Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What Wine with Truffle?

We have been on a bit of a truffle kick the last few weeks, even posting a vlog on making scrambled eggs with truffle.  And last night, my loved one, DAZ in the Kitchen, made a great pasta dish with chicken, cream, and a mushroom and truffle paste.  It was delicious and will be posted in Daz in the Kitchen soon.


Both mushroom and truffle have strong umami mouth taste and feel.  Jeannie Choo Lee, Master of Wine (MW), and expert in Asian haute cuisine (and everyday Asian food fare!) in her book Asian Palate: Savoring Asian Cuisine and Wine, explains umami as follows:

"Umami is a Japanese term that is widely acknowledged to be the fifth taste, the others being salty, sour, bitter and sweet.  It was identified by Professor Kikunae Ikeda at Tokyo Imperial University over 100 years ago. as amino acid glutamate (aka glutamic acid) and later confirmed by research as a type of amino acid that is detectable by tongue receptors.  Rather than having its own recognizable flavor, umami is subtle and expands, creates depth and rounds out other flavors.  It occurs naturally in foods such as seaweed, mushrooms, soy sauce and aged cheese."

She also recommends a full body, aged white wine such as Chardonnay or Semillon to compliment and enhance umami flavors.  We had a 2006 Penfolds Yatarnna in the fridge, pulled it out, matched it up against the pasta and it was a perfect combination!  I love a big, aged Chardonnay with cream sauce and mushrooms and the heightened and enhanced flavors derived from the truffle only added to the flavor (to the point of satiation!).  The meal was magic.

We have used truffle to enhance scrambled eggs as shown in the video and also in quiche.  (If using 100% real truffle, you only need a very small amount which is good because it is expensive!)  With the eggs and possibly some cheese in an omelet or quiche, I would recommend an aged Semillon instead of a Chardonnay.

If you have not tried real truffle, you should!  If you cannot bring yourself to pay the price for real truffle, you can use a truffle flavored oil instead, but there is a drop-off in taste.  With half a teaspoon of truffle added to our scrambled eggs, the finish on the truffle lasted hours on our palate.  It is an amazing ingredient to add to many meals.  And if you are looking for a wine to go with truffle, a big, aged white Chardonnay or Semillon is the way to go.

Steve Shipley
Twitter: @shipleyaust
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  1. Re truffle oil: People need to be aware that commercial bottled truffle oil may NOT be flavoured with genuine truffles. Due to the fine print on most little labels you can miss the bit saying "simulated truffle flavour" or whatever. Everyone needs to put on the reading glasses and get real with truffle oil, even when buying it from a truffle store in Italy or France. I did OK in France but was fooled in Norcia, Italy. The real truffle has a longer flavour than the fake.

  2. Agree Kay. We use real truffle, truffle oil and truffle juice from Umbria. The only time we used truffle-flavored oil is when we put a swirl into a vegetable soup like one made of cauliflower, zucchini, etc. The real black truffle we use for scrambled eggs (half teaspoon truffle with 6 eggs) has an unbelievably long finish. I can taste it for 3 - 4 hours afterwards.

    Interestingly enough we just finished off a 80 gram bottle today and we have not disposed of the bottle yet. The scent is so heavenly that we are keeping the empty bottle in the fridge for a few days and still sniffing it whenever we pass by!