Fall chestnut harvest season is highly celebrated in Japan. The fresh chestnuts, cooked with short-grained rice and dashi, is subtle, delicious and has a beautiful texture. The fragrance of this rice and chestnut dish is deeply imprinted in my brain. It is a scratch that needs to be itched the minute fall comes breezing in.

I knew I found the perfect match for fall chestnuts when I first tasted this nutty black rice from the Piemonte in Italy. The chestnuts add sweetness and bump up the fragrant notes of the rice to create the perfect chestnut rice dish.

Cooking and peeling chestnuts is an arduous task. It becomes more arduous if you can’t find really fresh chestnuts. Already peeled organic chestnuts is the solution. They are somewhat blasé just out of the packet but toasting them in butter brings out their sweet nuttiness and gives them a light, crunchy texture so they don’t disappear into the dish.

And what to serve with this delightful dish? The bright, fragrant Aries Violet, of course! This vivid hued Pinot Noir, bursting with fresh, berry-fruit aromas and underlying broody, earth notes, is the perfect mate for this revamped version of chestnut rice. Enjoy!

Until the Next Wine…

EAT: Black Rice with Toasted Chestnuts

EAT: Button Mushrooms in Butter