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What Dessert with Sauternes?

I have a lovely bottle of sauterne that I'd like to serve with my dessert. The dilemma that I have is what desserts would pair well with the sauterne?

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  1. Something fairly neutral and not terribly sweet. Vanilla crème brûlée. Tarte Tatin. Crisp cookies (e.g. langue de chat). Roquefort.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      If you can mix some fruit into the creme brulee that will heighten the great connection with Sauternes.

      1. re: Chicago Mike

        Hmm. Call me a traditionalist but I hew to the line of thought that fruit has no place in crème brûlée. Artisanal cream, top-quality eggs, a fine vanilla bean and turbinado sugar need no adulteration (though I have been known to replace the vanilla with lemon verbena).

        FWIW, your comment twigged a memory of a recco from Hugh Johnson (the 1997 Pocket Encyclopedia):
        "Crème brûlée
        "2 to 3-star Sauternes or Rhine Beerenauslese, best Madeira or Tokay. (With concealed fruit, a more modest sweet wine.)"

    2. Sauternes is a particularly great match for fruit-based desserts, fruit tarts, etc..

      One of the worlds' great wine & cheese matches is Sauternes and Roquefort... If you want your taste buds to explode, serve Sauternes with a terrine of mixed fruit, berries, and roquefort cheese.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chicago Mike

        This will teach me to check CH during the work day. You stole my thunder. For the second time in a few minutes, I have to agree 100%.


        1. re: Chicago Mike

          Particularly w/ honeyed stone-fruit tarts. A rich nectarine variety on a vanilla crème patissière would be delicious.

        2. What kind of characteristics can I expect from my 1990 sauternes?

          7 Replies
            1. re: carswell

              yeah which producer? if its 1990 d'yquem...i would just have that for dessert

              1. re: carswell

                The producer is Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste

                1. re: peachblossom

                  as chicago mike said...90' was a great year for sauternes. i love foie and sticky but its great by itself after dinner as well. enjoy!

                  1. re: peachblossom

                    I've not tasted the 1990 but it should be drinking beautifully, the texture rich and honeyed, the flavours tending to apricot, tropical fruit and butterscotch perhaps with a hint of vanilla and spice. Given the vintage and the house style, it probably won't be acid-bright.

                2. re: peachblossom

                  1990 was an excellent year. If it's a well-kept bottle it will be an extremely delicious treat. FWIW, if you like foie gras at all, you might also like to do a Foie Gras app with your dinner, serve a small shot of Sauternes with it....

                  Then save the rest of the Sauternes for your cheese course and dessert. This way you will maximize the experience.

                  1. re: peachblossom

                    I've had and have the '90 Ch. d'Yquem, and it has been wonderful, even in it infancy. A fantastic year for Sauternes.


                  2. Blue cheeses go wonderfully with sweet wines, including Sauternes, Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton would all be perfect. Adding Mascarpone to the mix would make it even better.

                    Sauternes, Gorgonzola, Mascarpone and sliced apple or pear would be amazing.

                    1. I love an italian olive oil orange cake with sauternes. I add a little to the cake batter with the oj.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: serveitforth

                        Sounds very interesting. Orange is often a tad difficult to pair with.

                        1. re: serveitforth

                          That is a very interesting way to serve it and one to try in the future

                        2. Normally I go with blue cheese...sublime with Sauternes.

                          However, with the absolute given that the dessert must be less sweet than the wine,
                          here are my favorites:

                          Fresh, perfectly ripe pineapple chunks with caramelized sugar on top (done with a torch) with tiny balls of Dulce de leche ice cream, served in a "banana split" dish

                          Fresh fig and goat cheese "strudel" (using frozen puff pastry)

                          Halved Rainer cherries with creme fraiche and drizzle of balsamico traditionale (served in a martini glass)

                          Dried fruit bread pudding with creme anglaise or saboyon (I always use vanilla sugar)

                          1. Cheese... please. Bucheron and Sauternes is hands-down my favorite dessert of all times. A nice selection which includes a blue cheese at least but don't discount a some like Bucheron or Humboldt Fog.

                            1. interestingly...I have a vietnamese friend who recommends Sauternes with pate fois gras.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: fooddiva

                                It's wonderful...I've had it many times.
                                IMHO, the ne plus ultra of wine pairings is seared foie gras (not pate) and Sauternes...

                                Whatever you enjoy (maybe two things: a cheese and a dessert!), let us know...

                                1. re: fooddiva

                                  Foie Gras and Sauternes is a classic combination - but rarely is considered dessert food.

                                2. Thank you everyone for your replies and suggestions. I have decided to make an apple tart. I'd love to try the cheese pairings but the audience will be filled with many who do not care for cheese. I'll let you know how it turns out

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: peachblossom

                                    I know that you've already decided, but I have to throw in one thing.

                                    Best pairing EVER- Sauternes and 5 year old Gouda. Sounds pedestrian, but the 5 year is harder to find than you think, and with a sweet wine is an out-of-body experience. I love it, and used it for many classes, and people always swooned. Yes, blue if fabulous, but if you can get the 5 year, or some "Roomano" (not technically a gouda, but very close) your friends will go nuts.

                                    1. re: peachblossom

                                      I'll throw in (even though you have already decided) that several years ago, I wrote an article about how well Sauternes pairs well with dark, musky flavors like pumpkin and ginger. The crux of the article was that for the holidays, finishing off a grand meal with a less-than-sweet pumpkin flan (heavily spiced with ginger, nutmeg, and clove) and topped with seasonal fruit (in this case, pairs) pairs exceptionally well with Sauternes.

                                      I know, not really the right season for those type of spices, but an amazing combination!

                                    2. Everything pairs amazing with Chocolate!

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                          For chocolate, I would reach for a Banyuls. Now, more wines will work, but Banyuls is my "go-to."


                                      1. I had a dessert in Taos of baked figs with Questa honey and Maytag blue, paired with a sauterne, that bowled me over.

                                        1. As everyone predicted, the 1990 sauternes was excellent. As I was eating my apple tart I couldn't help but wish I had some foie gras or some bleu cheese (as was recommended by people here) to pair with it. The apple tart went really well with the already excellent sauternes and was a perfect match. We had about 15 people at dinner and had wine with the dinner so I was surprised to see that we completely finished the sauternes with dessert.

                                          Thanks again everyone for the recommendations and the next time I find myself with a sauternes (and without the picky dinner companions) I'll try some of the other suggestions

                                          My full review is here on my blog: http://strawberriesandblueberries.blo...

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: peachblossom

                                            Thanks for writing back and letting us know. Now that you know the sweet and savory
                                            pairings for Sauternes and other late-harvest wines, you're going to have to do
                                            a mighty amount of experimenting. IMHO, there may nothing better in food than a
                                            spectacular food and Sauternes pairing -- and there are many many ways to go!

                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              Cannoli's and a nice mascarpone cream tart with roasted figs also pair very well with Sauternes and late harvest wines.

                                          2. I prefer to start with foie gras and a Sauternes. ML's suggestion of fig and goat cheese sounds rather nice for a dessert.