Viogner! Pronounced: vee-on-nee-yay, slurring together the nee-yay bit
Some wines are astringent and taste primarily of rocks and lemons (real tasting notes) These are super-refreshing when it is hot-like-Hades outside. If you have to be outside and you have found a wonderful chip truck and have a bag of greasy, hot salty french fries, then you need a wine that tastes like lemons and rocks. However, in the first tender days of spring, this would be too aggressive.
No, for a beautiful spring day when the birds have come back from wherever they went and your tulips are blooming, try something wonderful and light, like a gorgeous Viognier.
This light white wine tastes of tangerines and smells like rose petals and light perfume. They smell like wedding planning (at the beginning, before you hate everyone and wonder why people have weddings). They also smell like thinking about planting herbs. But not actually planting them. That is a bit messy and you will get soil in your glass.
Viognier smells and tastes like hope. Sometimes even bergamot or orange creamsicle are legit tasting notes. It can also carry a hint of sweetness.
If I am going to be fancy it is nice to drink this wine out of the right glass. The same type of glass that you would drink Chardonnay from is the right glass. It is kind of narrow but not narrow like a champagne flute. You should fill it only to the widest part of the glass because then you can swirl it around. Serve it nice and cold and try not to heat it up with your hands.
In the following video this wine expert talks a bit about Viognier. He says that it has to be enjoyed with food. I disagree. It is pretty great with creamy food and if your food is spicy and creamy at the same time a Viognier with a bit of sweetness will do the trick. Me, I like to pair it with a light rain, a little sun and a feeling of relief that this Canadian winter is over.
Here is a lovely offering out of France. You can cruise your local wine merchant and look for this gem. It has been described as toasty with a peaches and cream taste. Harbinger of summer for sure. You can not drink this when it is snowing. (also, it isn’t expensive.) About $17 in Canadian wine shops. The next wine that I am introducing to you is from Chili and is less expensive but this one will give you a better experience.
Here is a lovely Viognier from Chili. It scores predictably well in somm tests. It is under $10 in most shops so it is a nice place to start and to see if you like the varietal. However, the French wine above is a better bang for your buck since it is an example of really nice Viognier.
Check out this crazy stuff: It is a Viognier that has been affected by botrytis. Botrytis is a fungus and it dries up the grapes before they are picked. There is a certain melancholy to botrytis but man-o-man, if you want to venture into a sweet wine that isn’t awful, try this one! This is pricey. M
If you are touring local, and by “local” I mean, local to me, in the Okanagan, BC region. Mission Hill Family Estate has a splendid song of a Viognier called “Bluebird Passage” of all things. With the springtime vibe of this Viognier evoking the return of migratory birds is perfection. You can visit the estate for the shock-and-awe experience or buy it online here.
Want to try making your own? You should not do this. But you could. Here’s a kit.
Hey, if you are planning on doing your sommelier exam or a WSET level, listen to this cool lecture. #winenerdalert No one will be checking so you can listen even if you are learning for some test.
Need to get some charming Riedel stemware for your spring celebration? Pick it up here!
If you life in Canada, you can click here to go to Amazon.ca and get the nice folks there to send you a couple of these beauties.