Truffles are the ultimate addition to any gourmet meal. Truffles, especially white truffles, are packed with flavor and can take any meal to the next level. As with any quality meal, it is worth pairing the right wine. The flavors will be richer. The meal is more delicious. Wine pairing with truffles isn’t that hard either.
The best wine pairings for ruffles will be beautiful white wine. Barolo is one of the more common pairings, as is Pinot Noir, for those that prefer red wine. Some people may not pair their fine wines with the truffle but with the rest of the dish. The choice is yours.
On this page, we want to give you advice on how to pair wine with both black and white truffles. We also share Italian wine pairing options for both. This is your guide to beginner wine pairings for fine
Pairing Wine With Truffles
When you have cooked a meal for a special occasion, you want to ensure that everything about the meal is fantastic. You can’t just pull out a good bottle of wine and hope it complements the rest of the dish. You need that wine to be the perfect choice. Your wine choice will be based less on the truffles, and more on the other ingredients.
There are a few things to consider when coming up with truffle pairing ideas. Later on, we will give you more specific wines and how they work with a truffle.
The Taste of Truffles
When truffle pairing with wine, you need to think about the flavor of the truffle. Truffles have a variety of different flavors (depending on the truffles picked up by the truffle hunters), and you want the fragrant notes of the wine pairing to complement the flavors of the truffle that you want to highlight the most on your palate.
White Truffles or Black Truffles?
Yes. White truffles and black truffles are slightly different in terms of their flavor profile. However, when we are pairing wines, the difference doesn’t matter too much. They are close enough in taste. Black truffles are a bit stronger, but not so intense that we need to change the wine pairings to suit.
Red or White Wines?
You can get a good truffle pairing with both red and white wines. Both can be matched well to both black and white truffle dishes. The choice between the two will be largely dependent on how the truffles are cooked, and the dishes they have been mixed up in.
For example, heavy meat-based dishes, particularly those laden with deep, flavorful black truffles tend to work best with a red wine.
Lighter dishes, especially cheese-based dishes, pasta dishes, salads, etc. work better with lighter, still white wines. For example, if you drizzled some al tartufo bianco (white truffle oil) over a sweet salad, then white wine is perfect.
Earthiness of Truffles
Most truffles have a very earthy taste to them. The earthy taste is much richer in black truffles, although there is a light earthy taste in white truffles too, assuming they are left fresh and uncooked. Most people pair their wines with this intense taste.
For earthiness, the recommended wine will always be those with earthier notes. This tends to be the red wines as opposed to the white wines. So, think along the lines of Burgandy, or an aged Pinot Noir.
Interestingly, when you pair two earthy tastes (i.e. the truffles and the wine), the wine ends up tasting sweeter. So, if you are not normally a fan of red wines, try pairing it with truffles and you may find that it tastes wonderful.
The garlicky flavors of truffles work best when you use white wines. You want something with good acidity to bring out the delicate flavors of the garlic. You don’t want to go overboard on the earthiness, as those garlic notes won’t come through.
An excellent choice would be any wine marketed as crisp and fresh. If you want to go down the route of Italian wines, then these would work best:
Some people like to bring out Picpoul de Pinet. Younger, less-aged wines work best here. Wines that have gone through a long aging process don’t bring out the garlic notes as much.
Bringing out the mushroom notes of the truffles is very similar to bringing out the earthy notes. So, you want full-bodied wines, perhaps those that have been aged a few years. You want them to be heavy earthy notes in there. You can look to the earthy notes section for more information on proper wine pairings, but you may also want to include the following:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Many truffles, especially white truffles, have sweeter notes that you want to bring out. For this, you will want to choose wines that have intense aromas of fruitiness. Perhaps younger wines. If the wine that you choose is very fruity, herbal, or floral, then it works well with lighter truffle-based meals, especially those with a hint of white truffle sprinkled on the top.
- Roero Arneis
- Cortese di Gavi
The Whole Dish
When we are pairing wine with truffles, we think less about the truffles and more about the dish as a whole. As we said before, truffles are but a small part of a meal. They have a good flavor, but there is so much more at play. So pairing truffles and aromatic wines works best when you consider the whole dish.
Lighter meals, including pasta (especially egg pasta), cheese-based dishes, salads, etc. work best when you pair with a lighter white wine. Chicken and fish can also fall into this category, as can a good, creamy risotto.
However, if you have meat laden with saturated fat e.g. steak tartare, beef, pork, etc. as your food, then a deeper, darker red wine will probably work better. The red wines will cut through the fat and it will taste so much better as a result.
Your Wine Preferences
Take your personal tastes into the equation too. Lots of literature has been put together on how to pair wine. However, none of it is a substitute for your own preferences in wines. Sure, your meal may not taste as fantastic if you add a white wine when experts would recommend a red. However, at the end of the day, it is your meal. Drink whatever you want.
Sparkling Wine with Truffles
Most sparkling wines, including Prosecco, are quite tough to pair with truffles, especially white truffles. This is because truffles have a much lighter taste. There is the risk that when your truffle wine pairing involves a sparkling wine, the sparkling wines would overwhelm the taste of the truffle.
Now, we know that many people are fans of sparkling wines. So, you do have options for your pairings, but you will have to put in an extra touch of effort.
The best truffle wine pairing on the front of the sparkling wine will be lighter wines, preferably ones that have gone through their second fermentation in the bottle. This includes anything produced using the Metodo Classico method (sometimes called the ‘Champagne Method’.
These lighter wine pairings are a great choice when paired with lighter dishes topped with a truffle e.g. cold or warm salads. They are a drink that screams ‘summer’.
If you want your sparkling white and red wines to be a bit more full-bodied, then you will need to think beyond the truffles. Think about what else is in that dish. Heavy sparkling wines work well when a meal is rich and creamy, and preferably full of fat, whether that is coming from meat or butter.
The Best Truffle-Wine Pairings
We are going to give you a few suggestions for wines that could work well with your truffle-based dishes. Some we have mentioned already, while others are new suggestions.
White Wine Suggestions
- Roero Arneis
- Cortese di Gavi
- Pinot Gris
Red Wine Suggestions
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Whether you have a white truffle or black truffle in your dish, coming up with a wine pairing is easy. You have plenty of options, from deeper, darker flavors like Burgandy to lighter, fruitier flavors such as Nascetta. Remember, spend less time focusing on the actual truffles, and more on the complete dish. It will make pairings easier.
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