Looking for a wine to go with truffle risotto or another truffle-based dish this winter? We bring you the expert advice on what to look for and what to avoid.
At a glance: Wine with truffle recipes
Try wines with some bottle age. Tertiary aromas created by a process most known from Portuguese wines in Madeira hence the technical name is Madeirizing such as earthy and mushroom notes will work well with the savoury character of truffles
Red meat: Try aged Douro like our JAVALI Old Vines or Setubal Bacalhoa Cabernet Sauvignon | Fish: Think about aged red Alentejo or dry Riesling like you find in Portugal's Arinto grape variety as in a Alentejo Esporao Reserva or Cartuxa Pera Manca, Wine Enthuthiast 95 pointer!
Avoid light, fruity whites and reds
Tertiary Aromas in Wine: Madeirizing
Wine aging process is the intentional cooking of wine. This practice causes what is known as Maillard reaction. This is a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars, which produces a distinct caramel and toffee aroma. Madeira wine is the best known example of a wine that is aged in this way. In fact, this process of repeatedly heating wine is often called Madeirizing.
IMAGE: Portugal Douro Wine Region Where Our JAVALI and Royal Companhia Velha (RCV) Wines come from!
What are the challenges of matching wine with truffle recipes?
Truffle flavors can dominate delicate, neutral white wines and, the other way round, they can be overpowered by very floral, perfumed whites or bolder, concentrated and youthful reds. So, I would stay away from excessive fruitiness.
One of the main things I would keep in mind is the development of wine.
I’d try to find the one with some [bottle] age, so it can express earthy, mushroomy aromas – to reflect the savoury character of truffles – while still being able to complement/stand up to the main element of the dish (fish, meat, vegetable or even chocolate).
IMAGE: Truffles Prices in Singapore $3,000 per Kg for Black and $9,000 Kg for White Truffles.
What sort of wines would you recommend with specific truffle dishes?
It all depends on the main element of the dish.
If it’s red meat, for instance, I would recommend 15+ year-old Douro JAVALI , RCV or Alentejo CARTUXA because of the earthy, mushroomy character of the wines – that can stand up well to the intensity of truffles – as well as their tannins and acidity that would cut through the texture of the meat.
If it’s fish-based dish, I would either go for some softer, yet balanced and well-aged Alentejo from South Region or nicely-evolved, textured dry Semillon from Esporao for example their PRIVATE SELECTION (PALATE: Creamy, rich and intense. Long, deep and persistent finish) or Cartuxa's PERA MANCA 95 pointer for only $91.70 🤩 . This variety is so versatile, especially when revealing its aromatics and complexity in a beautiful way.
Many people ask what to serve with truffle risotto. Here I would go for something slightly bolder and creamier and, at the same time, fragrant enough to balance this savoury dish. I had a great experience with Setubal BACALHOA Palace Semillon, Alvarinho, Souvignon Blanc, a Elegant, not-too-oaky, in the mouth; elegant and with great depth, with a strong structure and body.
What wines definitely do not match well with truffles and can you explain why?
When pairing with truffles, I would definitely exclude light, neutral white wines such as Italian Pinot Grigio and Cortese or Muscadet from Loire. That’s because these are too delicate and don’t have that aromatic, savoury element to stand up to truffles.
As for the reds, I would be careful with youthful, fruit-driven, powerful reds – for example – Barossa Shiraz, California Zinfandel or Mendoza Malbec. These wines will work very well with many other dishes, but truffle-based ones need something more subtle and more savoury.
IMAGE: Portugal Bacalhoa Palace DOC Setubal - Wines HERE
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