Sauternes has long been regarded as one of the greatest and most delicate sweet wines.
The Premier Cru Supérieur Chateau d’Yquem (the only white wine with that designation) helped make Sauternes the king of dessert wines.
Before we discuss perfect food pairings for Sauternes, let’s understand where it came from and what makes it so fabulously delicious.
Origins of Sauternes
Although sweet wine has been made in France since the Roman era, it was not recorded until the 17th century.
During this time period, Dutch traders introduced German winemaking techniques to Bordeaux.
A 1666 document indicates that grapes from the Sauternais district of Graves, Bordeaux, made an exceptionally sweet white wine.
It’s unknown if the Dutch used noble rot, Botrytis cinerea, but it’s possible it was accidentally transmitted to Sauternes.
Regardless, noble rot became the principal “component” required to make Sauternes wine.
Noble rot helps grapes partially raisin, resulting in a wine with more concentrated flavors and residual sugar.
Until the mid-18th century, noble rot was a secret.
Due to the wine’s undeniable excellence, the use of noble rot as an “ingredient” became quickly accepted as the method for making this delectable wine.
The Noble Rot
Sauternes is a dessert wine produced from grapes that have been infected by Botrytis cinerea, commonly known as noble rot.
Over time, the use of noble rot became widely accepted among winemakers in the Bordeaux region as the best method for making high-quality Sauternes wines.
Noble rot is a fungus that dries out the grapes and concentrates the sugars, creating a sweet, intense flavor. Sauternes wines are usually golden in color and go well with rich, fatty dishes.
Today, Sauternes is one of the most prestigious dessert wines in the world, renowned for its rich flavor and delicate elegance.
The Basics of Sauternes Food Pairing
It can also be enjoyed on its own after a meal to unwind and savor the smooth sweetness of the wine.
Because Sauternes is so complex in flavor, it’s important to serve it at room temperature rather than chilled.
For best results, allow your Sauternes to sit out for about 30 minutes before popping the cork to serve.
Perfect Sauternes Food Pairing Ideas
Once you try Sauternes with a few different dishes you’ll have your own ideas for foods that would pair well with this sweet, decadent wine.
Here are a few of our favorite pairings for Sauternes.
Foie Gras and Sauternes – Luxurious Pairing
Foie gras is a delicacy made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been fattened through a process known as gavage.
This French specialty is rich, indulgent, and pairs perfectly with sweet wines like sauternes.
The fatty texture of foie gras melts in your mouth, while the sweetness of the Sauternes wine cuts through and refreshes the palate.
For an unbeatable foie gras and sauternes pairing, try serving seared foie gras with a Sauternes jelly or glaze.
The contrast of textures and flavors will elevate your dish to new heights, impressing your guests with a truly decadent experience.
For the ultimate sauternes food pairing, you can’t go wrong with foie gras and a sparkling crystal glass of Sauternes!
Five-Spice Duck and Sauternes – Unconventional Pairing
Sauternes is a French dessert wine that pairs well with rich, fatty foods. But what if you’re looking for something a little different?
If you’re in the mood for an unconventional sauternes food pairing, try pairing it with Chinese Five-Spice Duck.
This dish combines the sweetness of Sauternes with the savory flavors of Chinese five-spice powder and soy sauce.
The result is a delicious, balance of sweet and savory flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.
If you’re looking for an outside-the-box Sauternes pairing, give Chinese Five-Spice Duck a try!
Cheese and Sauternes – Comfortable Pairing
Sauternes is a classic, decadent dessert wine that pairs perfectly with rich, creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert.
The powerful sweetness of Sauternes is balanced out by the rich cheese, resulting in a unique, complex flavor profile that will impress your guests and leave them craving more.
Looking for a Sauternes cheese pairing to elevate your next get-together? Pair Sauternes with your favorite cheese plate for an indulgent treat you’ll never forget.
Whether you’re serving up gooey brie or tangy blue cheese, sauternes is the perfect way to round out any cheese platter.
Add thin-sliced meats, olives, and fresh fruit for an unforgettable charcuterie pairing.
Creme Brulee and Sauternes – The Perfect Dessert
If you want to take your sauternes pairing to the next level, try serving it with a crème brûlée.
This classic French dessert is made with a creamy custard base and topped with a layer of hard sugar.
The combination of sweet, rich flavors pairs perfectly with Sauternes, resulting in a truly indulgent experience.
If you’re looking for an impressive sauternes dessert pairing, you can’t go wrong with crème brûlée!
Meat and Sauternes – Main Course Indulgence
While Sauternes is typically served as a dessert wine, it can also be enjoyed with a meal.
The sweetness of Sauternes is a perfect complement to the savory flavors of roasted meats or grilled vegetables.
If you’re looking for an unconventional Sauternes pairing, try serving it with your favorite main course. You might be surprised at how well Sauternes pairs with savory dishes!
Sauternes For Its Own Sake
Sauternes can be enjoyed on its own after a meal to unwind and savor the smooth sweetness of the wine.
Because Sauternes are so sweet and complex in flavor, it’s the perfect way to round out any meal.
So if you’re looking for a sophisticated Sauternes pairing, try enjoying Sauternes, slowly, on its own after your next dinner party. You won’t regret it!
Sauternes is an indulgent, sweet wine that pairs perfectly with rich, fatty foods like foie gras and Brie cheese.
Whether you’re serving sauternes with dinner or as a decadent dessert, it’s sure to impress your guests and leave them craving more. Cheers!