Truffle Toast: The Perfect Pairing for A Great Wine

Roasted garlic is an anchor for many a great wine-friendly dish. Truffles are even more so, at least in my book. So, putting them together, especially in this very simple preparation that we call truffle toast, naturally adds up to pairing Nirvana. With which wine, you ask? I can think of no wine type that doesn’t pair marvelously with this dish so you could say “anything goes” but instead I say “the sky’s the limit”, or at least it should be. The reason is that a really great wine deserves an excellent food partner, and this combination of truffly-earthy flavor and silky-crunchy texture fits that bill perfectly, with minimal hassle and less expense than a blow-out meal. In fact, you could round out the plate of toasts with a simple side of braised savoy cabbage or roasted root veggies, and have a truly great, and cost-effective, wine-focused dinner.

The plan-ahead aspect of this dish is roasting the garlic for a little over an hour in a 350-degree oven. To do so, cut off about the top third of a whole unpeeled head of garlic and drizzle the exposed cloves with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in foil before placing in the preheated oven. The finished garlic will be soft, caramelized and sweet, and your house will smell great.

For the toast, slice your favorite rustic, crusty bread thick or thin as you prefer and toast in a panini press or toaster until lightly golden.  (We use sourdough because we think the slight acidic tang enhances the match.) Spread the toasts with a thin layer of roasted garlic. The cloves will spread like jam – 2 cloves per slice should do it. The truffled cheese is next. We use a spreadable truffled Brie but thin slices or shavings of truffled pecorino also work just fine. If you used a spreadable cheese like Brie, grate a little parmesan on top to kick up the umami, and serve.

I was serious that anything goes when it comes to finding the right wine to pair, but my uber-favorite matches have been old world selections, and wines with bottle age. Both wine types love up on the earthiness of this dish, while having their complexities unleashed by the umami, the caramelization of the garlic and toasted bread and the subtly bewitching truffliness. Try a yeasty French Champagne, a bottle-aged German or Alsace Riesling or French Chablis, or any of the killer Bs: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo, Brunello. I would love to hear what you think, and what you paired. If you are a dessert wine fan, don’t be afraid to give that a try too. Enjoy!

 

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