Spring means fresh flowers blooming and crisp windy days. Time for Viognier! It’s one of life’s mysteries how this ancient green grape can produce such fresh, vibrant floral aromas, making it a flawless pairing for spring!
Pull up a chair and prepare to savor your glass of Viognier slowly. Hints of lavender and jasmine please the nose. Honeysuckle, peaches and pears tempt you, with a bright stone fruit minerality on that first sip. Love perfume? The highly perfumed Viognier grape has its roots in the Rhone valley, cooled by mistral winds.
The white wines produced from this time-honored grape vary in body and textures, depending on where they call home. You must remember this: French Viogniers tend to be leaner and zestier, California Viogniers have bright hints of peach, floral and lush sumptuous notes. You gotta love the way California bottles up year-round spring!
- Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier Blend 2012
- Horton 2011 Viognier, Horton Vineyards, Virginia
- K Vintners Viognier Columbia Valley 2011
- 2010 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier
- Yalumba The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier 2009
- Darioush Napa Valley Viognier 2011
The bright floral aromas of Viognier make it a great contrast to spicy dishes like Thai and Indian foods, but it is also a perfect complement to seafood dishes like crab and shellfish. The fresher the better!
The Unforgettable Kiss
Aureole Restaurant at the Mandalay Bay in Las Ve- gas takes wine loving to a whole new level. Make that a 4-story climate controlled stainless steel and glass wine tower, with black clad “wine angels” (AKA stew- ards) floating up and down to pick your wine. Mission Impossible meets my taste buds! You even order your wine on an electric tablet, just like your handy iPad.
The founder and celebrated chef, Charlie Palmer, graciously took a few minutes out of his busy night to tell me what makes Aureole so special. What you need is a fork for his gourmet dishes and a glass for the 9,865 bottles of wine at your disposal! Give me the Yves Cuilleron Viognier! Apricot, tropical fruit aromas and a steely stone minerality on the palate—this Viognier changed the way I looked at Viogniers . . . well that first sip, and those wine angels. Only in Vegas!