Viognier is a tropical fruit bomb, with the creamy texture of Chardonnay, but the balanced acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc. Fruity and zippy, Viognier is beautiful with lighter fare with a bit of weight, such as potato soup, cornbread, chicken pot pie, lobster, crab cakes and salmon
Salmon & Viognier Pairing
Salmon and Viognier work best when the Salmon is baked or broiled. Viognier is horrible with grilled salmon as it makes the grilled flavours taste sharp and bitter. With baked or broiled Salmon, the tangy flavours enrich the fish, making all the delicious flavours swim around in your mouth. The weight of the wine is able to hold up to salmon’s oily body, so you taste both the wine and the salmon, on the finish.
Potato Soup and Viognier Pairing
When pairing with Potato Soup, you want to ensure your Potato Soup is heavy and hearty in terms of body. Since Viognier has a round texture, it will match the consistency of the soup, but still has that boom-boom-pow of acidity that drills right through the starchy depths of your potato soup and finesses out those subtle flavours you may have never noticed before. On top of that, you get some wonderful aromatics and flavours from the wine that will keep your taste buds delighted.
Chicken Pot Pie and Viognier Pairing
With its earthy gravy flavours, Chicken Pot Pie demands a refreshing white wine. Viognier, with its tropical fruit flavous, is more than happy to oblige. On the nose and tongue, expect exotic fruit flavours of passion fruit, mango and pineapple that are refreshing against the heavy fat and carbohydrate content of Chicken Pot Pie.
As an extra bonus, the creamy and round texture of Viognier complements the body and weight of the chicken gravy and the bread in your Chicken Pot Pie.
Crab Cakes and Viognier Pairing
Viognier is a wonderful pairing with Crab Cakes as the acidity in this white wine cuts through the greasiness of the dish, clearing the palate and allowing you to fully enjoy that fantastic crab flavour. On top of that, you get rich tropical fruit flavours that transport you to a nice warm beach when you dine on this fantastic pairing.
Lobster & Viognier Pairing
Viognier has a creamy texture that is well suited towards Lobster drizzled with butter. Meanwhile, the wine’s tropical fruit flavours shine through and coax those sweet and subtle mineral kissed lobster flavours out, making your tastebuds light up in all the right ways!
Other Viognier Food Pairings
Viognier and Ethnic Food
Being such an exotic wine, it naturally pairs well with exotic (to North America at least) foods, especially curried dishes. Thai, Indian, Malaysian and even Caribbean curried dishes are excellent with this wine. It won’t go over well with hot dishes, Viognier tends to be higher in alcohol than most white wines, which will increase the heat of the dish to a highly unpleasant burning sensation.
Viognier’s tropical fruit flavours are also delicious with Haggis, the classic Scottish dish. While most people enjoy Haggis with Beer or their favourite wee dram of Scotch, if you are a white wine lover, and find yourself feasting on Haggis on Robbie Burns day, Viognier will fit the bill.
Viognier’s tropical fruit flavours shine when paired with fruit dishes, such as a tangy, fruity barbecue sauce, mango chutney, plum sauce, or pineapple salsa. You want to stay away from sharper acidic sauces, such as raspberry vinaigrette.
Best Wine for the Holidays
Viognier is fantastic with Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter Fare. Turkey, ham and duck all have a sweetness to them that this wine loves. Slow-cooked root vegetables, like turnips, carrots and squash, along with sweet potatoes, have the same sweetness, which brings out this wine’s flavours.
This is also a great wine to have on its own with a few appetizers. Salty and fatty snacks such as Cashews, beer nuts, and Macadamia nuts will keep you happy with this wine. Chicken Satay and cured meats are great as well.
What Not To Pair with Viognier
Since Viognier is such a bold wine, it won’t go very well with lighter fare as it will overpower the food. And while Viognier is great with fish or seafood like mussels or scallops, it’s not great with fishy or oily fish like sardines, mackerel, and anchovies.
Viognier is also terrible with tart foods, such as herbs, olives, capers and green vegetables. You really would not want to pair this with a vinaigrette based salad.
Finally, avoid dishes that are heavily grilled or blackened. Again these foods come off as sharp and steal away a lot from the wine’s charm.
Notable Producers of Viognier
California: R.H. Phillips, Arrowood, Hogue, Pride Mountain
France: Chapoutier, Paul Jaboulet, Georges Duboeuf