Sauternes and lobster

Read about this pairing for a long time. Anyone had it? Does it work?

One of my favorites but I like simple lobster preparation and some age on the sauternes. Very young sauternes with the possible exception of yquem can be too sweet and overpower the lobster for my taste buds…

It’s a great pairing…I agree that age does help some…but I like it with some of them right on release too. It all depends on how the lobster is cooked…

I eat my lobster (which i do frequently, as I spend time in maine a few times a year) steamed with lemon-butter…ie, simple. I find that almost all sweet wines I’ve ever had overwhelm the lobster. And, I think preparing lobster any other way compromises one of King Neptune’s treasures…and only detracts from its majesty.

I stick with Georges Vernay Condrieus, Alsace riesling (a hint of r.s. is ok) and white burgs (esp. Dauvissat Chablis.)


Sauternes and lobster are a wonderful combination.

Please, let’s not forget that there a fuller, richer, sweeter Sauternes and then there are less sweet, more vibrant Sauternes (and, especially, Barsac).
Furthermore, a Sauternes with age has a fairly different taste profile.

Something like a lobster Newburgh is delicious with Sauternes.

I remember asking Philippe Baly of Ch. Coutet what the very best dish was with his wine. He said he adores roast lobster with butter and Espelette pepper. The latter has it’s own appellation contrôlée. It’s more flavousome than hot.

All the best,
Alex R.

I could definitely dine with Philippe and Alex!

It worked well the times we have tried it.

I feel the same way you do about lobster preparation.
You might also try a demi-sec Vouvray or similar Loire Chenin Blanc with some age on it. My favorite with steamed/boiled lobster.

And, I think preparing lobster any other way compromises one of King Neptune’s treasures…and only detracts from its majesty.

I agree.

And to think it’s just a bug.

This Robuchon preparation was epic when I had it. Never tried to make it myself though. I’ve heard stories about a guy that poaches his lobsters in Yquem… Sounds like a waste of good liquid gold.

That’s just sick. But maybe if you used some less expensive kind of wine, Barton & Guestier . . .

Lemon butter on good fresh lobster is gross. If it needs butter (or lemon) the lobster isn’t very fresh.

I think what is missing every time this discussion comes up is that lobster is a bit like corn or peas, in that the flavor changes dramatically after it has been plucked from the ocean. At its freshest - which really requires a trip to the atlantic coast north of Boston (and south of Gander, I guess), lobster is so sweet, salty (particularly if boiled in saltwater), savory and rich that it’s essentially impossible to pair with synergistically, i.e., to make it more delicious.

With time, the lobster loses sweetness and richness (though it keeps the savoriness) and preparations tend to minimize the saltiness. That’s why futzing around with wine parings (and preparations) becomes more interesting because the lobster is much more mildly flavored and becomes sort of a fancy blank palate for folks to add richness and sweetness back, which the lobster benefits from. But it’s essentially not the same food.

(FWIW, you have the same issue with peekytoe crabs, which have an shockingly savory-salty - almost piquant - flavor when fresh, which is gone by the time they’re the bland seafood-like-substance in some appetizer in NYC.)

We have a place in Maine accross the street from two working lobster docks. So, freshness is usually not an issue…for them or the crabs. But, dunking lobster in lemon-butter is the way I’ve eaten them my whole life, as does most of the world up there. Sorry if you think it’s “gross”.

In Europe, in fairness to them, the Brittany (blue) lobster is king…a different species. Whether it is better or not as good as Maine lobster (various winemakers in France have varying opinions), the tradition there seems to be more to use it as an ingredient in something fancier.

This explains so much.

Stuart is right…90% of the Lobsters in our state are probably treated this way. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t other great ways to enjoy this beautiful creature. If steamed correctly there’s minimal need for butter…it’s sweet enough on it’s own when cooked right. However, I do love great chowders and Lobster Benedict…

Fresh Maine Lobster, like Florida stone crabs, are simply delish when fresh. Put me in the camp of never wanting to dip it into butter or anything else, but then again, that’s how my wife prefers it. I like Sauternes with each upon occasion, and its nice and interesting, but not my ideal as it can detract from the sweetness of the meat itself. A white that is too crisp cuts against it, too. I have found that a richer style Sauvignon Blanc, like a Merry Edwards, or an elegant Vouvray, pair wonderfully.

Doesn’t it rather depend on the lemon butter? I’ve had commercial examples that smell and taste like toilet cleaner, and homemade versions that were quite good.

Kirk, I wasn’t disputing the truth of what Stuart said (I dated a lovely (coastal) Mainer for a few years and visit every summer), but rather, Stuart defending the use of lemon butter by saying that most folks in Maine serve lobster that way is a bit like defending buying 90/10 hamburger meat and cooking it to well-done but arguing that most Americans eat their burgers that way. It’s both true and completely irrelevant, because a properly made lobster doesn’t need (and in fact, is made less delicious by) lemon butter (personal attack removed by admin_)

(entire post removed/edited by admin for personal attack - warning issued)

amazing how even food opinions degenerate into attacks on the person rather than disputing the opinion. So tiring on this board.