Wine and truffles: how to combine them avoiding mistakes
White and black truffles, are excellent protagonists in the kitchen: enhance their unmistakable flavor with the right wine-truffle pairing
The truffle is an extraordinary underground mushroom, bringing excellence to any dish. In its most prized version ever (the white truffle of Alba) it reveals all its flavor if added, raw and in flakes, as a final touch to a risotto, a plate of tajarin with butter (a great classic) or a traditional dessert such as tiramisu.
The black truffle, on the other hand, unlike the white truffle, does not lose its fragrant notes in cooking. Therefore, it suits best with fillings or meat second courses.
Whether we are talking about dishes based on white or black truffles, a good wine-truffle pairing is fundamental to complete a table and enrich a lunch with taste.
But…which wine to pair with truffles?
At first glance, choosing a wine for a truffle-based dish may seem simple, but the pairing hides pitfalls that can compromise the taste of your dishes.
We guess that none of you would ever want to ruin enriched dishes with truffles by choosing the wrong wine…wouldn’t you?
So, let’s discover together the mistakes that are hidden behind the apparently simple wine-truffle pairing to get to know them … and avoid them!
Truffles and wine: the most common mistakes
The first mistake, perhaps the most common, is to think that the wine-truffle pairing should be only based on the corresponding color.
This means that it is not necessary at all to combine a white truffle with a white wine and black truffles with red wine.
This is the worst combination possible!
In fact, truffles perfectly suit to both types of wine.
However, you must keep in mind that the most important thing is to look for wines with certain characteristics.
What are the rules for wine-truffle pairing?
First of all, we must say that the truffle, because of its unique and fragrant nature, needs a combination with a wine that does not cover its taste.
Therefore, structured, and aromatic wines do not suit to the delicate taste of truffles. In fact, those wines would cover the delicate notes of aroma and flavor of the latter.
The second quite common mistake when wondering which wine to combine with truffles, is to consider only the taste of truffle, without paying attention to the dish in its entirety. A dish is made of different ingredients: so, you must choose the pairing thinking about the taste of the entire dish you are going to serve.
Wine-truffle pairing: pay attention to bubbles
Wine and truffles, a match made in heaven, but what about sparkling wines?
As a matter of fact, in the wine-truffle pairing process, bubbles might be a problem. This type of combination is not easy at all: the typical effervescence of Charmat Method sparkling wines (second fermentation in steel autoclaves with the addition of yeasts and sugars) could completely cover the taste of the truffle.
If you really do not want to give up bubbles, the advice is to opt for a combination based on an exceptionally soft wine or an excellent Metodo Classico sparkling wine (whose second fermentation takes place directly in the bottle). In fact, its yeast and finer perlage, perfectly match with the taste of this underground mushroom.
In case you prefer to accompany your truffles with aged barrique wines: better choose wines with not too strong hints of vanilla (which the wine acquires with the aging method in barrels). In fact, this flavour would inevitably clash with the taste of truffles.
What wine goes with white truffles
Let’s now try to be more specific…what is the most recommended wine for white truffles?
When we think of white truffle-wine combination, we must keep in mind the very particular flavor of this underground mushroom: it takes little to annihilate its flavor with the wrong wine. Therefore, as already mentioned, the best combination of wine and truffles is made choosing not too aromatic and structured wines.
After this premise, we can say that, in the list of wines to be combined with white truffles (whose flavor is unique and pungent and reminiscent of fermented cheese) it is better to choose a white or red wine that is not excessively fragrant, such as Dolcetto d’Alba. Other good wine-truffle pairings can be made with Barolo, Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir del Friuli.
Among excellent choices we can also find: Gewürztraminer, Teroldego Rotaliano trentino or Rosso piceno. In fact, these wines are not very tannic, not particularly acidic, or fragrant. Consequently, they do not risk covering the taste of the truffle.
Of course, when choosing a wine to pair with white truffles, you must always take the entire dish into account. For instance, a recommended wine for a dish of Piedmontese tajarin with butter and white truffle is the already mentioned Dolcetto d’Alba. This wine is pleasant, dry, and characteristic, with a soft flavour.
Roero Arneis can be another satisfactory solution, thanks to its dry and slightly bitter character. Finally, you can also choose a Riesling of the Oltrepò Pavese, a fresh and pleasant wine, which perfectly suit to pasta dishes.
Black truffles and wine: which one to choose
And for the black truffle? Here the wine-truffle pairing is a little easier, thanks to the ability of the black truffle to withstand cooking.
Flavors, in fact, are already linked during the preparation, giving us a wider choice. Therefore, the black truffle is best combined with a structured red wine, aged for a few years – so that its notes do not go to overwhelm those of the truffle.
Some examples? Bordeaux, Nebbiolo delle Langhe, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Rosso di Montalcino, Sagrantino di Montefalco. Pomerol is also a good wine to pair with the black truffle, as well as the Saint-Émilion or the Bolgheri Beccaia – all excellent choices to enhance dishes based on black truffle. Even in this case, do not forget to pay attention to the flavour of the entire dish you are going to serve before choosing your wine.
If you are thinking about which wine to combine with black truffle, for example in the case of a beef steak or roast beef, the choice of a wine like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is very indicated; its hints of medicinal herbs, in fact, enhance the taste of truffles, enriching your dish.
H3 > What wine goes with truffle pasta?
If the black truffle enriches a pasta dish, the wine-truffle pairing can be set on a Nebbiolo or a Rosso di Montalcino. These enveloping wines can really give an extra touch to your dish.
Wine-truffle pairing: general rules
Truffles and wine: the keyword is “balance”.
Neither taste should overpower the other, but both must work together to give joy to the palate. Therefore, you must remember to:
- Choose a wine that is not very structured, not very tannic, and not too aromatic, which does not cover the notes of the truffle;
- Choose a wine to pair with truffles also thinking about the other ingredients of the dish;
- Pay attention to the bubbles when it comes to wine-truffle pairing. If wines are too pungent, they risk canceling the taste of the truffle;
- Avoid wines with too strong hints of vanilla or too acidic ones.
In other words, we must always remember that wine and truffles both have a great personality. Thus, it is necessary to choose the right wine to combine with white or black truffles. In fact, the goal is to enhance the truffle flavor without overpowering it.
This is the only way to bring to the table the ideal truffle-wine pairing: the right wine for your occasion, which will perfectly match to your truffle-based dish!