Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Delaplane Cellars/Clam and Bacon Risotto

Bill, Drew, and Ann on the Patio at Delaplane Cellars
Sunday, social planner Ann made plans for us to introduce Bill and Drew to Delaplane Cellars, despite the fact that I was there two weeks ago catering and will be there next Sunday as well. We are fortunate to have friends that would make the hour-plus drive out from DC to visit for a couple of hours. The day was just fantastic, sunny and in the upper 50s and so we took advantage of what might be the last nice day of the year to sit out on the patio and take in the sun.

Duet and Left Bank: Somebody Has to Drink Them
It's always fun to watch people's faces as they take in the gorgeous tasting room and the perhaps more splendid view for the first time. After Bill and Drew admired the view from the catwalk outside the tasting room, we did a tasting so that they could get an idea of the quality of the wines being poured. And then we ended up outside with a bottle each of Duet and Left Bank. We tasted Left Bank (Cab dominant) against Williams Gap (Franc dominant) and then Duet, a blend of the two vineyards. Left Bank is the name given to the wines made from the estate fruit. Williams Gap is slightly north where route 7 meets the mountains in Loudoun County.

Dinner: Clam and Bacon Risotto
We stayed for perhaps an hour after Drew and Bill left before heading for home and thinking about dinner. For dinner, Ann wanted something "rich and comforting" made from the clams that we had left from last weekend. I don't tolerate fresh milk products very well but those things are what get Ann's juices running. She wanted a classic New England clam chowder and wouldn't be swayed to a nice Manhattan clam chowder. In exasperation, I told her I would make the chowder and she could eat it and I would find something else to eat. She finally asked me for an idea that was rich and comforting that I could actually eat, so I suggested clam risotto. And there you have it: a risotto of bacon and shallots, Arborio, white wine, thyme and parsley from the garden, a touch of butter, and some pecorino. This was a great dinner to top off a great day with friends.

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