Opolo Vineyard Shares Pairings and Signature Three Cheese Risotto Recipe
I discovered a sparkling jewel on a trip up the California central coast a few months ago. A group of us went wine tasting at the picturesque Opolo Vineyards in Paso Robles. Chance Hochschild, Wine Club Manager gives a brief background on Opolo, “It was established by neighbors Rick Quinn and Dave Nichols from Camarillo. They started off making wine out of their garages, and eventually partnered together to open Opolo Winery in 1999.” The Vineyard features a tasting room, large patio area heating wood-fire pizza (yum), a three room Bed and Breakfast, and 31 different varieties of wines annually including their award winning Mountain Zinfandel, their sweet wine, Flirtations, and my favorite the 2010 Opolo Sparkling Wine.
I tend to drink red wines, and was surprisingly most taken by their sparkling wine unveiled earlier this year. So were all my friends. After our delicious wine tasting, we bought at least one to three bottles each of this lovely bubbly. Not only does it taste spectacular, but it’s affordable at $12.00 (non-member fee) a bottle. Their sparkling wine is crisp, not too sweet, refreshing, and is the perfect bubbly selection to serve at holiday events and toast to for a New Years Eve celebration. Chance explains that the sparkling wine is made from Pinot Noir grapes, as the dark skin is removed immediately after grapes are pressed, before the color has a chance to settle.
Jeff Faber, National Sales Manager shares that the Opolo Sparkling Wine is available in major grocery stores like Albertsons and Vons, specialty stores as Total Wine, and also served at various restaurants nationwide. If you can’t find Opolo at a location near you, products are available for purchase online. Jeff explains that this sparkling wine is intended to be a drink for any occasion, as an aperitif or with meals, a quiet night at home, or entertaining guests, and is made for a wide range of palates, “The 2010 Opolo Sparkling is easy to drink and it isn’t too dry not or too sweet, varietal wine.” He also shares the tradition at the Opolo Vineyard, where they have their own version of saying cheers, “We raise our glasses, and say ‘Opolo!’ in celebration of life as the crux… we can all find common ground and resonate with different types of people.”
I asked Jeff what noshes go well with the sparkling wine, and he generously provided a list of the ideal pairings below. Additionally, Jeff introduces Opolo Winery’s savory Three Cheese Risotto recipe with HauteNosh, a dish that goes perfect with their sparkling wine. Bon appétit and with a raised glass, Opolo!
- • 3 cups Organic chicken broth
- • 2 tablespoons butter
- • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- • 1 cup Arborio rice
- • ¼ cup Opolo Albarino
- • ½ cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
- • ½ cup freshly shredded fontina cheese
- • ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- • salt and pepper to taste
- Start by heating organic chicken broth over medium heat. Reduce heat to low while you prepare the rice.
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook until they are translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Stir in rice just until it is coated in the butter. Do not brown.
- Pour in Albarino* and cook until wine absorbs. Pour in one ladle of hot chicken broth. Stir consistently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, one ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed by the rice.
- Remove from heat. Stir in mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheese until they melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand a few minutes.
- Enjoy, smile and raise your glass with a resounding “Opolo!”.