Risotto is made with Arborio rice, an Italian variety with rugby-football-shaped grains. It is more glutinous than long-grain Patna-type rices, but retains its texture better than mushy pudding rice.
Risotto suffers if overcooked, and is best with just a touch of resistance in the grains. This red wine risotto should be made with decent full-bodied wine. A vino nobile from Montepulciano or other good Italian wine will sound authentic and taste good, but a drinkable Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile will also suit.
A word on wine in cookery. Never buy anything called or advertised as cooking wine. They are uniformly drab, frequently smell awful and will spoil the food. Wine which is not drinkable is best poured down the sink.
In this dish, the wine is a major feature so use plenty. Normally I find that too much wine in a dish interferes with the flavours of the meat or fish and there is a danger that, after all your careful stock-making and hints of this and that, all your dishes may taste only of cheap wine. With a red wine risotto you may be generous.
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