I like Sauternes and I know it can go with a wide range of foods. The Czars drank Château d'Yquem out of crystal bottles with their Beef Stroganoff, and I've had it with lobster or shrimp in the past and enjoyed that. Sauternes with foie gras is a beautiful match, or with blue cheeses like Roquefort.
But people most often serve it with desserts, and sometimes it seems like a competition, which is sweeter, the wine or the dessert? And the wine can start to seem bland or boring. Last night I went to a dinner party and took a 375 of Ch. Suduiraut, 2001. The hostess made a cake which had alternating layers flavored with Meyer Lemon or orange. The sweetness of the dessert was subdued and the flavors were subtle, Meyer lemon can be very mild in flavor. Also Louise made her Alsatian Apple Pie -- in which the crust, the apples, and the spicy custard are cooked separately and then combined and baked to finish. It's a great dessert but it didn't have the same chemistry with the Sauternes that the cake did.
The 2001 Suduiraut had an orangey element in the flavor which was subtle when you tasted the wine alone -- I also noticed a little cinnamon, and honey, and the usual botrytis flavors. The wine had darkened to an orangey color. With a bite of cake, it was just spectacular, the orange flavor was like a neon sign. I don't think I have ever been so impressed by the sum being greater than the parts, great wine, great cake, but together, a nuclear reaction!
I've asked for the recipe for that cake but don't have it yet. Just couldn't help but mention it. I wonder if you guys have had the experience of finding a food match that just utterly improved the perception of the wine? I know that has happened for me on a lesser scale with red wines (steak and Bordeaux, Champagne and popcorn?) but it's hard to summon up specific examples.