Truffle coated

Max Crus
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Yellowglen in Victoria produce a range of sparkling wines

Yellowglen in Victoria produce a range of sparkling wines

“Ever had truffles Max”? Ms L’s culinary passions are deeply varied and deep of pocket.

“Yes, many times”, I replied boastfully and invidiously.

“What are they like”?

“Yummy, creamy, and altogether too easy to make given how fattening they are”, I continued the suggestion and that I may eat them again while she should not.

“You don’t make truffles, you grow them in dark forests and harvest them using pigs and specially trained dogs”, she spoiled the moment.

“Oh, I thought you meant the ones the Big G used to make. Guinea Gold chocolate, a couple of buckets of butter and fat cream, rolled into balls”.

I wasn’t going to get out of this cheaply and of course she meant real truffles. At a shave over $4,000 per kilogram for the good gear, actually she wasn’t going to get any.

However there is a cheaper alternative now, and no, it’s not made of Tofu. A genuine grown in the ground, brown, smelly, fungussy, thingy has come onto the market at a mere $25 for 50grams. Mind you, that is still $500 per kilo, but it is closer to reality.

Having made this amazing discovery, I know everyone will rush out and get some for those truffle recipes they’ve been hoarding all these years while waiting for the price to fall below $1,000kg.

But what do you drink with truffles? Here’s a few recipes and wine match ups the help the half-well-heeled.

Truffles on toast. One doesn’t often drink in the a.m., but if one must...

Yellowglen Vintage Perle $24. Funny name for a bubbly, immediately eliciting visions of old Barossa, and funny too that although a vintage, it doesn’t say which. Unless it was on the capsule which I blew onto the road to show off. I was too young for Barossa Pearl but I bet this tastes better. 8.5/10.

Ham, pineapple and truffle pizza. Australia’s passion for this combination is deeply mysterious but perhaps the addition of truffles may legitimise it.

Pipers Brook Ninth Island 2004 Riesling, $19. I saw this as fruity and refreshing, while Ms L’s immediate comment was ‘sweet’. One man’s fruit is another woman’s “do I look fat in this”? I suppose. 8/10.

Meat pie and sauce with shaved truffle garnish.

Jane Brook Back Block Shiraz 2001, $24.50. Fair bit blockier than your average WA shiraz, specially on the back palate, which is frequently exactly what you’re after in a red. 8.4/10.

Ham, cheese, tomato and truffle toasted sandwich.

Mountadam Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2003, $18. Maybe it’s my sentimentality but does this taste better than its price? Hope so, you never know where those $20 bills have been. 8.3/10.

Fish and chips, with salt, vinegar and truffles. On the beach perhaps?

Neagles Rock 2005 Riesling Clare Valley, $18. Happily sloshing my way through a cellar full of riesling following the winter drought, I fear I have been spoiled. Everything a riesling should be and probably more, but I still only score it 8.1/10.

Truffle Tim Tams.

Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon, 2004, $20. Luscious amber liquid, left until last. Too bad it didn’t really go with chocolate but we soldiered on. 8.5/10.

Wines reviewed:
Yellowglen Vintage Perle $24
Pipers Brook Ninth Island 2004 Riesling, $19
Jane Brook Back Block Shiraz 2001, $24
Mountadam Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2003, $18
Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon, 2004, $20
Neagles Rock 2005 Riesling Clare Valley, $18

© Max Crus

Column featuring wine friendly truffle recipes published week beginning October 16 2005.

Published in Cairns Post/Rockhampton Morning Bulletin/Northern Star Lismore)/Daily Examiner (Grafton)/Wagga Daily Advertiser/Geelong Advertiser.

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