Sauternes is a wine type that is not very familiar to those who are not seriously into wines. Itâ€™s a shame though because Sauternes is one of the most enjoyable wines to indulge in. Itâ€™s a white wine that has a fruity bouquet and a strong natural sweetness. The sweetness it gets from the way the grapes â€“ usually Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon varieties â€“ are handled. The grapes develop noble rot, which results in them shriveling somewhat, something that is akin to a grape turning into a raisin. These partially raisined grapes are what is used in making Sauternes. These grapes have a higher than usual sugar content, which results in the wine acquiring that distinctively sweet taste.
With a sweet wine like Sauternes, the natural tendency is to treat it as a dessert wine. While Sauternes does perform well as the sweet end to a beautiful meal, it is also a very limiting view of such a truly delicious wine. Wine connoisseurs and sommeliers are now trying to present Sauternes in a different light â€“ one that makes it take center stage in a meal. And the best way to do that is to present Sauternes as a great pairing for savory food.
Sauternes and savory dishes is actually a wonderful pairing because the sweetness of the wine makes it a great contrasting note to savory food. Many connoisseurs declare that Sauternes and foie gras is one of the worldâ€™s greatest food and wine pairings. The sweetness of the wine cuts through the richness of the foie gras, playing off their textures and tastes. But this is admittedly a very expensive pairing. There are other less expensive but equally great pairings. For example, Roquefort and Sauternes go well together. An interesting combination is Sauternes and curry. The sweetness of the Sauternes presents a great counterpoint to the spiciness and strong taste of curry. A totally left field pairing is Sauternes and fried chicken. Another dish that makes a good pairing are Swedish Meatballs.
These combinations are a wonderful thing to experience especially if you take these culinary pairings seriously.