The Viognier grape is well known for producing some of the finest white wines in the world. Depending on the winemaking and maturation methods used, it can vary from fruity to creamy and everything in between. Still, however it is made, Viognier wines feature beautifully scented floral notes and complex palates. Grown in the Pauba Road Vineyard, our Californian expression takes you on a real journey through a range of tastes, which means it will drink incredibly well with food. Viognier pairings may seem a little intimidating to the uninitiated, but keep reading to get all the hints and tips you need to get the very best out of this wine.
What to expect — tasting notes
The Sweet Oaks 2020 Viognier has a little mineral character on the nose which melds with an array of sweet-scented green fruit and floral aromas. On the first sip, you will notice a slight honey character quickly followed up by a refreshing hit of lemon and green apple. The floral element that is so pronounced in the bouquet comes through particularly well on the finish with a pleasant note of honeysuckle.
The acidity of this wine helps balance the array of flavors with the medium body. This is a very interesting wine with an intriguing finish. Serve this wine chilled, but not fridge cold. You will get the very best of the flavors and aromas if you take it out of the cooler around half an hour before you want to serve it. Allow the wine to reach a more ambient temperature and open up nicely. Serving the wine at a slightly higher temperature will also help you get the most out of Viognier pairings with food.
What next? How to create great Viognier pairings
The acidity in this wine gives it fantastic versatility so that it can stand up well from the lightest fish dish to a relatively heavy cream sauce-based meal. The wine’s acidity will cut through the richness and give that great palate cleanse in the same way that a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a little zing to your food.
This wine’s honey and fruit characters mean that it is an excellent friend to white meat dishes. It will pair well with roast chicken dinners or even a light chicken salad with a fragrant vinaigrette. Viognier pairings often play with the aromatic character of the grape and accompany richly scented foods. The next time you open a bottle of Sweet Oaks 2020 Viognier, why not enjoy it with Thai flavors? Serve up spicy Pad Thai noodles, jeweled with flecks of fresh red chili and lots of fresh cilantro shredded as a garnish. These powerful profiles of taste are where Viognier comes into its own when it comes to food matching.
Viognier pairings are also often made with creamy cheeses to riff off the slightly creamy texture that the wine has. The soft oiliness on the palate will complement a ripe Brie or perhaps the wonderful mix of sharp and velvety flavors that you get from a Gorgonzola. In turn, to make more of a selection of nibbles to choose from, perhaps mix things up with olives, a light charcuterie like Parma ham, and even some fried broad beans to add that fatty, salty hit that will transport this Viognier to another level when you are drinking it.
If you are looking for a vegetarian dish to make a great match with Sweet Oaks 2020, look no further than roasted root vegetables. The roasting process creates wonderfully caramelized edges on the vegetables, concentrating their natural sweetness and bringing them into harmony with the wine’s slight sweetness and refreshing fruit characters. Try this root vegetable tart tatin with candied nuts and blue cheese recipe to tick all of the boxes when it comes to pairing this wine with the perfect foods.
The important thing to remember when pairing food with wine is that all of our palates are different. The perfect pairing for one person may not suit the tastes of another. The real fun is experimenting and discovering what suits you best. Often the best food matches are made when guests are offered a selection of nibbles to try with a glass of wine and allowed to figure out what they enjoy the most. A tasting platter and a flight of wines don’t just make for a delicious combination; they can also provide all the entertainment you need for an evening as guests compare their preferred combos.
Check out the available wines from the Sweet Oaks Estate and build your flight of wines for tasting at home!