As society claws back from the terrible pandemic, I predict a huge turn to Champagne and Champagne alternatives as a way to show relief, gratefulness, and joy. How can you prepare for this #BubbleTime2021?
Join me TONIGHT 7pm ET for a special free virtual tasting, “Bubbly Stunt Doubles,” hosted tonight by Wine.com’s Gwendolyn Osborn and featuring me and three top producers of Champagne alternatives: Matteo Lunelli, Ferrari Brut (Italy); Hugh Davies, Schramsberg (California); and Jennifer Doyle, Jansz (Tasmania).
White truffles: punishingly expensive, its season lasts a precious few month, and some say it smells like sex.
But what is the real deal with this magical mushroom from the forests of Alba, Italy. Now that it is the heart of truffle season, I paid a visit to North America’s largest distributor of truffles, Urbani Truffles. There I met with Urbani Truffles’ Vittorio Giordano and asked him to spill all sorts of insider secrets revealed in this new video.
I asked Vittorio to try to describe the classic aromas of the white truffle, although such characteristics can vary with the truffle. You will learn how to tell good truffle from bad, the most delicious food pairings, the best wine matches, and why wines like Barolo are especially good with white truffles, beyond just their geography affinity. Finally, I asked Vittorio to approximate the retail value of the big, beautiful truffles in front of us – and his answer just might shock you.
In other truffle news, you can find a report on the 2020 white truffle season here.
And watch this light hearted “remix” music video I created about the joy of white truffles here. It uses footage of truffle adventures I have had in years past.
White Truffles in the Movies: The Truffle Hunters
And a hot tip for my fellow food and wine lovers: I saw an advanced screening of a heartwarming new film, “The Truffle Hunters”. With gorgeous, painterly cinematography, the film follows seasoned truffle hunters and their trusty dogs as they comb the woods of Northern Italy for the prized fungus.
It offers a fascinating look into a secretive and delightfully antiquated world. At one point there’s even a “dog cam” where you get to see what it looks like to stalk truffles from the dog’s point of view. It is set to open through Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. on Dec. 25, though I suspect there will also be plenty of streaming opportunities around that time, too.
I just talked to Urbani Truffles’ Vittorio Giordano about the 2020 truffle season. Good news: the pandemic has kept prices from skyrocketing in what would have been an especially expensive season for white truffles. View the video report here.
To save your sanity, get yourself a bottle of Barolo (or Barbera d’Alba) and some thin pasta, butter, and a white truffle from Alba.
For some groovy, truffle-y escapism, check out this “Truffle Remix” music video I made a few years ago after a trip to Alba.
Fire on all sides: this is what Boeschen Vineyards winemaker and cofounder Doug Boeschen saw as flames threatened his Napa winery. Join me Thurs, Oct 22 7 pm ET/ 4pm PT for an interview and virtual tasting with Doug Boeschen about his winery’s remarkable escape from destruction and how he and his fellow winemakers are surviving the terrible fires. The event is FREE but seats are limited. Register here. (We will definitely be raising a glass to the brave first responders).