Sauternes is a sweet white wine from Bordeaux and is made from carefully selected grapes which have been infected by a mould called Botrytis Cinerea. This mould (nicknamed noble rot) brings out layers of complexity to this delicious wine, such as intense notes of honeycomb, apricot, butterscotch, caramel, coconut, marmalade and tropical fruit. The Botrytis itself adds the honey, cinnamon and similar spice notes.
Sauternes is a legendary wine. Rich and decadent, with a touch of honey sweetness, Sauternes is a wine where you’ll always remember your first taste.
While Sauternes can be sipped on its own as a dessert wine, there is an incredible number of tasty pairings that will all be enhanced by the depth of this wine. Blue Cheese, Foie Gras, Fruit-based desserts, and cheesecakes with fruit toppings of all types are our top picks for pairings. However, it should be noted, that Sauternes is incredible with spicy dishes, where the sweetness of this wine tames the heat of the spice.
Sauternes can also be aged for several decades. As this wine ages, the more notes of butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, coconut, and toffee you’ll taste.
Roquefort Cheese is the most famous French blue cheese made from ewe’s milk, along with a unique strain of fungi found in caves. Sauternes pairs so well with Roquefort Cheese as the botrytis notes of the wine complement the flowery mould notes of the blue cheese. Meanwhile the sweetness of Sauternes contrasts the pungent and salty tang of Roquefort Cheese at the perfect level, so on the finish you taste both the cheese and the wine (as the sweetness of the wine, and salty pungency of the cheese are equally reduced by their counterparts).
While my description is brief and to the point, there is no amount of words to fully express why this is a five star and holy grail of pairings. It’s just something you need to try!
Foie Gras and Sauternes is another classic holy grail pairing. With Foie Gras we have a savoury and cloying flavour of the duck liver contrasted by the sweet citrus and honey flavours of Sauternes. This is again another pairing you have to taste to truly believe how amazing it is.
Sauternes’ lush honey like flavours carry a tangy spicy note that imparts a cinnamon like dusting flavour for each and every bite when paired with apple pie. On top of that, you have the decedent sweetness of this lush dessert wine that never overpowers the sweetness of the pie. Sauternes acidity ensures that it never fails to cut through any rich cheese you might top your apple pie with either.
The acidic sweetness of Sauternes is a fantastic counterpart to the rich cheesecake texture of any type of cheesecake. The citrus and honey notes of Sauternes ensure a frisky match to any fruit topping you may have such as blueberry, strawberry or peaches.
The big rule of thumb when pairing Sauternes with Cheesecake, or any dessert for that matter, is that the wine must be sweeter than the dessert. Should the dessert be a sugar-bomb, it will make Sauternes taste sour. This is why Cheesecake and apple pie (mentioned above) work great, as they are not overly sweet.
Spicy Asian Dishes
Sauternes just isn’t for sweeter foods as it’s also wonderful with spicy dishes as well such as spicy noodles with Chicken, or spicy Pad Thai. Why this pairing works is that the sweetness of the Sauternes tames the heat in the spice. When this occurs, it allows you to appreciate all the subtle flavours in the peppers you may have never noticed before. The heat also cancels out some of the sweetness in Sauternes and this brings out a lot of the coconut, honey and citrus notes which were previously veiled by the heat.
(out of 5)
|Sauternes||Crème Brûlée or Crème Caramel||4.5|
|Sauternes||Foie Gras Terrine Torchon Pâté||4.5|
|Sauternes||Cream Desserts like Custard or Pudding||4|
|Sauternes||Danish Blue Cheese||4|
|Sauternes||Deep Fried Butter||4|
|Sauternes||Bleu D'Auvergne Cheese||3.5|
|Sauternes||Duck with Fruit Sauce||3.5|
|Sauternes||Ginger Desserts (Gingerbread)||3.5|
|Sauternes||Hazelnut Banana French Toast||3.5|