Although almost any wine can be used to make a suitable sabayon; white wines with good acidity and a distinctive character will give subtlety and nuance to the sauce. Many recipes suggest making sabayon sauce with Champagne, which is delicious. It is best to use a mature (even slightly madeirized) French Champagne, but since this is rarely practical, a good-quality Coteaux Champenois (see Champagne) will produce excellent results. Do not substitute a sparkling wine other than Champagne. If Champagne is unavailable or too expensive, it is better to substitute a good-quality still wine.
Chablis, Vouvray (demi-sec), Riesling (German or Alsatian), Gewürztraminer, and Muscadet will all make interesting sabayon sauces. Sweet wines can also be used: Sauternes, late-harvest Rieslings (including German Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese), Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, and madeirized wines (Madeira, Marsala, and sherry) will all impart their own character and distinction to the sauce. If you use sweet wine, cut the sugar by about half the weight of the wine.
Sabayon can also be flavored with fruit brandies, such as Calvados, Poire William, or Kirsch, after it has cooled; fruit purées and coulis (equal parts coulis and sabayon); and spices, first infused in a small amount of water or cream and strained into the sabayon. It can also be lightened by folding it with an equal volume of whipped cream.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.