A few days ago, we had the opportunity to participate in a wine tasting that paired some very special truffles with a fine selection of wine. It was a surprising experience, which helped us understand that truffles can go far beyond what we normally expect of them.
It was at Bizkarra, a bakery and pastry shop that started way back in 1957, and which seeks to offer high-quality products with genuine Basque flavor. Some of their favorite ingredients include Añana salt, Moreda oil, grains from Álava, and Urkiola cheese.
Each of its products, as you’d expect, has its own recipe. But in everything this company does, a general recipe is used: a mixture of a craftsman’s spirit with an eagerness for innovation. This philosophy has allowed them to create some extraordinary and surprising products, which we got to try, and to develop such an innovative way, at least to our minds, of serving them.
We had the opportunity to participate in a tasting which combined three Bizkarra truffles with five wines selected by Olatz Bustinza, the sumiller at the Asador Horma Ondo family restaurant in Larrabetzu, Biscay.
We tried three different types of truffles they make:
Truffles with oil from Moreda in Álava
An aromatic and unctuous truffle, which unfolds flavors on the palate that are very much from our land, so an oil produced in Moreda, Álava, by the cooperative Trujal la Equidad is used. It carries the “Label de Calidad” certificate, and is produced with the autochthonous Arroniz variety, harvested in the traditional fashion.
Truffles with cheese from Urkiola
he base is an emulsion of cream cheese, and it is bathed in white chocolate with a powdered sugar coating. The cheese is produced by the Bizkarra-legorra family, whose activity heading the Bizkarra Restaurant dates back to 1924, and whose artisanal cheese factory creates a unique and limited-edition cheese that is made exclusively with milk from its own milchschaf sheep herd, which is the base of these truffles.
This is a product made with the same ingredients as intxaursaltsa (walnut sauce), which is a typical Christmas dessert in the Basque Country, and a special, “secret” touch from an old family recipe. Its flavor comes from the walnuts, and they are the protagonists in the recipe, along with the milk and chocolate.
And we were shown how to enjoy them accompanied by five different wines
Five different pairing proposals were made to match our truffles with a selection of special wines from small vineyards to enhance the flavors. The oil and cheese truffles were each combined with two varieties of wine, one red and one white, while the nut sauce one was paired with a sparkling wine.
With the Artuke pairing, we again return to the origin of the flavors. The oil truffles are combined with a carbonic maceration red from this winery in the Baños de Ebro, in the Rioja Alavesa.
With the Luberri white wine. The oil truffles were combined with a white wine from the Lurberri winery in Elciego, which has a light, fruity taste that recalled white fruits. Its acidity is medium-low, which allowed us to enjoy the flavor of the truffle with a fresh and flavorful
The most complete flavor experience is the Kauten pairing. The cheese truffles were paired with this Navarrese wine from the Aseginolaza & Leunda wineries, which gave us a slightly spiced flavor mixed with dark fruits. After trying the truffle, both flavors evolve, combining and balancing, enveloping the palate with umami.The most refreshing result was the pairing with Do Ferreiro.
The cheese truffles were combined with a refreshing, floral albariño from the Gerardo Méndez wineries. The lingering flavor and more marked acidity of this wine from the Rias Baixas allowed us to lower the salinity of the truffle and lighten the ensemble, preparing the palate for the next bite.
In the pairing with the Mestres Coquet sparkling wine, the intxaursaltsa truffles are joined by a relaxed cava. Its flavors, slightly citric and with a fine, well-integrated bubble, cut off the predominant flavor of the truffle, and gives us a lightness to continue enjoying both flavors.
For us, this was an especially gratifying experience thanks to the unique, surprising, and authentic flavors. It’s an experience we can all enjoy at home, as well, thanks to the pairing packs that can be purchased on the Bizkarra website. We know we’ll be back!
Please note, this is not a paid article. We were not invited to this tasting, nor did we receive any compensation for publishing it. We share this experience because we thought it excellent, and because we believe that these products are interesting, and because they were created by traveling throughout our country, and because they support small producers who use sustainable production methods.