Black truffles are among the world’s rarest and most delectable of foods. Added to numerous dishes such as elk, beef, or poultry roasts or stews, black truffles add an earthy, nutty, piquant taste to any meal. The flavor of fine cheese is also enhanced and made more enjoyable when it is served with thin shavings of black truffles. A firm fleshed fish also is a good choice for cooking with black truffles. Always keep in mind that the flavor of black truffles is brought out more when the truffles are cooked.
To get the maximum enjoyment and pleasure out of meals that contain black truffles, it’s best to serve the appropriate wine. Wine can help to bring out the more subtle flavors of food, but it’s important to choose a wine that will not ‘argue’ with your meal.
While the pairing of opposites in the world at large might sometimes be problematic, when it comes to wine and black truffles, the old saying holds true. White wines are the perfect choice for complementing the flavor of truffle-enhanced food.
- Sparkling wines (those with a high carbon dioxide value, and which effervesce) will help to make your meal made with black truffles all the more memorable. Choose one with a medium body that will not overwhelm the truffles – you want to achieve a partnership, not a competition. Champagnes are included in sparkling wines.
- Marsanne wines have a very attractive nose that makes them excellent for pairing with black truffle dishes. Lovely white wines with a fruity touch, some Marsannes also have earthy tones that work well with black truffles.
- An aged white Burgundy is also a good choice for black truffle infused food. Old Burgundy wines acquire some of the more earthy and musky tones, which helps to assure that they will pair with the food rather than resist in some way. The undertones of fruit and fungus also help white Burgundies mesh with black truffles.
- Vergine wines that have been aged for several decades – the longer the better – are full-bodied, rich tasting wines that tend to be very dry. These wines encourage the diner to enjoy more of the meal made with black truffles. The older Vergines are often a dark gold in color.
- Sometimes swimming against the current can bring unexpected surprises, and this is the case with Corton Rouge wines. While white wines are usually suggested as the best pairing with black truffles, these reds can augment the earthiness of the mushrooms.
- Blends of Marsanne or Roussanne wines are also appropriate for use with black truffles. The age of the wine is important when pairing with truffles, as older wines have had time to more fully develop their flavors. A newer wine, no matter the kind, will often have an ‘unfinished’ or raw quality to it, so it’s best to stay with a wine that has some history. Because black truffles are the ideal partner for so many varied dishes, never confine yourself to just one wine with which to pair them – be adventurous and try a new vintage on occasion; you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.