Ok, in my quest to learn all there is to know about French wines, it was recommended by members of this forum that I buy the 2001 doisy-vedrines sauternes. Now, first question, when should I drink this (I got 2 b/c there is no way I can wait) and #2, I have never had a sauternes. I know it's s dessert type wine, but what do you all recommend that I drink it with and is it a true dessert wine, as in wait a few hours after dinner, or is it a "dinner is done, let's have a glass before we do the dishes?" i know this sounds crazy, but I know nothing about it. (brandi if you're reading this...see, you're not the only "young one" who doesn't know much about this stuff!)
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by TomNYC:
Or cheeses....


Don't waste good Sauternes on cheese. There are far too many better alternatives.
Zblang, I suggest you buy an assortment of fine artisanal Bleu cheeses from a trusted cheese shop, pair it with a fine Sauternes and judge for yourself. It's a match made in heaven for many people around the globe.
I'm not saying it's a bad combination. My ideal pairing for Sauternes is a creamy dessert like creme brulee or cheesecake, or sauteed foie gras.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I'm not saying it's a bad combination.


My mistake. I thought referring to a cheese pairing as a "waste" of good Sauternes implied it wasn't a good combo. Silly me.
Sauternes is not, for my palate, a good pairing with cheese.

I prefer it with pate, seared foie gras, custards or fruit based desert.

I don't pair most wine with cheese as cheese coats the palate too much and in my opinion has too much effect of muting the wine's flavor and lessens my wine experience.
I also prefer it with Pate or Foie Gras. But love it with certain cheeses also. I don't like it with Creme Brulee or custards (most sweeter desserts, actually) because it becomes too cloying to my palate. I prefer the contrast.
quote:
Originally posted by TomNYC:
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I'm not saying it's a bad combination.


My mistake. I thought referring to a cheese pairing as a "waste" of good Sauternes implied it wasn't a good combo. Silly me.


Less than a great pairing is a waste of great wine.
Am I correct that this is pronounced "saw-turn"? I was in a store the other day and the staff kept saying "saw-ti-nays". Which is is?
And (if there's no foie gras available) my preference is for Sauternes on it's own for dessert, which is what we did last week in Bordeaux with James Suckling.

We'll post the video of James' en primeur tasting of Sauternes this coming week at http://www.winespectator.com/bordeaux2005

Your too-long absent schoolmarm (who's been thinking about y'all),
Gloria
A good dessert wine is also a wine dessert, so there's no need for a combination. Specially when is wine is well aged, it is such a beautiful taste, so don't disturb it...

Young Sauternes can be a nice combinations with Creme Brulée, but the sweetness of the Creme Brulée can take away a part of the delicate taste. If you like to combine it with a sweet dessert, take a fruit dessert with for example apples, peaches, nectarines or strawberries (without whipped cream)...

Young or medium aged Sauternes is also nice with contrasting tastes of, as mentioned, blue cheese, specially Roquefort. A very traditional combination of medium aged Sauternes (specially Yquem) is with Bisque d'Hommard (lobster soup)...

Santé,
Joe
I disagree completely with Joe. My favorite pairing for Sauternes for dessert is a creamy dessert like cheesecake or creme brulee. If I am having a fruit dessert, I will pair it with a Riesling or other higher acidity dessert wine.
I liked bot Joe Cave and Board-O's comments. They illustrate the importance of personal preference when it comes to wine and food pairing. (I like ketchup and lettuce on my burger; my husband goes for grainy mustard and onions. Neither of us is right or wrong; we simply have different preferences when it comes to burger toppings.)

My own all-time favorite pairing with Sauternes was made by Wolfgang Puck: a savory wild boar and apricot tart. Completely rocked. The wine was a mature, mellow, not over the top sweet Yquem with spice and apricot flavors.

Most recent Sauternes pairing wasn't a pairing at all. The 2001 Rieussec was dessert all by itself.

Yum!
Gloria
Board-O, you don't completly disagree. I like creme brulee in combination with Sauternes as well. I don't know about the cheesecake... But for me the combination must be with a young Sauternes wine (at most 10 years old or Yquem 15 years, depending on the year).

When Sauternes gets older it looses its fat (overwhelming) sweet character. The fat sweetness turns into a complex subtile wine, which seems to be less sweet. Combinations with very sweet desserts (like Creme Brulee) will kill this complex subtile wine. So combine these older Sauternes with lesser sweet desserts or contrasting food, like roquefort or foie gras. Or drink it at its own...

A few weeks ago I combined a 1998 Guiraud with a Creme Brulee, which made a brilliant combination. But a few years ago I combined it with a Filhot 1982, ok this is a much lighter style sauternes, and it didn't fit at all...

Of course taste is very personal, so drink and eat what you like and make combination the way you like it. But in a perfect match, the wine as well as the food, should taste better than without each other...

Santé,
Joe
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Cave:
Combinations with very sweet desserts (like Creme Brulee) will kill this complex subtile wine.


Not for me. We had the 1967 d'Yquem with creme brulee at an offline 2 1/2 years ago and I thought the combination was perfect. My favorite dessert with Sauternes is cheesecake.
quote:
Originally posted by zblang:
Am I correct that this is pronounced "saw-turn"? I was in a store the other day and the staff kept saying "saw-ti-nays". Which is is?


Shoot them, shoot them now! You'd get away with it in a French court.

So Turn
I'm about to commit heresy. They are wonderful with really hot asian foods. Especially, sweat off the brow Thai food. Except those little green chili. They kill everything.

The heat changes the mix.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I disagree completely with Joe. My favorite pairing for Sauternes for dessert is a creamy dessert like cheesecake or creme brulee. If I am having a fruit dessert, I will pair it with a Riesling or other higher acidity dessert wine.


Absolutely!

Sauternes goes well with creamy, nutty, vanilla flavoured desserts. It also goes well on its own, but fruit dishes need something with less botrytis and more zing, like a riesling or muscat or eiswein.

I'll drink Sauternes with cheese if there's already one open, but if not my first pick would be a port or late harvest red.

More often than not I'll pick my dessert to match the wine.

Oh, and be careful about calling Sauternes a "dessert" wine. I know a couple of people who take issue with that. It's a "sweet" wine, though personally I prefer the Australian term, a Sticky.

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