Rhine wine, which lends a subtle sweetness, is traditionally called for in the flavor base for this sauce. The term Rhine wine encompasses a variety of wines that include dry Alsatian-style Rieslings and Sylvaners as well as German Rheingau, Rheinhessen, or Rheinpfalz wines, which usually contain some residual sugar. Opt for the German wines, which contribute a light sweetness to the sauce. They also work well with the truffles, so if you want to be traditional, a German spätlese or auslese Riesling would work best. These wines also have an intense varietal character that is more likely to hold up after the addition of the other ingredients. Beware when buying German kabinett, spätlese, and auslese wines. Many of these wines are now vinified dry and will be labeled accordingly. Troken is dry and halbtrocken is off-dry. If you don’t see one of these terms, you can be reasonably sure the wine is made in the traditional style and will contain the residual sugar necessary for this sauce. Late-harvest California Riesling can also be used.
Traditional recipes stipulate straining out the chopped truffle peelings used to flavor the sauce. Truffles have become such a rarity, and most diners are so unaccustomed to seeing truffles on their plates, that the sauce will probably be more appreciated if they are retained. In fact, the sauce can be made more dramatic by adding thinly sliced black truffles to it at the end.
To impart a more intense truffle flavor, the sauce can be finished with Truffle Butter.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.