Monday, March 3, 2014

Let them eat truffles, Part 2

During truffle season in France (November-March), I look forward to at least one memorable dining experience with the "black diamond".  This year I have had the good fortune to have 4 chances to enjoy the aroma and flavor of the tumor melanosporum.  The first opportunity was at a dinner in Cahors sponsored by the Villa Malbec that featured both white and black truffles paired with wines from Cahors and Piedmont, Italy.

Except for an odd misstep pairing them with anchovies, the rest of the meal of risotto, pasta, polenta, pana cotta quite successfully featured both the white and the black varieties.  And the wine pairings were quite wonderful with some terrific Barbera and Cahors  wine discoveries for me.  

The next truffle dinner was in the neighborhood at the Hotel Quercy with our wine club.  A lot of the usual suspects and new faces joined us for a great evening of truffles and wine.

Chef Bacou kept the dishes minimalist so as not to overwhelm the truffles and he succeeded admirably...

Truffled mushroom soup and duck pie

Fish stew with truffle

Truffled guinea fowl with potato cake

truffled Brie 

Litchi cream with truffle, mascarapone mousse with truffle and  pineapple sorbet

Each table was responsible for its own wine and he we had an eclectic but appropriate mix of French (languedoc, Loire, cahors, sauterne ) and Spanish (Ribera del duero).

This picpoul wine put red fruit forward that didn't paired well with the soup and duck.

Many were surprised by the Haut Serre Chardonnay which had heft and oakiness quite unlike the Burgundian wines.

This 2005 Tempranillo was powerful but smooth.

The Vouvray sec showed its age but still had a lovely nose and notes of sweetness; it surprisingly paired well with the cheese.

And this 1997 sauterne was everything one wanted from a sweet wine: rich, unctuous, and irresistible.