Pairing White Wine with TrufflesWhat grows together goes together, or so the saying goes. When it comes to truffle growing regions, many of the premiere regions are located in or near some of the world’s best wine-growing regions. It also happens that truffles from Sabatino and fine wine happen to be constant table mates in the world’s best restaurants.
Over time, we have become experts at pairing our truffles with wines from around the world. Whenever the occasion arises we enjoy finding new and fresh pairings that unlock the beauty and opulence of our truffles. This guide to pairing truffles with white wines is intended to be a fun and informative resource for you as you explore using our fresh truffles and truffle products in your kitchen and dining room.
With our heritage and roots in the heart of Italy, naturally we figured we would start with the white wine varietals that are most popular in Italy and most often paired with our truffles. Hailing from regions like Tuscany, Alto Adige, Piedmont, Lazio and Umbria, the white wines of Italy are well known globally for their quality and ability to pair with food. Some of the varietals to look for from these regions include Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Vermentino, Grechetto, Trebbiano, Malvasia, and Chardonnay, which due its popularity worldwide has become a very popular varietal for Italian vintners to plant.
Starting with Pinot Grigio, the general Italian style is one that is dry and features lots of minerality. Grown in cooler climate areas like Alto Adige and Trentino, Pinot Grigio is light, crisp, and refreshing. Keeping that in mind, we love to pair Pinot Grigio with our fresh Black Summer truffles which are equally light in flavor and aroma but often paired with refreshing summer salads, soups, and seafood dishes. Because it is made with black summer truffles, our Truffle Zest® seasoning is also a great match with Pinot Grigio. We love pairing Truffle Zest® fries with Pinot Grigio for a nice appetizer that is equally at home on the patio or bistro table.
Vermentino, a very popular Tuscan and Sardinian varietal, is similarly very dry and crisp with medium-to-high acidity. Because Tuscany and Sardinia are warmer climate regions, Vermentino has a slightly more ripe flavor profile exuding notes of citrus (think lime and grapefruit) as well as Granny Smith apples. In some terroirs, it can even show light floral notes. This, to us, makes it a great match for grilled poultry, pork tenderloin, and grilled fish dishes. With a pinch of our Truffle Salt used as a finishing touch, it is sure to create a perfect counterbalance to the fruity profile of Vermentino.
Going even further down the line of fruity, yet dry white wines, Grechetto is the main varietal used in Orvieto, which is made in Umbria and Lazio. Umbria, as you know, is the ancestral home of Sabatino Tartufi, so Grechetto is near and dear to our hearts. Because of its fuller body and riper profiles, which often features notes and aromas of melons, white stone fruit, and wild flowers, these wines work swimmingly with our fresh Black Winter Truffles. Whether enjoyed at the height of summer (like our Australian Black Winter truffles) or in the crisp, cold of winter, (like our European Black Winter truffles), Grechetto is a match for the fuller flavor and aroma of our Black Winter truffles.
Staying close to Umbria and Lazio, the Trebbiano varietal, also known as Trebbiano Toscano or Ugni Blanc, is another white wine varietal that works exceptionally well with food and more specifically truffles. Trebbiano is one of the most planted grape varieties in the world and is actually better known for its association with brandy and balsamic vinegar production than it is for fine wines. However, when it comes to fine wines, Trebbiano features many of the same flavor and body characteristics of Grechetto, but also adds a slightly herbaceous touch with notes of basil and wild herbs. This extra touch makes this a wonderful pairing with pizza bianco (white pizza) topped with extra virgin olive oil and freshly shaved Black Summer Truffles or White Truffles when in season.
Moving to more globally recognized varietals, Chardonnay is the most widely planted white wine variety in the world. Thanks to the outstanding reputation Chardonnay has achieved from its origins in France’s Burgundy region, Chardonnay is all at once full bodied, bold, and complex when made with care and consideration for the terroir. Wines made with Chardonnay can be produced with or without oak which plays a major factor in the flavor development of each style. For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the bigger, bolder oaked style of Chardonnay which is very popular in the high end wines of Burgundy, as well as parts of California, Oregon, Australia, Argentina, and many other locales. With its grander style, Chardonnay typically shows ripe apple, pear, and tropical fruit flavors and aromas coupled with notes of toast, butter, baking spices, and almonds. This rich style warrants equally rich cuisine, so we choose to pair this style of Chardonnay with dishes like roasted salmon drizzled with white truffle oil, truffle mac and cheese, seared scallops with cauliflower puree. Each dish utilizes the creamier, more buttery side of the Chardonnay to complement the creamy texture of the dish, matching the weight of the wine with the weight of the dish.
But it doesn’t all have to be heavy, as Sauvignon Blanc has proven. A perennial favorite in white wine circles, Sauvignon Blanc has adapted to a host of different climates to bring lightweight but aromatic wines to the forefront. Sauvignon Blanc is grown throughout Italy and France, as well as California, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. The cooler climate examples offer up fresh lime and grapefruit notes with zippy acidity. In warmer climates, or when blended with Semillon, as it is in Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc tends to take on more tropical fruit notes ranging from kiwi to pineapple. For us, this is a perfect match for fresh seafood dishes like our Truffle Lemon Shrimp Scampi, or in simpler more straightforward fare like avocado toast, where the zingy acidity of the wine helps cut through the richness of the avocado.
We hope we’ve helped you learn a little more about pairing white wine and truffles. In this post we just scratched the surface, so rest assured there’s plenty more to come. If you like this article and would like more information about pairing truffles with wine, please let us know by leaving a comment below.