Constance’s kitchen | Condrieu and Rivesaltes

It’s been a while since I last showed you what I’ve been rustling up in the kitchen. This time, I’ve got some recipes to pair with wines that we don’t get out very often: a Condrieu and a Rivesaltes, paired with an original seafood risotto and a chestnut fondant.

Seafood risotto and a 2018 Condrieu La Petite Côte from Yves Cuilleron

The chance to taste a Condrieu doesn’t come around all that often. A fine wine from the northern Rhône, this cuvée is a single-variety Viognier which, despite its prestige, is better enjoyed in its younger years. Made for pairing with a special dish, it carries the typical Viognier notes of apricot, orange zest, almond, and violet, as well as traces of its vinification. These include hints of vanilla and cream with a gently smoky side.

Of course, the choices made by the estate trickle down to the wine glass: the casks where the must ferments and the wine matures, the malolactic fermentation that confers a creamy texture, and the stirring that shifts the lees from the bottom of the barrel, bringing an almost milky aroma to the wine.

This wine was a beautiful pairing for a creamy scallop and king prawn risotto lifted by a dark chocolate sauce.

Ingredients (serves 2)


6 king prawns

4 scallops

2 tbsp olive oil

1 stock cube

1 small white onion (chopped)

120g Arborio rice

500ml water

15ml fresh pouring cream

Sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Chocolate sauce

20g dark chocolate

10g salted butter

15ml port

1 shallot (chopped)


Start by making 500ml of stock by boiling the water and mixing in the stock cube. Keep 50ml of stock aside for the chocolate sauce.

In the pan you’ll use to make your risotto, sauté the chopped onion in a tablespoon of oil. Add the rice to the pan and wait for it to become translucent. Add some of the stock and wait for the rice to absorb it, then repeat this step until the rice is cooked. Once cooked, pour in the cream and stir.

For the chocolate sauce, you’ll need another pan. Sauté the chopped shallot in a bit of olive oil. Add the remaining stock and the port. Then, add the butter and the chocolate, and mix it all together.

Before putting everything together, you’ll need to prepare the seafood topping! Roll your scallops and king prawns in sesame seeds. Then cook the scallops for four minutes on each side, and the prawns for two minutes on each side, in the rest of the oil. Put them on top of the risotto and pour on the chocolate sauce.


Shop the Condrieu cuvées currently available

Dark chocolate and chestnut fondant

Naturally sweet wines (or vins doux naturels, VDN) from Rivesaltes are quite a treat, and are worth a well thought-out pairing to savour the moment. These wines are the perfect way to round off a dinner party on a meditative note…

Oxidative maturation causes these southern wines to develop beautifully rich notes of bitter orange, cocoa, nuts, and caramel. Unctuous and persistent on the palate, they call for only the most sumptuous of dishes to be matched. The sweet-toothed among you will be thrilled that chocolate is just about the perfect pairing here.

Ingredients for 1 cake (serves 8)

500g chestnut cream (crème de marrons)

50g dark cooking chocolate

50g salted butter

25g ground hazelnuts

3 eggs


Preheat your oven to 160°C. Line your loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together before adding in the ground hazelnuts.

In a small pan, melt the butter and chocolate on a low heat. Pour into the egg and nut mixture, before adding in the chestnut cream. Fold together.

Pour the whole mixture into the loaf tin and cook for around 30 minutes. Your cake should be firm on the outside but beautifully melty in the middle!

Those of you who are big on pudding might like to serve this fondant with a homemade vanilla custard…

Shop the Rivesaltes cuvées currently available

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