Two of winter’s seasonal delights embody nature’s bounty in very different ways: citrus with its cold-busting vitamin C, each bright fruit a natural store of summer sun, and truffles, the misshapen nuggets that yield mysterious secrets from many seasons buried in the earth. The earthy and complex flavours of truffle add a layer of incomparable fragrance and opulence to simple dishes and cry out for a wine to do it justice. We suggest saving your delicate white wines and young, fruity reds for other parties; choose earthy reds and whites with some weight and texture. Here are a few suggestions from the Handpicked range.
Trial Batch Fiano
Fiano has the ‘tude you would expect of a southern Italian native; more than enough to match a wise old truffle. Our wine is from the sunny plains of the Murray Darling region in northern Victoria. It has layers of fruit, waxy texture and rounded mouthfeel that make it a great match for creamy truffle pasta dishes or - the ultimate indulgence – velvety scrambled eggs with slivers of truffle.
Collection Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay
There is often a synchronicity between a region’s wines and local produce. If you are lucky enough to get hold of Mornington Peninsula truffles, match it with Handpicked’s Chardonnay from the same region for perfect harmony. With its nutty flavours, weight and creamy notes from barrel fermentation and ageing, as well as fresh acidity, our Chardonnay would complement chicken stuffed with truffle, risotto with truffle, baked Camembert and truffle or a warm cream and vegetable soup flavoured with truffle.
Collection Tasmania Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir and truffles understand each other. Both have haunting perfume, earthiness and mysterious depths that are seductive beyond mere words. Our Tasmania Pinot Noir has proved its seductive power, winning a slew of trophies. gold medals and swooning reviews from Australia’s best wine judges. Heaven may well taste like this – Handpicked Collection Tasmania Pinot noir with mushroom and truffle pizza, duck and truffle or a simple steak sandwich enriched with truffles.
Wines with some bottle age
Young wines, like young people, have obvious attractions, but older wines and wiser humans bring different charms to the table. Wines with some bottle age develop aromas and flavours that work well with the earthiness, mushroom and savoury flavours of truffle. Think reds with earthy notes of mushroom, leather, wood, characteristics that match well with the strong earthiness, mushroom and savouriness of truffle. Luckily, Handpicked has some carefully aged wines that are special enough for the occasion. Our 2013 Collection Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon has beautiful deep black fruits and savoury notes to match the rich flavours of venison and truffle or veal with truffle gravy. Or try our 2013 Collection Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium-weight, elegant wine, with truffle lamb cutlets.
Truffles come to us full of the vitality of the earth and need little preparation or fanfare. They are a rare and luxurious treat for the depths of winter, and you only need a sliver to make a simple dish special. Whatever wine you choose with your truffle dish, it will lift the occasion to make it truly memorable and a balm for the winter soul.
Head to the wine shop to take your pick here.