Arancini Courtsey of: Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Foodies, rejoice! Risotto, a classic Italian comfort food, is the basis for this decadent crowd-pleaser. When fried, the risotto balls resemble “little oranges” (“arancini”). Make as a savory appetizer for a group, or as an indulgent dinner for two.

White wine is traditionally used in making risotto, and our 2014 Chardonnay is well-suited to this recipe. The wine shines through the creaminess of the risotto and the cheeses, and brightens with the savory parsley. The pairing is fresh and well-balanced.

This two-part recipe requires time for both cooling the risotto, and for refrigerating the
arancini prior to frying.


  • 1 cup Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Chardonnay (link below)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Arborio rice. *Arborio rice is a must for this recipe! Look for it at major grocers.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • Cooked risotto, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying


  1. FOR THE RISOTTO: Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. In a separate saucepan, heat butter, EVOO, and onion on medium. Cook onion until translucent. Add rice, stir to coat, and heat until rice begins to turn golden.
  3. Add the Chardonnay. Stir rice continually until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Begin adding hot broth in the same manner; add one cup at a time, stirring continually until liquid is absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente by taste test. (All liquid may not be necessary.)
  5. Spread risotto on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool completely. Can cool and refrigerate overnight.
  6. FOR THE ARANCINI: Combine in a bowl the toasted pine nuts, shredded fontina and mozzarella, and parsley; set aside.
  7. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the cooled rice, the parmesan, and 2/3 cup of the breadcrumbs. Mix by hand and shape into 8 three-inch balls.
  8. Put the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl for dredging. Press your finger into the center of each rice ball, insert 1-2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture, and then pinch the rice around the filling to enclose.
  9. Roll the balls in the breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Loosely cover and refrigerate, at least one hour or overnight. (If refrigerating overnight, roll in more breadcrumbs before frying.)
  10. Heat ½ inch oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the risotto balls, turning until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes each. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  11. Serve with fresh marinara sauce, or drizzle with fine balsamic vinegar.

Pairs well with:

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