Updated: Sep 30, 2021
So excited to be posting the very first wine of the week! Just to be clear...I am in no way a wine expert. I have no certifications or qualifications (though I am seriously considering going to Chicago to get my WSET - Level 1, but that's a story for another time.) Everything I am sharing is my candid review of a wine that's new to me, or a regurgitation of a fact I've picked up along the way. The whole point of this blog is to learn together, so I would love to hear your fun Viognier facts and/or your review of the wine in the comments below. Also, if you'd like to watch me taste the wine and see my initial reaction, check out my IG stories @thecandidcork. I will be saving all of my WOTW posts to a highlight reel for easy access.
To kick things off, I went with a nice, full bodied white wine native to Southern France...Viognier! Specifically, Les Piliers, which the producer named for the fact that the grapevines are "the pillars" of their wines. I purchased it at Total Wine (it was in the misc. white wine section), and the average price point is $11.67; not bad!
Wines made from this grape tend to feature low acidity and fruit-forward notes. Since the grapes originate in Southern France, where summers are hot, I anticipate this will be the case for this particular wine. Why, you ask? It's because the tartaric and malic acids are produced by the grape as it grows, but in warm climates, the acids are lost through respiration. Therefore, warmer regions will generally produce less acidic wines! (Fun fact: this grape can also be grown in Australia and the US! I also found a website that states Viognier can be grown in Israel, can anyone fact check this?!)
I know you're supposed to start by observing the wine. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out how to derive useful information from the visuals. This one was pale gold in color which I believe may indicate that the wine is young and not aged in oak. This would make sense since wines from Southern Rhone do not typically need aging.
The aromas of this wine were soft and natural, unlike a Chardonnay. I picked up on notes of peach, pear, gardenia, and banana. I absolutely LOVE banana and it's always a special treat when I can detect it in a glass of wine. The scents when mixed together remind me of the Redken shampoo I used circa 10th grade. I know it sounds crazy, but I went on trip to Disney World that year with our school choir and I packed my own shampoo and conditioner. Every time I smell that product it reminds me of that time in my life. I've actually heard that the sense of smell is the most connected with memory, this is 100% true for me.
Anyways...I digress; on to the best part: tasting! This wine was DELICIOUS! The palette featured ripe, tropical fruit: particularly mango and pineapple. The sweetness and acidity balanced well, for a refreshing and crisp summer sipper.
We will actually be pairing this wine with walnut shrimp tonight (if you're a Home Chef fan, you may be very familiar with this meal!). I anticipate the shrimp will compliment this wine well.
I loved this wine and rated it 4 stars on Vivino (average rating is 3.9).
Give this white wonder a try and let me know your thoughts below. Don't forget to check out my WOTW stories on IG @thecandidcork. Hope you enjoy as much as I did...cheers!