Riesling Wine and Truffle Mac & Cheese

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

A lightly sweet bottle of Riesling wine with some homemade truffle mac & cheese…mm mm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The salty cheese balances the sweeter wine, plus Riesling’s acidity refreshes your palate…making it so you can eat more mac and cheese. Heart of the Desert’s slightly sweet Riesling is a perfect option.

What is Riesling?

Riesling is a wine grape with German origins that can be used to make white wine in a range of styles. From dry to sweet and light to medium-bodied, Riesling often exhibits flavors of juicy citrus, fresh pineapple, and stone fruit like apricot. The easy-to-love white wine pairs well with a range of foods, offering a nice counterpoint to spicy food. Riesling has a low to average amount of alcohol, depending on the style.

Where do Riesling grapes grow?

Riesling got it’s start around the Rhine River in Germany. Today, it can also be found growing in France, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest of the United States, around the Finger Lakes in New York, and New Mexico.

History of Riesling:

Riesling’s history traces back to the Rhine wine region of Germany, where the first reference to the wine was recorded in 1435 in the storage inventory of the high noble court of Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen. From its beginnings, it seems the wine was the preferred elixir of German nobility, who transported bottles with them throughout their conquests and business dealings across Europe.

Due to its popularity with nobility, Riesling was stockpiled by the case in cellars throughout the country; collectors realized very early on that Riesling was one of the rare white wines, like Chardonnay, that was incredibly age worthy. While most white wine is meant to be drunk very soon after bottling, high-quality Riesling can last and improve in the bottle for more than 100 years.

Riesling’s ability to age comes in part from its high levels of acidity. Wines made in a sweeter style show even more potential for enduring decades in the cellar. Over the course of aging, Riesling often develops a chemical compound known as TDN. High concentrations of this compound impart an almost petrol-like aroma in the wine. While it might sound off-putting, wine enthusiasts view the petrol aroma as a hallmark of high-quality aged Riesling.

What does Riesling Taste Like?

In its younger form, Riesling is known for expressive fruity, floral notes. Depending on where the grapes are grown, the fruit character can range from bright citrus to luscious stone fruits and pineapple. Jasmine and citrus blossom are common floral descriptors, while it’s not uncommon to also pick-up honey, beeswax, ginger, and in the case of aged wines that signature petrol note.

Is all Riesling Sweet?

The assumption that all Rieslings are sweet comes from the various styles produced in Germany, where the grape was made famous. In actuality, most Rieslings produced around the world are dry or semi-sweet. Even in Germany, many producers now focus on making dryer-style Riesling wines.

How to pair Riesling with food:

Riesling pairs well with all food types, but it really excels when sipped alongside spicy food.  Whether it’s the herbs of a fragrant Thai salad or the rich spices of Indian cuisine, Riesling provides the perfect partner. The wine’s natural high acidity keeps the palate fresh, while bottles with residual sugar help tame particularly potent spice.

Olivelle Truffled Mac & Cheese Recipe

Serves 4-6


1 Olivelle Pasta Rock
1 lb. Macaroni
4 tbsp Olivelle EVOO
½ lb. Sliced Mushrooms
2 tbsp All-purpose Flour
4 cups Whole Milk, warmed
2 tbsp Olivelle Black Truffle Olive Oil
4 cups Gruyere Cheese, Grated
2 cups White Cheddar Cheese, Grated
2 tsp Olivelle Black Truffle Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Fresh Black Pepper
½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
3 tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add pasta rock for 2 minutes to salt your water, then remove. Add pasta and cook 3 minutes short of package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan, add mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until they are tender.
  4. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan with flour. Cook for 2 minutes over low heat to make a paste with the flour.
  5. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mushroom sauce is thickened and creamy.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the Black Truffle EVOO, Gruyere, Cheddar, Sea Salt, and Pepper. Add the pasta, stir to coat. Transfer to a baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the Panko and Parsley to the top, then bake for 35-45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, and the crumbs are toasted golden brown. Serve hot.

Pair this dish with Heart of the Desert Riesling and enjoy an amazingly comforting meal! You’ll feel satiated and warm and cozy. Olivelle products are available at Heart of the Desert. You can pick them up instore or by calling for shipment, 575.434.0035.

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.