Viognier’s Versatility and Affordability
The Viognier grape has its origins in the Rhône valley of France and will generally make up the majority of any Côtes du Rhône appellation white wine which is almost always a blend of local varietals. The best-known address for this grape is on the very steep slopes of the upper Rhône village of Condrieu. And the most famous and expensive producer is Chateau Grillet, always 100% Viognier.
Wines made from Viognier are typically rich and perfumed with a soft palate. It’s one of those wines that works much better as a compliment to dishes rather than a contrast. While there is a range of different styles from around the world, the common elements of most Viogniers are soft acidity, textured palate and striking ripe white tree fruit flavours with a touch of minerality.
Veal scallops cooked in a cream sauce with herbs would be our recommended tasty pairing, especially if a dash of Viognier is thrown into the recipe for good measure. It’s a dream with creamy style cheeses too. Gorgonzola is a great partner with its mix of creaminess and sharp flavours. Round and fruit driven aromas are an added enticing element. But then again, it’s the perfect wine to swirl, sip and savor on its own.
We are fortunate in our Ontario market that Southern France’s best-known specialist producer, Gérard Betrand, is able to supply us with a regional blend of Viognier that represents outstanding value.
2022 Gerard Bertrand Réserve Speciale Viognier LCBO #147975, $14.95.