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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!)
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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)...

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.

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...

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.


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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