackberry, plum, and blackcurrant fruit on the nose and palate. There is a suggestion of sweetness to the fruit, which is not the result of residual sugar but rather the intensity of its youthful vigor. As was the case in 2010, this is still "a big, rich, and hedonistic blast on the palate." Given how maligned the 2000 vintage has been, this might just be the wine of the year. The $64 question is how much longer to let the last bottle in my cellar age.