No, chocoholics, the wine doesn't contain that kind of truffle.
Truffles, some of the most expensive things you can dig out of the earth (besides precious gems), seem to be everywhere nowadays. First we heard about beer made with truffles, and now the in-vogue fungus/alcohol pairings have expanded further: introducing the world’s first white truffle dessert wine. Palmieri Dessert Wines created this unique dessert wine, which will add a little umami to your after-dinner course.
Although it’s not quite on the market yet, Palmieri has already far surpassed their fundraising goal on IndieGoGo. They will introduce the world to not only white truffle ($25 per bottle), but also vanilla ($20) and honey ($20) sweet wines.
“We use only the finest natural ingredients,” Palmieri says on their fundraising page. “Everything is assembled locally here in Ljubljana. We ensure that no artificial colors or additives are used in our wine. All of our ingredients are sourced locally, with the exception of the vanilla and white truffles, which come from select regions of Italy.”
Wines Listed from Dry to Sweet (Charts)
Any wine – be it Riesling or Cabernet – can be either dry or sweet. Let’s explore popular wines listed from dry to sweet.
The maker of a wine determines its sweetness. Popular varietal wines and styles tend to share the same sweetness level. Wine sweetness ranges from virtually nothing to upwards of 70% sweetness (like a rare bottle of Spanish PX!).
Since wine ranges in sweetness, you have to do some research to figure out the actual residual sugar in a specific bottle. You can use wine tech sheets to find the exact number. (So useful!)
When reading a tech sheet:
- Below 1% sweetness, wines are considered dry.
- Above 3% sweetness, wines taste “off-dry,” or semi-sweet.
- Wines above 5% sweetness are noticeably sweet!
- Dessert wines start at around 7–9% sweetness.
- By the way, 1% sweetness is equal to 10 g/L residual sugar (RS).
- 1% sweetness is a little less than 2 carbs per 5 oz serving (
By the way, the average wine drinker can’t detect sweetness levels below 1.5%. Shocking right? That said, trained tasters can guesstimate sweetness within about 0.2% – this is totally learnable!
The Best Wine Tools
From beginner to professional, the right wine tools make for the best drinking experience.
Where does the sweetness in wine come from?
Thousands of years ago, winemakers figured out how to stop fermentation (by various means), resulting in left-over grape sugars.
Wine geeks call these left-over sugars “residual sugar.” There are some poor quality wines made with added sugar (called chaptalization), but this is generally frowned upon.
In truth, we are not particularly adept at sensing sweetness. For example, bitterness, or tannins in wine, reduces the perception of sugar. So does acidity.
Unlike still wines, sparkling wines are allowed to add sweetness! Read more about Champagne sweetness levels (from Brut to Doux).
What English Trifle Means to Me
I have quite a few trifle recipes on this blog, but this English trifle recipe is one that my family has always loved. Recipes can vary from family to family, but the basic elements remain the same. A sponge cake soaked in spirits layered together with custard, whipped cream, and fruit. I believe one of my aunts used to add banana slices to hers as well!
I was actually born in England but came to the states when I was just 2 years old. So growing up I was surrounded by words like “blimey” and “rubbish” and other such British terms. This photo was taken shortly after we arrived in the states back in 1969. Two of the children in the photo above were our new friends, the girl in the pink coat and the boy with the red hat.
The one-pan dessert is ideal for all occasions including potlucks, holidays, barbecues and birthdays. Several of these desserts do not require baking making them perfect for summer. See ALL my cookbooks here !
20 delicious one-pan dessert recipes plus tips for dessert success! ONLY $9.97!!
I am in the white coat, my older brother is next to me in the brown coat, and my beautiful mom, God rest her soul, is holding my little brother Michael. I have a few other old family photos in this dedication post I wrote for my mom here: Classic Yellow Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother
Where can I Buy Real Truffles?
Here in the Pacific Northwest, fresh Oregon truffles are seasonal from December to February. In the past, we&rsquove been fortunate enough to attend the Oregon Truffle Festival to purchase truffles, but you can also find them in the produce section of high-end grocery stores (like Central Market, Town and Country, or Whole Foods).
Sometimes, the gourmet section of a grocery store might have preserved whole truffles packed in oil. And, if you shop TJ Maxx or Home Goods check out their section of food items as they often have tiny jars of preserved truffles for a reasonable price. There are also plenty of online gourmet food stores (like this one!) that sell them too.
Honestly, truffles are a pricey ingredient regardless of where you buy them. But a little bit goes a long way and we have several truffle recipes here on the blog to help you make the most of this wonderful ingredient!
Tips for success
- The fish filets we used were about 1-½ inch thick, so adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of your filets and cook until the internal temperature has reached 145°F. I actually cook the fish to a temperature between 135°F and 140°F for the best texture but food safety guidelines recommend a temperature of 145°F.
- When cooking the sauce, keep the heat on low and continuously remove the skillet from the heat every 10 seconds while whisking the butter. If the sauce gets too hot, then the butter will separate.
- The heavy cream is optional, but it helps keep the sauce from separating and makes this recipe so much easier.
- I have had great success with keeping just ¼ of the skillet over the heat while whisking the butter. This gives it just enough heat to melt the butter without allowing it to separate.
- If the sauce begins to separate, add a teaspoon of wine or another liquid while whisking vigorously. Once the sauce has come back together, continue adding the butter one cube at a time!
This special dinner of Chilean sea bass deserves a pairing with a good dry white wine. I would suggest a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay.
Enjoy this amazing dinner! &hearts️
Annual 'Black & White Affair' New Year's Eve Gala Dinner and Party Package
La Toque and The Westin Verasa Napa invite you to ring in the New Year in opulent style with our annual ‘Black & White Affair’ New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and Party.
The evening begins at 7:30pm with a Champagne and Caviar reception, followed by a sumptuous Six Course La Toque Dinner featuring Ossetra Caviar, both White and Black Truffles, and Kagoshima Wagyu Beef! Choose the Sommelier Selected Wine Pairing or make your wine selections from La Toque’s WS Grand Award-winning wine list. After dinner, retire to the La Toque Terrace for after-dinner beverages and mignardises or join the fun for DJ dancing and the New Year’s Countdown and Toast at BANK Café and Bar.
Dinner is $350 per person and includes Valet Parking, Champagne and Caviar Reception, decadent Six-Course Dinner, an after-dinner beverage of your choice, admission to the ‘Black & White Affair’ NYE Party in BANK Café and Bar, Champagne Toast at midnight, and all service charges and sales tax.
Optional Wine Pairing with dinner is $150 per person and includes all service charges and sales tax. Please add Wine Pairing at checkout when purchasing tickets.
Traditional New Year’s Eve Dinner seating in La Toque is “festival style” at larger tables with other guests. A very limited number of private tables for the dinner are available for an extra charge. After dinner, the ‘Black & White Affair’ Party in BANK Café and Bar offers open seating. See FAQs below for details.
Where will I be seated at dinner?
It is a tradition at La Toque on New Year’s Eve to seat our dinner guests randomly, at large tables with other couples, to promote a festive atmosphere. A limited number of private tables for the La Toque Dinner are available for an extra charge. Seating at the ‘Black & White Affair’ after dinner in BANK Café and Bar is ‘first come, first served’.
Will I be able to change my seating later?
Sorry, no. Because the La Toque New Year’s Eve Dinner party is a sell-out each year, we strive to make as many seats available to all guests who wish to attend. Occasionally we have last-minute cancellations and thus have a small amount of flexibility with our seating. Please carefully note your seating and table status, whether shared or private, when purchasing your tickets.
(Private tables are offered for an additional cost and are extremely limited.)
Seating Requests: Can I sit with whom, or where I want?
Even though we do “festival style” seating for the dinner, there is a firm seating plan on the evening of the event that means that changing seats/tables during the event is not a possibility. We do understand that you may have friends or family who are also attending, and you will want to sit together. We do our very best to accomplish that, but it does require your help please ensure that you state the full names of any guests that you would like to sit with during the ticket purchase process.
(Please note that seating requests cannot be guaranteed.)
Are there ID Requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
The La Toque New Year’s Eve Dinner and Party Package is for adults only, 21 years of age or older.
What are my parking options for the event?
Valet is complimentary for those purchasing the La Toque Dinner & Party Package.
(If you are only purchasing tickets for the BANK Café & Bar ‘Black & White Affair’ Party- The Westin Hotel Garage is for hotel guest parking only. Taking a cab or Uber is advisable as street parking will be limited.)
What is the dress code for this event?
Dress to impress in your best Black and White attire. Jacket required for gentlemen.
Do you accommodate allergies and/or vegetarians or vegans?
We will happily accommodate any valid, health-threatening dietary restrictions with sufficient advance notice. (Please note that on this evening vegetarian options can be made available, but vegan options cannot.)
Do I have to bring my ticket to the event?
Printed or mobile tickets are required for the La Toque ‘Black & White Affair’ Party Package.
Is my ticket transferrable?
Tickets for the La Toque Dinner Package are not transferable without prior approval from the event organizers.
What is the refund policy?
A full refund will be given for cancellations made before 5pm PST on Monday, December 23 rd , 2019. No refunds will be issued for the La Toque Dinner Package after Monday, December 23 rd , 2019, at 5pm PST.
Are there rooms at the Westin available for the night of the party?
Yes, there is a limited number of discount rooms available to our party goers. Once you have purchased your tickets, contact [email protected] for a link to book your room. ***Please note that you must book your room under the same name as your NYE Party tickets in order to be eligible for the discounted room rate.***
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Can I view the menu?
You may view a Sample Menu by clicking on ‘New Year’s Eve’ under the ‘Menus’ dropdown tab above.
HOW TO MAKE A TRIFLE
One of the best things about trifles is that putting them together really doesn’t require that much work. In fact, if you have kids around the house this is the perfect kind of recipe for them to help with! They can mix the pudding and help layer the berries, pudding, cake and whipped cream into your serving bowl.
Here’s how to make this trifle recipe:
Prepare your ingredients
- Make the pudding according to the package instructions
- Cut your angel food cake into cubes
- Gather your berries.
- Make your whipped cream if using homemade, or get your Cool Whip ready.
Assemble the trifle layers
- In a trifle dish or serving bowl, layer about half of the angel food cake pieces.
- Top the cake pieces with about half of the pudding
- Add a layer of berries, about 1/2 a cup of each kind of berry
- Top the berries with whipped cream or Cool Whip
- Repeat until all of your ingredients are used up, finishing with more berries on top.
- Refrigerate your trifle until you’re ready to serve. It should chill for at least one hour.
Strawberry Explosion Cheesecake Trifle Desserts
- 1 package white cake mix. already baked and cut into ¾" squares or angel food cake or cake of choice
- 1 package cream cheese 8 ounces, softened
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream whipped
- 4 cups fresh strawberries quartered
- Optional: Strawberry Chocolate or Caramel Sauce drizzle
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!
What Are Truffles and Why Are They So Expensive?
T ruffles, the darling of the food scene, are not the chocolate treats that bear the same name. Not dessert truffles, true truffles are a rare delight and not an opportunity to be missed. While they are typically considered expensive food, there are ways to get your truffle fix in the United States through avenues such as truffle oil.
There are white and black truffles, and they're as different as night and day. There are some similarities - they're both a subterranean fungus that grows in the shadow of oak trees. However, there are over seven different truffle species found all over the world, from the Pacific Northwest to China to North Africa and the Middle East.
Truffles can be found concentrated in certain areas around the world, with the Italian countryside and French countryside being rich places of growth. Black truffles grow with the oak and hazelnut trees in the Périgord region in France. Burgundy truffles can be found throughout Europe in general, like the black summer truffle.
White truffles are typically found in the Langhe and Montferrat areas of northern Italy around the Piedmont region. Additionally, the countrysides of Alba and Asti are popular truffle hunting areas. White truffles are also found in the hill regions of Tuscany in Italy near certain trees.
Not just localized to Europe, however, New Zealand Australia also see truffles growing. The first black truffle produced in the Southern Hemisphere was in New Zealand in 1993. In Australia, Tasmania was the origin of the first truffle harvests and the largest truffle from Australia, weighing in at 2 pounds, 6 ounces) was harvested by Michael and Gwynneth Williams.
In the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., four species of truffles are commercially harvested: the Oregon black truffle, the Oregon spring white, Oregon winter white truffle, and the Oregon brown truffle.
In the South, the pecan truffle is often found alongside fallen pecans among the tree roots. While farmers once discarded them, the gourmet food scene is slowly starting to incorporate them into seasonal dishes.
Depending on which country they hail from, they're sniffed out by specially trained dogs or pigs, then dug up by the "hunter". They're located through the natural aroma they release when they interact with certain plants, mammals, and insects. These interactions also encourage new colonies of the truffle fungus to appear through spore dispersal.
Both white and black truffles share the same appearance, that of a lumpy potato, but it's in taste and shelf-life they differ.
Each kind of truffle is firmly in the "umami" category of taste - very earthy and doesn't need a lot of salt to trip your tastebuds.
The black truffle is far more common, even in haute cuisine. Available for six to nine months a year, it has a stronger taste and pungent aroma that often needs acquiring. I've experienced a black truffle-and-olive tapenade, a perfect use for it, because it evokes a black olive-type taste. People in New York can experience this by stopping over at Eataly, where they sell truffles regularly.
Aperol Spritz with a twist
While Prosecco and soda water is the classic mix, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Aperol. We spoke to different mixologists to find their perfect alternative Aperol Spritz:
- Aperol, vodka and cider. "I love this combination," says Alessandro Mannello, mixologist for Le Bab. "I then add some agave syrup, lemon juice, three dashes of orange bitters then some orange peel."
- Sake and yuzu. "I call this a Japanese Spritz," says Michael Stringer, professional mixologist and Director of Black Leaf Events. "I mix 35ml of Aperol with 150ml of sparkling sake and 20ml of yuzu juice or fresh lemon juice."
- Sgroppino. "Think frosé but with Aperol. This classic Venetian cocktail is used both as an aperitif and digestif," says Josh Ramsay, General Manager of The Blackbird in Edinburgh. "Mix 50ml of Aperol with two scoops of fruit sorbet (lemon, orange or grapefruit) and 100ml of Prosecco."
- No Prosecco. "We like to use traditional white wine from Veneto with Aperol," says Tom Ross from Polpo. "Then top with soda water and garnish with an olive and slice of lemon. You can use Campari instead of Aperol if that's more to your taste."
- Aperol smash. "This is a refreshing alternative to the classic aperitivo," says Andrea Simbula, general manager of The Ten Bells in London. It's mixed with two parts Aperol, one part whisky and one part lemon juice, and Andrea promises that the "real citrus zing cuts through the strength of the alcohol for a really fragrant cocktail."
- Cloudy Prosecco. "We like to use Malibran, a traditional cloudy Prosecco which is completely unfiltered," says Matt Richardson, General Manager of BungaTINI bar and pizzeria. "Three parts Malibran, two parts Aperol and one part soda produces a crisp and refreshing spritz."