Dining & Drink

Bridlewood Puts The ‘Yay’ in Viognier

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Well, it’s nearly spring so it’s time to drink something refreshing, and I know the first thing that jumps into your mind has got to be Viognier, right?  Well, maybe not.  In fact, you might be wondering what the heck Viognier is.  But seriously, put down that chardonnay for a second and show 2008 Bridlewood Viognier some love.

Viognier (Vee-on-yay) is an interesting grape because of its distinct flavors and aromas.  (So distinct that it’s easy to recognize even if you taste it blind).  It is very floral and can add a lot of character to blends.  On it’s own, it packs a big punch with flavors of ripe peach and apricot.  Viognier will surprise you because it tends to have very sweet “spring-like” aromas even though it typically tastes quite dry.  It’s also known for being higher in alcohol (above 13 percent), so be sure to bring it to your next kegger.

The Viognier grape originates from the northern Rhone valley in France where it stands on its own and is also blended in small amounts with Syrah.  It’s a super difficult grape to grow and, as a result, nearly faced extinction.  Thankfully it’s back for the attack and is taking the shelving space by storm.

2008 Bridlewood Viognier is a great introduction to this type of wine.  It’s full and carries a hefty 14.5 percent alcohol by volume that truly coats your entire mouth with flavor.  It’s a very beautiful, expressive wine, and I would strongly recommend letting it get some air for an hour or so before drinking.  Normally it retails for around 20 dollars.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of honeysuckle and orange.  The palate is peach driven with a little apricot.  It’s really interesting how different the smell is from the taste.  Lots of flavors packed into a tiny glass.  It pairs well with a wide variety of fruits and cheeses as well as seafood like lobster or shrimp.  It can also hold its own against spicy Asian foods like curry.

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