Sauternes Gelée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2½ cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Sauternes is a magnificent sweet wine from the area around Bordeaux. Use the best you can afford or substitute something less expensive such as Montbazillac, Muscat de Baumes de Venise, or fine fino sherry. You can also use a dry wine and add sugar to it to taste.

The alcohol in wine gelées can cause a burning sensation on the tongue and in the nose. This effect is disagreeable when drinking the wine and even more so when the wine is used in a gelée. You can bring the wine to a simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off some of the alcohol (you want to leave some), but this can also affect the delicacy of the wine. A better method is to use vacuum to evaporate off some of the alcohol. The alcohol will boil off before the rest of the flavor components.


sauternes, ½ bottle cups 375 ml
powdered gelatin or sheet gelatin 2 tsp or 2 leaves 10 g or 10 g
cold water if blooming powdered gelatin or bowl of cold water if blooming sheet gelatin 3 tbsp or to cover 45 ml or to cover
warm water ½ cup 125 ml


  1. If desired, put the Sauternes in a sidearm flask over the lowest possible heat and use a vacuum pump to evaporate most of the alcohol (see Vacuum Pumps). This should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in the cold water for about 5 minutes (see Note). If you’re using powdered gelatin, add it, along with the water used for blooming, to the warm water and stir until dissolved. If using sheet gelatin, drain and wring out the sheets, then add them to the warm water. Stir the warm water–gelatin mixture into the room-temperature Sauternes until it dissolves. Transfer to the vessel of your choice, depending on how you plan to serve the gelée, such as molds, chilled plates, or other dishes, and allow to set in the refrigerator.