Truffles and wine are sublime. They are like putting gold and silver into a chalice and guzzling it. Once, at the Oregon Truffle Festival's grand dinner, I savored creme-fraiche tarts sprinkled with shaved white truffles and paired with riesling; Pacific lingcod, foie gras and black truffle with chardonnay; Oregon rabbit and white truffles with roussanne; and a duck-leg confit and black-truffle pommes sarladaises with pinot noir.
No wonder my head was spinning and I nodded in agreement as truffle addicts whispered about finding their treasures underneath fairy rings circling Christmas trees.
To shake the webs of mycelium out of my head, I drove to The Jacksonville Inn to talk with chefs Dana Keller and Platon Mantheakis, two respected fans of fungi. I asked them to speak slowly and clearly.
Dana likes to serve Oregon black-truffle flan as an appetizer (sometimes she adds lobster or crab) with a dry riesling or albarino.
Platon likes lemon-and-truffle-oil risotto with a sparkling wine. If he adds salmon, he pairs it with pinot noir. Normally, salmon with pinot noir would shock me, but not in my betruffled state.
The fungi fest is put on by Leslie Scott and Charles LeFevre, a mycologist and researcher who owns New World Truffieres, which sells oak and hazelnut seedlings inoculated with black- and white-truffle spores to farmers, winery owners and would-be truffieres. "Truffles are emblems of good food and wine in Oregon," says LeFevre, talking about what has become his life's work. "When ripe, they can change your life."
Seminars and dinners are fabulous and pricey (www.oregontrufflefestival.com). But for $15 on Sunday, Jan. 27, you can enter the doors of the Hilton Eugene to see cooking and truffle-dog training demonstrations and buy truffle-related goods. For $5 more, you can taste wine from eight Oregon wineries.
Read more about truffles in the Medford Mail Tribune's Eno Outings wine column: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130102/LIFE/301020302/-1/LIFE0702