When you mention sweet wines, most people think of something to go along with desserts. However, if you prefer a full-bodied wine that is sweet, you should try a nice sauterne with your meal. Here is a bit of information about this white wine from the Sauternes area of the Bordeaux region of France.
Sauterne wine is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. What makes this wine so special is that the weather in the area causes them to begin to rot early in the season. This is known as Noble Rot. While you may think that using rotting grapes is unappealing, when picked at just the right time, it imparts a bit of a raisin flavor to the wine.
Although sauterne wines are a full-bodied sweet wine, it is balanced with a bit of acidity. In addition to the light flavor of raisins, the wine tantalizes your taste buds in layers. As the wine warms in the glass, you will notice a slight shift in the way it tastes. The overall flavor is peaches and apricots with a hint of honey. The liquid leaves a small nutty aftertaste. Even people who do not normally prefer sweet wines find themselves enjoying a good sauterne.
Due to its unique sweet/acid balance, sauterne wines go well with many savory dishes. You can serve it with creamy, salty, briny, acidic, and spicy foods. Try it with cheesy dishes or a cheese plate appetizer, a ham dinner, seafood, or Mexican meals.
Of course, as a sweet wine, sauternes make a good accompaniment for dessert. It goes wonderfully with fruity desserts. Serve it with a fresh fruit tart. A bowl of berries, or any of the cobblers.
How to Serve
Sauterne wines should be served chilled. Keep it in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes before serving. Use a dessert or sauterne glass that has a bulbous curve to accentuate the fruity flavors. While you may use a regular wine glass, or even drink it from a thick water glass you will not get the full experience of the different flavor layers.
Surprise your dinner guests with a bottle of a sauterne wine. You can try it with the appetizers, or go for it with the main meal. Even the friends that say they do not like a sweet wine will find themselves pleased with your choice.