Materra “Right Bank” Merlot with Shrimp Risotto #MerlotMe #WinePW

Materra "Right Bank" Napa Valley Merlot with Shrimp & Red Wine Risotto

Merlot’s softer structure gives a wide range of pairing possibilities. Shrimp & risotto are great with Merlot.

Friday Night Risotto
Friday night is risotto night at our house. I make chicken stock whenever we roast a chicken, and we keep Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio rice in the pantry at all times. With shrimp in the freezer, I just pick up some mushrooms and a vegetable on the way home. Risotto takes a little time, but it is easy and relaxing once you get the hang of it. Give it a try! Materra Wines “Right Bank” was a nice pairing. Shrimp and mushrooms are so full of umami flavors, they match up nicely with a red wine.

Disclosure: Our Wine Pairing Weekend blogging group received a variety of wine samples from the #MerlotMe wineries for our October posts. No other payments were involved and all opinions expressed in my blog posts are my own.

Materra Wines "Right Bank" Napa Valley Merlot

Materra Wines “Right Bank” Napa Valley Merlot

Materra “Right Bank” Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley 2013 (sample, $50 SRP or online here)
Eye: Clear, deep ruby with a cool toned edge with deep color right to the edge. Barely stained legs
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Deep dark fruit, ripe blackberries & blueberries. Herbs and leather immediately behind the fruit. Slightest hint of oak comes with a bit of cedar box
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity flavor. Medium acidity, medium tannins. Medium body, medium alcohol. Dark blue fruit, plus some deep cherry flavors come out. A bit of pepper, plus the leather & herbs persist in the flavor. The tannins come on more in the medium+ length finish. All in all, a very nice wine with plenty of fruit but a good portion of old-world feel. The wine impresses as a bit lean, not plush as you might expect from Napa Valley.  Well named!

Red Wine Risotto

You’ll get the best results from using the real ingredients: Vialone Nano, Arborio or Carnaroli rice, Parmigiano Reggiano, and homemade chicken stock.


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms, your choice (I like shiitake)
  • 8 oz Vialone Nano, Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 8 oz. red wine
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated


  • Start by bringing the stock up to a simmer, just under boiling.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over a low flame and slowly sauté the mushrooms. Set aside when finished.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a pot large enough to hold your finished risotto, add the onions and cook until they are translucent, just a few minutes.  Add the rice and continue cooking until the rice becomes slightly glossy and translucent, but not browned.  This will only take 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the red wine and stir.  Adjust the heat to keep the liquid at a high simmer. Wait until the liquid is absorbed.
  • After the liquid is absorbed, add a ladle of stock to the rice and stir.  You don’t need to stir constantly.  Some good advice: stir every time you take a sip of wine!
  • Continue to add stock, 1 ladle at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding another ladle.  All the stock will be absorbed in about 20-30 minutes, but you’ll want to judge by tasting the nearly finished rice.
  • Fold in cheese, heat and gently stir until it melts into the risotto.
  • Fold in the mushrooms gently, reserving a few for garnish.

3 Responses to “Materra “Right Bank” Merlot with Shrimp Risotto #MerlotMe #WinePW”
  1. BC Wine Trends says:

    I love Risotto. Must try this recipe but will probably substitute my Aussie BBQ shrimp topper.

  2. David says:

    I have visited Materra twice and been impressed with the quality of their Merlot on both occasions. Having a Napa winery focus on Merlot is encouraging. I love the look of this dish as a pairing option for one of the bottles of “Right Bank” that we have in our cellar.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] risotto night at our house. My recipe and tasting notes on the Materra Wines Right Bank Merlot are here (sample, $50 SRP or online […]

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