The Queens County Farm Museum is a popular spot for kids, but many adults may be pleased to learn it also happens to be New York City’s first and only commercial vineyard. The wines produced are made from grapes grown right on the farm and are perfect for drinking or cooking. Varietals for sale in their Wine Shop include a 2006 Adriance Blend, a 2007 and 2008 Merlot, as well as a 2007 and 2008 Chardonnay; each with its own unique character representative of its growing season.
The wines are simple and straightforward enough to enjoy with a weeknight dinner, but pair just as easily with more elegant fare. With Valentine’s Day approaching, think about picking up a few bottles from the Farm’s gift shop, put the kids to bed early and share a special evening with your sweetie. The following recipe is a perfect way to showcase the subtle fruit and spice notes of The Queens County Farm Museum Winery’s 2007 Merlot, their signature vintage.
Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto
For 4 servings you will need:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
- 1 cup assorted wild or button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 ½ cups Arborio, Carnaroli or other short-grain rice
- 1 cup of The Queens County Farm Museum Winery’s 2007 Merlot
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Step 1: Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and oil in a large sauté pan or skillet, add shallot, and cook until softened. Add mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Step 2: Add rice to pan, tossing with shallot and mushrooms until well coated. Continue to stir over medium heat. After 2-3 minutes the edges of each grain of rice should be glossy and translucent, while just the center remains opaque. Add the red wine, and stir over heat until liquid has reduced by half.
- Step 3: Begin to add warmed stock ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Allow most of the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next addition of stock. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 4: Remove risotto from heat, stir in remaining butter, ½ cup Parmesan and fresh parsley. Serve immediately. Of course, this risotto pairs perfectly with a glass of The Queens County Farm Museum Winery’s 2007 Merlot, but is also great with their Chardonnay or Adriance Blend. Enjoy!
Queens County Farm Museum: Wines are available for purchase in the Wine Shop.
Cost: $20 per bottle
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12pm-4pm
Where: 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park; 718-347-3276
By: Vivian Cardinale