(Published with permission. © 2014 Château Coutet. All rights reserved.)

What are the great traditional wine pairings with Château Coutet’s Sauternes and dry white wines? The regions of Barsac and Sauternes have plenty of traditions, but there are no rules. Pairing a glass of Coutet with a savory dish is remarkable and enjoyed with lobster or turkey can be unforgettable. Both of these offer a pairing that highlights the beauty of contrast when it comes to texture. In terms of flavors, a turkey will allow you to explore the contrast of sweet and salty, while the lobster’s sweet meat compliments the wine. There is no need to be a Michelin star chef—a grilled lobster or a roasted turkey will do the job. Also, pairing wines with cheese—Sauternes is the best hostess trick. When offering guests a diverse cheese tray, Coutet’s wines are the safest to serve; they go with most cheeses. For a bit more perfection, toast your bread for a bit of texture.

In 1787, former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador to France, celebrated Château Coutet as the best Sauternes from Barsac. In 1855, the estate was classified as a First Growth and recognized for its continued excellence. Today, as the oldest and largest Barsac estate, Château Coutet stays true to its tradition of distinction and quality. Traced back to 1643, Château Coutet is one of the oldest vineyards in France’s Sauternes wine region.

Photos courtesy Château Coutet

Recipes: Appetizer: Chicken Liver Pâté with Caramelized Orange Segments; Main Course: Lobster Fricassée; Desserts: Mascarpone Pears Poached in Sauternes.

Courtesy of Château Coutet, and chef’s Alex Yandell, Patrice Demangel, and Thomas Winslow. (Published with permission by Château Coutet.)

Visit: Wine in France: Château Coutet’s distinctive quality celebreated in 1787 by Thomas Jefferson, and enjoyed today by wine enthusiasts worldwide published on A Woman’s Paris®.

Visit: Wine in France: Aline Baly, third generation owner of Château Coutet, on refinement and distinction in wine from one generation to the next published on A Woman’s Paris®.


Chicken Liver Pâté with Caramelized Orange Segments

From the “Cook. Taste. Smile.” series by Alex Yandell

Ingredients for the pâté

– 6 tablespoons butter
– 2 shallots, finely chopped
– 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
– 2 cups chicken livers, trimmed
– 2 tablespoons brandy or amontillado sherry
– 2 tablespoons double cream
– ¼ teaspoon cayenne
– Sea salt and black pepper

Ingredients for the orange segments

– I large orange, peeled and cut into eighths
– ¼ tablespoons light brown sugar
– Toasted or crusty bread to serve


1. Fry the shallots and bacon in 3 ½ tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.

2. Once the shallots are soft and translucent, turn up the heat and add the chicken livers.

3. Fry until the livers are cooked and just slightly pink inside (2-3 minutes on each side).

4. Add the brandy to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.

5. Pour the mixture into a food processor and add the double cream.

6. Add the cayenne and blend well until smooth. Season to taste.

7. Pour the pâté into a ceramic dish or divide it between four ramekins.

8. Melt the remaining butter and pour it over the pâté.

9. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

10. Meanwhile, dip the orange segments in the sugar to coat them.

11. Fry them in a dry non-stick pan over a medium-high heat until lightly caramelized.

12. Serve the pâté with toast and the caramelized orange segments alongside.


Lobster Fricassée

Created for Château Coutet by Patrice Demangel, culinary consultant and trained at Alain Ducasse’s cooking school.

Serves 4


– 4 lobsters
– 7 ounces/2 deciliters Château Coutet wine
– 7 ounces/1 deciliters heavy cream
– 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
– 2 ounces/5 centiliters hazelnut oil


Immerse the live lobsters in boiling water for one minute. Remove the tails and cut into four slices. Split the head in half and carefully break open the claws. Sauté all the pieces over high heat in the hazelnut oil for five minutes. Deglaze the pan with Château Coutet, cover the pan and continue cooking for three minutes. Remove the lobster pieces. Add the cream to the pan and boil for three minutes. Strain the sauce and add the chopped tarragon.

Serve the lobster fricassée hot, accompanied with the sauce. Chef Demangel recommends serving with baby vegetables as a side dish.


Mascarpone Pears Poached in Sauternes

Courtesy of Thomas Winslow, Chef

Ingredients for the pears

– 1 (750-ml) bottle of Sauternes
– ¼ cup agave nectar
– 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
– 2 whole cloves
– ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Zest of 1 orange
– Juice of 1 orange
– Pinch of saffron
– 1-2 teaspoons honey
– 4 firm Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled leaving the stem intact and cored (ensure you core the pears from the bottom and keep the flesh intact—the goal is to make the pear look untouched while standing upright.

Ingredients for the mascarpone

– ½ cup mascarpone cheese
– ½ cup heavy cream
– Zest of ½ lemon
– Zest of ½ orange
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation of the pears

1. Place everything but the pears and zest in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly until the saffron begins to dissolve and the poaching liquid begins to take on a bright saffron orange color (about 20 minutes).

2. Decrease the heat to medium low and place the pears and zest into the liquid. Cook for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender but not falling apart. Maintain a gentle simmer. If the pears float, set a few spoons on them to ensure they are entirely submerged.

3. Remove the pears to a serving dish, standing them upright, and place in the refrigerator. Reserve one cup of the poaching liquid.

4. Pipe the mascarpone filling (see recipe below) into the bottom of the pears when they have cooled.

5. After straining the reserved poaching liquid, reduce over low heat to a syrup-like consistency (do not use high heat or you will scorch the sauce).

6. Fill a squeeze bottle (or jar) with the syrup and add an equal part Sauternes as well as a teaspoon or two of honey to taste.

7. Serve the filled pears with vanilla ice cream, a bit of the Sauternes sauce and a glass of Sauternes.

Note: If you desire to increase the number of pears cooked the liquid need not be increased proportionally—just make sure there is always plenty of liquid to cover the pear flesh.

The poaching liquid can be made up to 2 days ahead of time—this will also intensify the final flavor.

Preparation of the mascarpone filling

1. Beat all but the cream until thoroughly combined.

2. Beat the cream into medium peaks.

3. Fold the mascarpone and whipped cream together

4. Using a pastry bag (or a Ziploc with a cut corner) pipe the filling into the cooled pears.

The Wines of Château Coutet

Château Coutet – Premier Grand Cru Classé en 1855 – AOC Barsac: The Château Coutet vines deep roots extract elements from its terroir to give the grapes freshness, richness and strength.

Chartreuse de Coutet – AOC Sauternes: Since 1977, Château Coutet has been producing its second label, Chartreuse de Coutet, an AOC Sauternes. Hints of honey, almond, citrus, exotic fruits, as well as very ripe, soft apricot, with some floral notes of acacia, characterize its subtle nose. On the palate, the wine is honeyed, round and suave. Its wonderful concentration and broad palette of aromas express the richness of the fruit flavors with orange zest, honey, honeysuckle, ripe fruits and citrus, complemented by toasty notes and some minerality. Full of finesse and elegance, the result is a young, beautiful wine full of vivacity and freshness.

La Cuvée Madame de Château Coutet: The Cuvée Madame de Château Coutet is a marvel of concentration and complexity. Displaying a color between gold and amber, the wine first presents aromas of acacia, honey, apricot, quince jelly, pineapple and coconut. What follows are mineral notes: citrus and floral (white flowers). On the palate it allies density and elegance, all with a superb structure and aromatic finesse, with hints of candied figs, currants, peach, quince and spices. The fruit is lush, rich, velvety and dazzling. The finish is excellent, both fresh as well as persistent with a silky texture and a very nice balance.

Opalie de Château Coutet – AOC Bordeaux: The inaugural 2010 vintage of Opalie de Château Coutet is delighting palates with its exceptional refinement and finesse and defining an exciting new style of dry white wine from Bordeaux. The distinguished flavor of the wine comes from combining in equal parts the body and depth of Sémillon with the elegance of Savignon Blanc. As a result, Opalie de Château Coutet is a memorable, elegant dry white wine with crisp mineral characteristics. True to its classic heritage, this wine is fermented and aged in French oak barrels. The blend consists of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Château Coutet– Premier Grand Cru Classé en 1855 – AOC Barsac
33720 Barsac, France
Tél: +33 (0)5 56 27 15 48

For more information about Château Coutet, visit: (Website) (Email:

Acknowledgements: Natalie Ehalt, Spanish teacher at Hiawatha Academies, Minneapolis, MN and Senior Editorial Manager and writer with A Woman’s Paris.

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Text copyright ©2014 Château Coutet. All rights reserved.
Illustration copyright ©2012 Barbara Redmond All rights reserved.