For those of us who have deserted an oak-y Chardonnay, Viognier is the new white wine star. The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown. Most experts agree that it may have been brought to the Rhône by the Romans. It can be a difficult grape to grow and is prone to powdery mildew. When fully ripe the grapes have a deep yellow color and produce wine with a strong perfume.
Viognier wines are well-known for their floral aromas, due to terpenes. These primary constituents of essential oils are found in many types of plants and flowers allowing Viognier to pair well with spicy foods. We opened a 2005 Bodegas Escorihuela Don Miguel Gascon Viognier to serve with creamy mustard chicken. This medium bodied wine stood up well to the flavorful sauce.
Next time you think "What about some white wine tonight?", try a Viognier.