Sauternes is a wine that hails from the Bordeaux region of France and is known more than anything else as a sweet wine. Yet a Sauternes is far from one-dimensional; it can be enjoyed in a variety of settings and paired with a number of different foods. If you are curious about how to best enjoy this unique wine, take a look below at just a few simple tips that sommeliers have for getting the most out of your bottle.
Pair With Desserts
Sauternes is sometimes called a dessert wine, and for good reason. It is perhaps most often paired with fruity desserts, as it compliments the strong flavors nicely. Many people immediately notice the apricot, butterscotch, or citrus notes in Sauternes, which add an extra element to dessert that is easily appreciated. You can serve Sauternes in a white wine glass, or in any glass made specifically for dessert wine.
Another one of the most important tips to remember when enjoying a Sauternes wine is to serve it chilled. Anything between 42–50 degrees Fahrenheit will do. Of course, you will want to let the wine breathe for bit — especially if it is a younger bottle — but make sure that you serve it before it becomes too warm. Sauternes wine that is not served chilled will lose many of its more subtle, fruity notes as a result.
Creative Pairings Work, Too!
Though Sauternes goes great with dessert, there are so many more pairing options available that many people — even wine lovers — don't take advantage of as much as they should. These less common pairings included cheeses (especially blue cheese), oysters, walnuts, cured ham, and foie gras. But of the recommended non-dessert pairings available to you, perhaps none is more popular than foie gras. Enjoying Sauternes as an apertif can stimulate the appetite while providing full-bodied flavors of its own.
Champagne is the go-to drink for toasts and celebratory occasions, and there is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of champagne during such an event. That said, it can become a bit predictable to bring out a bottle of champagne time and again. If you opt instead to serve glasses of Sauternes, your guests will be pleasantly surprised. For those who have never heard of Sauternes wine, it can be a conversation starter that can lead to the discovery of similarly sweet wines to enjoy as well.