Serve Sauterne wine for a sweet finish to a meal or a perfect pairing at a picnic. Use bulbous stemmed-glasses, which help to bring out the acidity of the wine, and serve two or three ounce pours, which are smaller than a standard five-ounce glass of wine. Your wine should be chilled and aerated, and older Sauternes should be aerated a little longer, resulting in a slightly warmer wine at peak serving temperature
Pair these seven sweet suggestions with your favorite Sauternes:
- Toasted, spiced-nuts. The sweet taste of a cold glass of Sauterne is perfect with roasted nuts, like almonds, peanuts, and macadamias. Consider toasting and sweetening the nuts with a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar before serving. This is a great pairing for a cocktail party.
- Pate accompaniment. Another successful pairing with Sauterne is foie gras, or a rich pate. The acidity in the wine cuts through the richness, complementing both the pate and the wine.
- With salted caramel. There is something about sweet Sauterne that goes great with salty snacks, and if you pair it with salted caramel, that's even better! Consider simple scoops of vanilla-bean ice cream topped with a salted caramel and a chilled glass of Sauterne for dessert.
- Cheese plates. Sauterne goes famously with a cheese plate and some crispy, salty crackers. Add a few fresh grapes or dried figs to complete the course.
- Aside ambrosia. Remember that delicious fruit-and-cream salad called "ambrosia"? This is another dish that pairs perfectly with your favorite Sauterne wine. This wine goes well with other dessert-style salads and the acidity helps to cut the fat of the cream in the ambrosia.
- With rich custards. Serve Sauterne with rich custards, puddings, and even crème brulee! It seems to cleanse the palate and enhances the dessert. Custard pies are another option, but stay away from excessively sweet fruit tarts or pies, as the Sauterne can be overwhelmed by the flavor.
- Alongside fondue. Cut thin slices of apple or pear to serve with a mild gouda-cheese fondue. Cheese for dessert is nothing new, and Sauterne is ideal for bridging the sweetness of the fruit and the savory flavor of your fondue. This is an excellent course for a small dinner party or gathering.
Serve Sauternes for something a little bit sweeter than your usual favorite varietal. Enjoy these pairings to bring out the flavors of both the wine and the fare, and talk to your wine sommelier about other serving suggestions.