Finding the perfect paring between truffles and wine is no easy task—but it’s a task completely worthwhile once the pairing is complete, and the indulging may commence.
The following five sommeliers from around the world have disclosed their choice of perfect wine pairing for their own restaurant’s truffle spécialité.
Fulvio Siccardi is the Chef and General Manager of Ristorante Conti Roero in Monticello d’Alba, Italy. His restaurant’s truffle special is Uovo in Gabbia con Crème di Latte e Parmigiano al Tartufo Bianco d’Alba, which is a delectable concoction of egg, cream, and Parmesan cheese with truffles. When asked to pair this dish with a wine, Siccardi notes, “I like other wines but my heart rests in Piedmont, and I love all wine from this country, but I will settle on the 2004 La Spinette Barbaresco Gallina.”
Over in Paris, France, restaurant Michel Rostang’s sommelier, Alain Ronzatti, somewhat surprisingly opts for a white wine when asked to pair his restaurant’s truffle dish, which happens to be a famous truffle sandwich. He chose a 1992 Meursault Perrières de Jean-Marc Roulot and adds, “This wine respects the meal as well as glorifying it. Its balance between tertiary notes on truffles, mushrooms, and wood underlined by floral notes and a delicate mineralization, its distinguished mouth, and its entire and full vitality invite us to meditation.”
Also in France, Frédéric Woelfflé and executive chef Philippe Jourdin of Faventia at Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche, have come together to create a truly unique pairing. Their truffle spécialité is a salad of seared sea scallops deglazed with balsamic vinegar, resting on cocoa beans warmed in virgin olive oil with chives, sun-dried tomatoes and diced black truffles topped with shaved black truffles. To accompany this, they pair a 2006 Château Simone Palette, which is a Provençal white wine. Woelfflé adds, “The mineral structure of this wine will balance the soft, fat texture of the scallops, while the little caramelized taste of the scallops will extract the floral and fruity character of the wine due to the oak ageing.”
In Melbourne, Australia, sommelier David Clarke of Vue de Monde restaurant pairs his chef’s truffle risotto flavored with tarragon with the 1962 Cantine Pellegrino Marsala Vergine Riserva. He rationalizes his choice by saying, “The dry Vergine, being a dark gold caramel color, almost looks like it could be part of the dish. The nose is extraordinary, as you might expect from a wine 40-plus years old: dark exotic spices and toasted nuts with a waft of burnt citrus peel all adding seasoning to dried fruits. The utterly dry palate of the wine is as intense as it is long and leaves your mouth fresh and singing for more of the creamy risotto.”
Back in the United States, James Hayes, director of wine and beverage for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, is based in Napa Valley’s French Laundry restaurant. To accompany Périgord truffles, Hayes selects a red burgundy, he 1993 Corton Renardes, Grand Cru. He notes, “Black truffles are simultaneously elegant and earthy, much like great Corton Rouge. A well-made Corton with a bit of bottle ages makes a classic, rustic earthiness with the finesse one expects from Grand Cru Pinot Noir.”