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When translated from an Italian phrase, ‘Far Niente’ romantically means ‘without a care’. We hope you recapture that essence as you take a behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.




Without a Care

A Blog By Far Niente

Without a Care



Summer Wine & Food for Long, Slow Days

Categories: Far Niente Chardonnay, Food and Wine Recipes, Wine Pairing

Summer wine and food pairingThe long July days have us craving light yet comforting summer wine and food pairings. Cue this Chardonnay-friendly menu that marries bright  flavors like avocado and just-picked cherry tomatoes with rock shrimp – whose creamy flesh is almost lobster-like – and comforting Arborio rice.

You have to take your time with this sautéed rock shrimp and avocado risotto recipe. Your patience, however, will pay off with a charming wine and food menu for two, made even more exquisite when paired with the soft honeysuckle perfume and layered melon-citrus flavors of our Far Niente Chardonnay. In fact, the recipe itself calls for one and a half cups of Napa Valley Chardonnay, or two if you’re like us –  the majority for cooking and a splash for sipping while we chop, stir, blend and sauté!

Sautéed Rock Shrimp with Avocado Risotto and Cherry Tomato Confit

Wine Pairing: Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay, Napa Valley


Serves 2

Avocado Purée:

2 ripe avocados

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste


Cherry Tomato Confit:

3 cups vegetable oil

1 small basket mixed cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste


Rock Shrimp:

Juice and zest of three lemons

1 cup Chardonnay or dry white wine

1 pound rock shrimp

Olive oil

2 small minced shallots

1 tablespoon butter


Avocado Risotto:

5 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup Arborio rice

1 large shallot, diced

1/2 cup Chardonnay or dry white wine

1/2 cup manchego cheese, grated

3/4 cup avocado purée

1 bunch chives, chopped

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice


For the avocado purée: Remove the skins and the pits from the avocados. Place the flesh of the avocados, the lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor with blade attachment. Allow the machine to run for several minutes until the avocado is smooth and has no lumps. Stir in white pepper, to taste. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation.

For the tomato confit: In a medium saucepan, add three cups of vegetable oil. Warm the oil to 350°F. Set up an ice bath, and keep to the side. Add the cherry tomatoes to the hot oil carefully, and fry for 30 seconds or until the skins begin to peel. Quickly remove the tomatoes from the oil and place in the ice bath for about two minutes. Remove from the cold water and peel away the skins. Place in small bowl and add olive oil and sherry vinegar. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the rock shrimp: In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice and Chardonnay. Mince shallot and set aside. Rinse shrimp under cool water and spread across a paper towel to dry. Gently pat if needed.  Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, add about one tablespoon olive oil – just enough to sauté your shallots – and allow to heat. Add minced shallots to hot oil and stir for one minute. Add your wine and lemon mix and reduce, whisking intermittently, for approximately five minutes. Your reduction should be roughly a quarter of its original volume. Whisk in butter until melted. Add only enough rock shrimp to fill the pan in a single layer. Cook in batches until all are cooked through. This process should be quick, about two minutes per batch.

For the risotto: Bring vegetable stock to a simmer. Be sure to have a six-ounce ladle nearby. In a medium sauce pot on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and then add the rice. Turn the heat down and lightly toast the rice grains. Add the diced shallot, sweat for 30 seconds, then add 1/2 cup white wine. Let wine cook out, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and add 12 ounces (two full ladles) vegetable stock. Allow to reduce by half. Repeat this process with 12 ounces of stock at a time for about 15 minutes or until the rice is al dente, “to the tooth”, which offers a slight resistance when bitten into. Stir in the manchego and add the avocado purée, chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste. It may need a squeeze of lemon as well.


Lay out two bowls and spoon the avocado risotto in equal portions. Top with six to eight confit cherry tomatoes and a generous scoop of rock shrimp. Pour two glasses of chilled Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay. Bon appétit!

For more summer wine and food ideas, check out this curried chicken salad and Chardonnay pairing here. Or get inspired by this summer Cabernet pairing here. Red wine and salad? Absolutely!


Summer wine and food Chardonnay

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