A creamy white wine sauce made from scratch is a beautiful thing. It beats the pants off the shop bought stuff, and goes with poultry, pasta and even ham dishes. A common ingredient is wine. The joy of adding it in is that you can drink a glass as you cook, and drink it with the meal. So at several points, the wine needs to match what you’re cooking. It makes the difference between a so-so sauce and an outstanding one.


A Good (If Fattening) Creamy White Wine Sauce Recipe:

If you’re looking for a great standard recipe, ‘Try This Wine Sauce for Monkfish. Seriously!’ is a really good starting place. A slightly more luxurious (if fattening) recipe is as follows:

  • Either cook some meat in a pan and reserve it, or add a little meat fat to a pan;
  • Add in 25 grams of butter;
  • Next, put in a 140ml of dry wine;
  • Dollop in four tablespoons of creme fraiche;
  • Mix until it’s all consistent, and then introduce some meat (which you may have reserved from earlier).
  • But what white wine should you choose? Each varietal will bring a different set of flavours to the dish as different as ripe, juicy peaches or green, cut grass. The best wines for a creamy sauce will themselves be creamy, full bodied if possible, buttery, but there are a lot of wines to choose from:



This grape makes very heavy, full bodied whites. It will match the creamy sauce perfectly, but it will probably give more aroma to the dish than actual flavour. This variety is very floral, with some citrus fruit aromas. Guía Peñín gave Microvinifications Malvasia De Sitges 89 points, which makes it well worth a look.

A bottle of dry white wine.

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This varietal would be lovely in a creamy white wine sauce. Viognier is a rarity in white wine as it’s full bodied, and would match a big creamy sauce very well. It’s also well known for being peachy. The classic combination with peach flavours would be ham, as the fruit brings out more of the meat’s qualities. Try Sumarroca Viognier, and thank us later.

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Sauvignon Blanc

I tried this the other day. I made the sauce with a quarter pint of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the pan fried chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto. It was fantastic. However it was very filling, and as I used quite a lot of creme fraiche, I realised I couldn’t make it an everyday occurrence as I looked in the mirror the next day. Yet Sauvignon Blanc was a good choice. The wine typically tastes of limes, and cold climate versions will have pronounced herbaceous notes that pair well with the vegetables you might be serving.



The way Chardonnay is made heavily influences how it turns out. Try to find a version that’s full bodied with pronounced fruity notes, like Mâcon or Mâcon Villages. Some of these have been aged on their lees, which will give the buttery notes that we’re looking for, and the kinds of fruit flavours that you get range between tropical to apple. Augustus Chardonnay is a brilliant Spanish version with a telling 90 points from Guía Peñín.

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Yes, I know, I know. It’s not technically a wine. However some quality ciders taste surprisingly like wine, and you can mix them into a white sauce. I tried it with turkey stroganoff and served it to my mother. She did not approve. The problem was that I’d murdered the sauce by cooking it for too long, but I was a student – it tasted alright to me. Cider will give your sauce that alcoholic apple juice tang, that would perhaps match a pork dish better than turkey.


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Categories: Pairing

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