Pronounced so-tairn or soh-tehrn. An appellation that produces outstanding sweet wines that have become famous throughout the world. The appellation lies within the Bordeaux region of France. The Sémillon varietal is the dominate grape found in the Sauternes blends. Final blends of Sauternes most often include Sauvignon Blanc and small amounts of the Muscadelle varietal. Chateau d'Yquemm are the highest quality and most expensive wines from the Sauternes district. Wines labeled "Sauterne" are a cheap variation from the United States that is slowly fading out. Other château’s that produce high quality Sauternes blends are Climens, Coutet, Guiraud, Lafaurie-Peraguy, Rabaud-Promis, Rayne-Vigneau, Raymond-Lafon, Rieussec, Suduiraut, and La Tour Blanche.
Characteristics: High quality sweet white wines that are full flavored, concentrated, smooth, and balanced.
Ageing: Sweet Sauternes has good ageing potential.
Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 50º F.
Food pairings: An excellent aperitif and dessert wine, it also pairs well with blue cheese, fish, shellfish, poultry, duck with light/medium sauces, ham, spicy sausage pasta, salads, brie and other semi-soft cheeses, mild-firm cheeses, vegetable/vegetarian dishes, and soups.