When you first open a bottle of Viognier, you’ll be hit with the most fantastic, perfumed aroma. 

This white grape first established its roots in the Rhône Valley of France. However, it is now emerging with a new sense of purpose and expression in Southern California. It is a stunning wine to sip on, and regardless of the occasion, Viognier will be a winning choice. 

Whether you’re planning an upcoming dinner party or are simply interested in what pairs well with the flavors of Viognier, this tasting and pairing guide tells all. 

Sweet Oaks is proud to produce Viognier in the Temecula Valley. Our 2017 Viognier has not been blended with any other varietal, allowing the unique character of the Viognier grape to shine through. It is complex and packed with flavor, yet incredibly easy-drinking. 

Viognier Tasting Notes

To better understand all that Viognier offers, we must dive deeper into what makes this wine so special. If you’re a fan of Chardonnay, you’ll enjoy the weight of Viognier, as well as the unique characteristics of this wine. Each layer adds to the tasting journey. 

Whether you open a bottle for yourself and your partner on a Friday evening or are enjoying a glass of Viognier with friends, this wine’s welcoming aroma is packed full of fruit and floral notes. Perfumed aromas of peach and honeysuckle, combined with hints of ripe apricot, make the first sip so inviting. You’ll also experience a subtle element of spice, reminiscent of ginger. This adds an extra layer to an already interesting, complex fragrance. 

The color of Viognier is delicate and light, yet golden enough to showcase the aging process of this wine. This aging process yields the perfect balance. It remains in the bottle long enough for the wine’s flavors to blend, yet is not mature enough for the wine to lose its distinct, fresh stone fruit character. 

Once you take a sip, you’ll first notice the slightly sweet, fruit-forward flavor that Viognier is known for. Then you’re hit with moderate acidity, cutting through the initial fruitiness. Next comes the stone fruits, allowing you to taste summer with every sip, which is then followed by a clean, long finish. 

Now for the fun part! Let’s dive into the pairings that make this wine the perfect bottle to have on hand at all times. 

Viognier Food Pairings 

Although Viognier can be enjoyed on its own, it also pairs wonderfully with many different foods. 

The flavor profile of Sweet Oaks 2017 Viognier pairs well with everything from light, delicate dishes to bold, spicy ingredients. That is why if you’re new to wine and food pairings, this is a great wine to start with. It’s also perfect for more experienced wine and food lovers, as Viognier allows for a creative, versatile menu. 

The key is to pull out distinct notes and flavors, playing off the unique characteristics of Viognier. For example, the sweetness of Viognier means that it pairs well with spicy Asian food, including everything from Asian Chilli Chicken to Spicy Thai Green Curry. Since Viognier also cuts through creamy dishes, a korma curry is another great option!

Much like most white wines, Viognier pairs beautifully with fish and shellfish, ranging from halibut to seared scallops, poached salmon to baked lobster. It also pairs well with chicken. However, since Viognier is a full-bodied white wine, you can have fun with your chicken recipes. You don’t need to play it overly safe. Serve up Macadamia Chicken with an Orange-Ginger Sauce and Coconut Pilaf or Cardamom Spiced Chicken

Where this white wine differs, is that it can also stand up to pork, veal, or even lamb. Lamb Tagine with Apricots is a perfect example.

Seeking a vegetarian dish? Viognier goes well with root vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spiced butternut squash. Check out this Spiced Root and Lentil Casserole

Then there’s cheese. You can throw a party, making cheese and wine the main attraction. You can also make a large charcuterie spread. Don’t be shy to offer a few spicy cured slices of meat or spiced cashews. For cheese, it’s all about soft and semisoft varieties. From aged gouda to fresh chèvre, gruyère to brie, there are so many possibilities.

Serving Viognier? Here’s a Sample Three-Course Menu

To start, serve a fruity salad with nectarine, peach or mango. If you feel like seafood instead, grilled shrimp or a shrimp cocktail is the perfect starter. 

For your main, the sky is the limit. Grilled salmon or pad Thai are both great options. If you’re leaning towards a vegetarian main, go for a sweet and spicy vegetable stir-fry or curry. 

For dessert, no need to limit yourself to ice wines. If you’re serving Viognier, impress your guests with this pumpkin crepe cake or a batch of mini lemon curd tarts. If you want to eat as they do in France, follow your main with a cheese plate. This is the perfect opportunity to serve some Camembert or Emmental. 

 

If you’re ready to experiment with the flavors of Viognier or throw the ultimate food and wine pairing gathering, check out all that Sweet Oaks has to offer.

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