Heavens to Betsy, I love this stinkin' grape varietal. I mean, love might even be an understatement. My will power goes right out the window, done-zo, if someone even mentions the word. Atticus the poet should write me a love ballet and title it, my heart goes on with Viognier.
So WHAT the heck is Viognier and what does it taste like? First of all, Viognier is a grape varietal just the same as Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are. There are different types of grapes, just like there are different types of apples and they all taste uniquely different.
To me personally, it tastes like sitting under a tree on the top of a grassy green hill on a big blanket, Ferdinand the Bull style. The birds are chirping, perhaps there is even a little village down below with Cold Play putting on a live show. It is the perfect 75 degrees with a slight breeze. There is a plate with some various cheeses, nuts, berries... definitely some chocolate. It is delicious happiness, is what it is. In reality it tastes like almonds, white peaches, fresh acidity and honeysuckle. If you are a chardonnay lover or someone who likes a more full bodied, creamier style wine, THIS is your next splurge.
The grape itself is a 'white' grape as opposed to a red grape like Pinot Noir. It is the only permitted grape for the French made wine Condrieu in the Rhone Valley of France. Viognier can also be found in regions of North America (California's Edna Valley, Monterey and Paso Robles) as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a few others. It is also commonly co-fermented with Syrah, typically about 5-10%.
Crazy enough, Viognier was almost extinct in the 50's and 60's as there was only about 10 hectares planted (roughly 30 acres) in Condrieu, France. Luckily, in the 70's, it saw growth with vines being planted in California. Thank God, where would I be today and what would I be having a love affair with?!
So, that is Viognier in a wine bean (pronounced Vee-on-yay), which I sometimes for the hell of it pronounce as Vee-og-knee-r -- can't be too serious all the time, life is short after all. I hope you visit your local wine shop, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc to try a little Vee-og-knee-r (insert wine glass emoji).