Foie Gras pairs best with sweeter wines like Sauternes and Vouvray Moelleux and regular white wines like Gewurztraminer, Burgundy, Champagne and Pinot Gris.
Foie gras is a luxurious dish made from the liver of ducks or geese that have been specially fattened. The resulting product is a rich buttery delicacy typically served as a pâté, in slices on toast, or as a garnish for other dishes. Sweet wines contrast the rich and buttery flavours, while rich wines, like a white Burgundy, complement the buttery texture of Foie Gras.
The Holy Grail of food and wine pairing is Sauternes and Foie Gras. Sauternes is a sweet wine with an incredible amount of richness and depth. On the surface, you’ll taste apricot, peach, pineapple and tropical fruit, contrasting Foie Gras’s rich buttery taste. Hidden in the sweet layers of the wine, you’ll also find luscious notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, and nuts, which add complexity.
This pairing also works exceptionally well, as the high acidity in Sauternes helps cut through the richness of the liver and balances out its intense flavors. Additionally, the wine’s full body and long finish complement the luxurious texture of foie gras.
The combination of Sauternes and Foie Gras creates a decadent and unforgettable gastronomic experience that is often served as an appetizer or an after-dinner course in high-end restaurants. Both Sauternes and Foie Gras are incredibly expensive, thus, for many of us, this is a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence.
Gewürztraminer & Foie Gras Pairing
Gewürztraminer is a white wine known for its rose petal, lychee and spicy aromas, making it an excellent pairing for foie gras. The wine’s oily and full-bodied texture complement Foie Gras’s rich buttery flavour, creating a luxurious and indulgent taste experience. Additionally, Gewürztraminer has complex notes of black pepper, cashews, jasmine, nutmeg and minerals, adding structure and complexity to this pairing.
Gewurztraminer ranges from dry to sweet. Sweet Gewürztraminer and Foie Gras probably makes for the best pairing as the wine’s sweetness also helps balance out the liver’s saltiness, while the flavours of lychee, peaches, apricot and mango cut through the richness of Foie Gras.
If you’re not in the mood for a dessert style Gewürztraminer, an off-dry Gewürztraminer will also work well when paired with Foie Gras as it contains a kiss of sugar to balance out the rich and buttery flavours of Foie Gras.
If the full-bodied flavours of Gewürztraminer frighten you, an off-dry or late harvest Riesling will make for an acceptable substitute.
Demi-Sec Champagne & Foie Gras Pairing
There is no wine more decadent than Champagne, and no food more decadent than Foie Gras, so it’s no surprise these two make for a wonderful match. If you are serving Foie Gras at a cocktail party, a glass of bubbly Champagne makes for a wonderful match as the acidic and bubbly flavours of Champagne wash away the buttery and rich flavours of Foie Gras.
Champagne is going to range from dry to sweet, and my preference with Foie Gras is Demi-Sec Champagne which means it is semi-sweet. The Demi-Sec style of Champagne is going to be crisp, sweet and fresh. Notes of almond, apple, cream, citrus, custard, honey and toast will all dance across your tongue, contrasting and complementing the luxurious Foie Gras flavours.
White Burgundy and Foie Gras Pairing
White Burgundy is a full-bodied Chardonnay from France that features aromatic notes of butter, hazelnut, vanilla honey, roasted nuts, chalk, apples and toast. The buttery and toasty notes of White Burgundy are exceptional with Foie Gras as they complement the rich flavours of the duck liver. The silky and creamy flavours of White Burgundy are also exceptional with the velvety flavours of your Foie Gras.
You can pair a regular Chardonnay with Foie Gras, and the match should be pretty good. However, you’ll want to pick out a pricier bottle of Chardonnay that is at least $40 or more as a lower-cost Chardonnay won’t be as grand to hold up to the luxurious flavours of Foie Gras.