Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”): The Other Full Bodied White Wine
When you think of white wine, there are probably a few varietals that come to mind like Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Moscato, to name a few. Of course, there are plenty of others but these tend to be the most popular. Generally, a good white wine is a little fruitier, perhaps maybe even sweeter, and slightly tart or acidic.
One of the lesser known white wines is called Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay), which originated in the south of France, and is a full-bodied, bold white wine similar to a Chardonnay. It has dominating flavors of peach, tangerine, mango, honeysuckle, and rose, and is typically drier on the tongue.
Some Viogniers are focused more on the fruity, floral notes which gives it that Chardonnay-like taste, but some are creamier in nature with aromas of vanilla, clove, and nutmeg.
The floral notes and density of the Viognier, as well as the oily skin of the grape, make it a wonderful choice when pairing with hearty foods like poultry and fish dishes, as well as strong cheeses and aromatic herbs. It’s also an excellent partner for spicy dishes and cuisines like Thai or Vietnamese.
When purchasing a bottle of Viognier, be sure to consider the alcohol by volume (ABV.) Sure, we all like a good buzz when drinking, but in this case, the alcohol level actually changes the flavor. Most Viogniers range from 13.5%-15%, with the bolder ones being higher in ABV, and the lighter ones being below 14%.
Check out the Abeja 2012 from Washington, the Arrowood 2009 from California, and the Penner-Ash 2014 from Oregon!