Foie gras wine pairing

Published February 16th, 2023

Foie gras is one of the most delicious, and prized gourmet products.

Foie gras wine pairing.

Literally translated as fat liver, and obtained through a controversial process of forced duck or goose fattening, foie gras remains, despite the criticisms, a great classic of French cuisine, much appreciated at Christmas time, but also consumed during the rest of the year.

As a general rule, wines from southwestern France are best suited to wine pairing for foie gras, but of course, with such a distinctive taste, knowing how to choose the perfect wine is essential.

In this article, we will talk about the characteristics and taste of this delicacy, and we'll advise you on the foie gras wine pairing that best suits your personal taste.

Wine pairing with foie gras: the basics

Foie gras can be from goose or duck. It can be purchased whole, in a single block, or a paté or cream version, and also flavored with truffles or wine. If the question is what wine do you drink with foie gras? The answer requires an analysis of the differences between the various products.

First of all, goose foie gras has a delicate, sweet, and elegant flavor, while duck foie gras, on the other hand, has a more gamey taste, and is considered by true connoisseurs to be a product of lesser value.

In terms of quality, products of grade A or B are also distinguished. Grade A corresponds to the highest quality and is physically larger than grade B, with a round and oblong shape. It has a slightly sweet aroma and should be prepared as simply as possible. Grade B foie gras may have visible blemishes, is flatter in shape, and is less firm so it tends to release more fat during cooking.

Goose liver is also used to make emulsions with a soft and creamy consistency that you can prepare at home or buy ready-made, such as mousses, terrines, and patés which contain variable quantities of product and can be flavored. These products are excellent to taste, for example, on croutons or together with fruit such as white grapes and figs.

The ultimate wine pairing foie gras option traditionally is a soft wine made from noble grapes, such as Sauternes and Monbazillac, but also Jurançon, Barsac, or the semi-sweet wine Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. But foie gras also goes well with dry wines, both white and red, and with bubbles.

Best wine with foie gras

If Sauternes is universally considered the best wine for foie gras, our preference goes for Monbazillac. This sweet nectar is geographically linked to foie as they both originate from a picturesque subregion of the SouthWest of France called Perigord. And, it comes with a fairly approachable price tag.

Our suggestion: Chateau Tirecul La Graviere

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Sweet wines to pair with foie gras

Sweet white wine is a delicious option for a winning foie gras pairing wine experience. Whether it's a late harvest like a Riesling, or botrytized like Sauternes or Monbazillac, or a Jura Vin de Paille, sweet wines with lively acidity combine the perfect softness and freshness to balance the flavors of foie gras.

With one exception: avoid pairing with sweet wines if foie gras is served as an appetizer so as not to weigh down the palate and stomach.


Sauternes is the quintessential botrytized wine. The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes that enter the blend come from Bordeaux, where the humidity conditions generate the typical morning mists that cover the vineyards, favoring the development of botrytis cinerea.

The combination of foie gras and Sauternes is a great classic and an excellent choice for gourmands who are not afraid of sugar. Its intense aromas of apricot, caramel, ginger, and citrus and its viscous texture make it perfect for this pairing.

But to have a perfectly balanced match, it is better to add a touch of freshness (such as some citrus fruits) because the creamy and fatty texture of the liver can tire your palate out quickly if combined with very sweet and full-bodied wines.

Our suggestion: Chateau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes


Riesling is a grape with extraordinary qualities capable of making wines of variable sweetness, from dry to very sweet. They are fragrant and fruity wines, and their sweetness depends on the season in which the grapes were harvested. Late-harvest wines have residual sugar, which together with the marked acidity typical of Riesling, makes them perfect for matching with foie gras.

In particular, Riesling Spätlese wines (coming from a late harvest, but not as late as Auslese) have the perfect richness and body for balancing the creamy notes of foie gras, without weighing down the palate too much.

The aromas of ripe stone fruit or tropical fruit, combined with notes of sweet spices enhance the intrinsic characteristics of the liver, while the acidity of the wine cleanses the palate.

Our suggestion: Reinhold Haart Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese

Sparkling wines to pair with foie gras

Foie gras and sparkling wines? A match made in heaven!

The elegance and prestige of sparkling wines are perfect with a delicacy such as foie gras, but it is important to choose a wine with a good body and an intense aromatic profile, like Champagne, Franciacorta, or Cremant de Bourgogne.

Foie gras and champagne.

Foie gras and champagne

Foie gras, like champagne, is often served as an appetizer. So, as far as the tasting order of the wines is concerned, the foie gras Champagne pairing is just perfect.

Furthermore, the bubbles work wonderfully in contrast with the softness and sweetness of the foie gras, reawakening its flavors, while the aromatic notes of the wine create a sublime union.

Our suggestion: Petit & Bajan Blanc de Blancs Brut Nuit Blanche Grand Cru

Dry white wines to pair with foie gras

If sweet wines go well with foie gras, a powerful and aromatic dry white can be equally appreciable. Foie gras is usually enjoyed at the beginning of the meal, and a soft wine would risk saturating the taste buds and annihilating the subtle aromas of the wines that will be served later.

Round and full-bodied dry white wines will help break up the too-rich side of foie gras and start the meal on a more balanced note. The pairing is even more appropriate if the foie gras is served with onion marmalade or fresh fruit.

Pinot Gris

French-style Pinot Gris is a medium-bodied dry white with a rather strong flavor profile that includes ripe stone fruit, citrus, and spices that can perfectly complement foie gras.

The viscous consistency of this wine and its high acidity make it ideal with the texture of foie gras, especially in mousses or terrines.

Alsatian Pinot Gris should be your first choice for a perfect foie gras terrine wine pairing, but wines from Oregon or New Zealand can offer a delicious alternative. On the other hand, Italian-style Pinot Grigio wines that are too light and easy to drink and have less aromatic complexity should be avoided.

Our Suggestion: Ostertag Les Jardins Pinot Gris


The best wine to go with foie gras is a full-bodied, powerful dry white with a fat texture that can complement the smoothness of foie gras like an oaked Chardonnay.

Oaked Chardonnay has that buttery, toasty character and spicy notes that pair deliciously with the velvety textured foie gras without overpowering it or creating an overweight sensation in the mouth.

Try a Burgundy Meursault with elegantly integrated oak and perfectly balanced acidity for a great seared foie gras wine pairing.

Our suggestion: Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault

Chenin Blanc

The melt-in-the-mouth texture of foie gras calls for meaty white wines that can counteract a certain freshness to cut the fat from the dish. And finally, the wine to pair with foie gras must be refined, especially in terms of aromas, so as not to drown out the fine flavors of foie gras.

For these reasons, dry Chenin Blanc, with its almost redundant structure and its inviting aromas of fruit and minerals is an ideal choice. This vine produces wines so full of acidity and minerality that it is often compared to Riesling.

Choose a cool-climate Loire Valley wine, such as Savennieres, Vouvray, or Montlouis sur Loire, or opt for a semi-dry wine, which will have some residual sugar but not too much.

Our suggestion: Nicolas Joly Savennieres Les Vieux Clos

Foie gras red wine pairing

Pairing foie gras and red wine may seem atypical but these two work perfectly as long as you select the right bottles.

Dark fruit and herbaceous notes can enhance the earthy flavors of duck and goose. Wines with light tannins and spicy aromas can work well with terrines and patés, while structured and full-bodied reds can balance the richness of the liver and its sapidity when served with coarse salt.

Consider one of these options:

  • Haut Medoc

  • Saumur

  • Nuits-Saint-Georges

  • Saint-Émilion

  • Chateauneuf du Pape

Our suggestion: Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Saint Emilion


Foie gras wine pairing can be intimidating, but in this article we have given you the necessary tools and advice to avoid making mistakes.

Consider the type of foie gras you're tasting and evaluate the wine that fits well, and then, as usual, follow your taste and enjoy!