Viognier is a lush, aromatic, exotic wine worth knowing. Here’s why, plus a bit about the foods that pair well with it.
I was feeling a little bored by the wines I was drinking. Sure, there’ve been interesting bottles here and there, but for everyday sipping, I’d been on a near-constant loop of Chardonnay, Rosé, and Pinot Grigio.
So I bought a bottle of Viognier, which had been a favorite but had sort of fallen off my radar. And when poured a glass and had a sip, I wondered why it had been so long.
Viognier is beautiful. It’s lush and exotic. Floral and aromatic. It’s a lovely antidote to any wine rut. And it’s worth enjoying regularly.
When it comes to food and wine pairing, almost anything that works with Chardonnay will work with similarly-rich Viognier. But with Viognier, it also doesn’t hurt to have something a little fruity, floral, or fragrant in your food. Something that, like the wine, is a little exotic.
Roast chicken, sure. But tangerine-glazed roast chicken? Definitely. Pan-seared halibut, sure. But pan-seared halibut with brown butter sauce? Definitely. Crab cocktails, sure. But Five-Spice Crab and Shrimp Cocktails? Most definitely.
A few more thoughts about pairing food with Viognier
1. Viognier loves nuts, especially if they’re toasted and/or more exotic and fragrant types like macadamias and hazelnuts. Nutty cheeses like Gruyère and Jarlsberg are also great with Viognier.
2. Exotic spices and spice blends like curry powder and garam masala are beautiful with Viognier. (That’s one of the reasons Five-Spice Crab and Shrimp Cocktails are such a perfect pairing.)
3. Viognier is also great with fragrant fruits like peaches and apricots, as long as they don’t make the food too sweet—a chicken tagine with apricots and almonds, for example.
4. Be careful with acidity or bitterness and Viognier—too much in the food can wash out the wine’s fruit and accentuate the steely, austere quality Viognier can sometimes have.
But you know what else is good? A lush, aromatic, exotic glass of it all by itself.