7.29.2009

Friday Night Wine Down : Viognier

Featured wine: Viognier

Wikipedia description:
Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) is a white wine grape. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone valley.

Viognier wines are well-known for their floral aromas, due to terpenes, which are also found in Muscat and Riesling wines. There are also many other powerful flower and fruit aromas which can be perceived in these wines depending on where they were grown, the weather conditions and how old the vines were. Although some of these wines, especially those from old vines and the late-harvest wines, are suitable for aging, most are intended to be consumed young. Viogniers more than three years old tend to lose many of the floral aromas that make this wine unique. Aging these wines will often yield a very crisp drinking wine which is almost completely flat in the nose. The color and the aroma of the wine suggest a sweet wine but Viognier wines are predominantly dry, although sweet late-harvest dessert wines have been made. It is a grape with low acidity; it is sometimes used to soften wines made predominantly with the red Syrah grape. In addition to its softening qualities the grape also adds a stabilizing agent and enhanced perfume to the red wine.

I've tasted:
Smoking Loon (United States, California) $8.99
Cline (United States, California) $10.99
Brooklyn Oenology (United States, New York) $18.49

Food pairings:
Asian/Indian/Thai food
butter sauces
cheese
cream based sauces
curries
fish and seafood
lobster
nuts
roast pork
veal
smoked fish

Notes:
I must admit that it took me a while to warm up to Viognier. I was a bit put off by the floral aroma, which mimicked a feeling of sweetness on my tongue (I'm not a fan of dessert wines). To combat this sensation, I prefer to drink this wine very cold, and with spicy food, which plays well against the aromatic nature of Viognier.

Cheers!
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