Uncorked: Semillon Wine Profile and Food Pairings


The golden-skinned grape is one of the well-known varieties from Australia. The grape is easy to be cultivated and can also be found in the wine-making regions in France. Semillon is used to make some of the sweet and dry whites that are ideal for the hot summer weather.

The grape is native to the French region of Bordeaux. During the early 19th century, the grape found a new home in the wine-growing areas of Australia, which have produced notable brands of Semillon wine.

Texture and Profile

Semillon is one of those grape varieties that easily develop rot. Interestingly, this is the feature of the grape that endears it to wine experts. This type of rot is known as botrytis or noble rot and is a good thing. The rot gives the grape characteristics that are sought after by wine lovers across the world. The magic of the Semillon grape comes from an attack by this specific type of rot in grapes. Berries consumed by the rot shrivel while still on the vine. As the grapes shrivel and lose water, sugar levels shoot up, giving the grape a sweet fruity flavor composed of notes of honey and nut with underlying tropical notes. According to some wine experts, this makes Semillon one of the best sweet whites you could pair with food.

For this reason, Semillon remains one of the most popular wine grapes in France. Check out “Best Grapes for Making Wine” to see more varieties in grapes for different wines.

The grape has a thick skin and exhibits a texture that is oily with fruity notes and low acidity. The oily texture of the wine is partly due to the development of noble rot, which makes it perfect for making Sauternes wine. As a matter of fact, the grape is the main variety used when making the sweet variety of white Bordeaux.

Keep up with our ongoing UNCORKED series and check out “Uncorked: Liebfraumilch” for another wine option.


The grape contributes a fair share of French winemaking history but has since spread to other parts of the world. It is used in various winemaking techniques but the basic technique preserves a lot of the Bordeaux winemaking technique. Today, you can find vintages from Australian and American vineyards that live up to the old winemaking standards or even surpass these.

Also, take a look at “List of 7 Best French Table Wines” for more wine listings from France.

Production of Grapes and Viticulture

In 2018, Aussie wineries registered big numbers in terms of grapes crushed, with a staggering 1,989,680 tons produced. This, in comparison to grapes crushed for other wine varieties, amounted to 8% of total grapes crushed across the winemaking regions.

In Australia, which is a prime example of a winemaking region that specializes in the cultivation of Semillon grapes, 134 hectares are used to grow Semillon grapes. This is about 9% of the total land used for grape cultivation in the country. This would take up about 3% of the land set aside for vineyards.

Food Pairings

Hunter Valley, Australia is one of the most prominent regions known for the deliciously zippy Semillon. As the wine ages, it attains a more oily and complex texture, which makes it even better for pairing with food. Food with Asian spices goes well with a glass of this sweet white wine. You can also have the wine with preparations such as; seafood salads, pork, chicken, grilled or barbecued meat, clams, fennel dishes, dishes with citrus flavors, squid, fried shell crab, sashimi, fresh crab and salads with goats’ cheese among others. Older vintages that go well with smoked fish, salmon and trout come highly recommended. Read “What Wine Goes With Salmon?” to see how you can pair those seafood dishes with this wine.

Aside from making a decent brand of wine, the Semillon grape has been used for many blends that add to its prominence in winemaking circles. This is most common with sweet varieties of Bordeaux wines. As a wine lover, you will enjoy sampling the range of sweet wines from the Semillon grape.

Trying to simply pair your wine with some cheeses? Check out “What Wine Should I Drink With Cheese” for more on pairing your wine with possible aperitifs.

Thank you for reading! Also, let us know in the comments below if you’ve ever tried of bottle of Semillon. Be sure to also check out “Uncorked: Trebbiano” and keep up with our UNCORKED series. Let us know what kind of wine you want to be featured!

Wine on My Time is a resource blog for wine lovers all across the world! We take pride in delivering the best quality wine material for our readers. Check us out on Instagram  and Pinterest for daily wine content!

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