If you're looking for a way to explore the wonderful world of dessert wines but find the dazzling array of available options confusing and perhaps a bit overwhelming, you should simply start with a few good Sauternes. Sauterne wine is made from grapes grown in the renowned Bordeaux region in France. It's a sweet white wine with a full body that's perfect for pairing with a variety of after dinner treats. Following are five desserts that bring out the best in a chilled glass of sauterne wine:
Spiced poached pears have the same degree of fruity softness found in a good Sauterne. When they're served warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream, combining them with a cold glass of wine provides a delicious contrast. To really pull the flavor profile together, buy an extra bottle of Sauterne and use it to gently poach the pears after you lightly spice them with cinnamon and cloves.
Forest Berry Pies
Few desserts are more down-to-earth than a freshly baked slice of blackberry or blueberry pie. Often referred to as forest berries because they grow wild in forest glades, these berries have a soft, dusky flavor that pairs well with Sauterne's fruity vibrancy. This is another dessert option that pairs well with ice cold Sauterne when served warm with a bit of ice cream or sorbet.
A Bowl of Cherries
If you don't like to fuss with desserts but still want to end your evening meal with something fabulous, you can't go wrong with a simple bowl of cherries with a glass of good Sauterne. The full-bodied bouquet of Sauterne complements the bright taste of ripe cherries perfectly. Few things are simpler and faster than tossing a few handfuls of cherries into a bowl and pouring some cold wine into a glass.
Sauterne also pairs well with most types of cheesecake, particularly those with fruit flavors. It's an excellent choice for serving with any type of berry cheesecake and is a particularly good choice for lemon cheesecake. It complements caramel nicely as well, but Sauterne generally isn't a good choice for serving with anything chocolate -- its floral notes clash with chocolate's heavy earthiness.
Classic white cake is an elegant treat worthy of being served with the best possible sauterne that your budget allows you to buy. For a final accent of deliciousness, drizzle the cake lightly with berry sauce just prior to serving.