Review Of A White Viognier Languedoc-Roussillon Wine

Domaine des Salices Viognier 2005 13% about $12

My first meal consisted of baked chicken leg with the skin on in a medley of spices (garlic, onion, cumin, and uncharacteristically tame Moroccan Harissa), rice, and green beans. I identified apples, pears, and a floral taste in the wine. I liked the acidity and the way that it cut the tasty grease of the chicken skin. The wine was a good accompaniment to fresh pineapple. I tried an off-the-wall combination by finishing my glass with jalapeno roasted almonds. The wine went dead. I donít blame the Viognier for this mismatch.

The next meal was an omelet with brown mushrooms, red onions, and American cheese (a mistake). The Viognier was moderately acidic and very slightly sweet with light fruits. Frankly, I preferred sipping the wine to this combination. There is a well-known rule when pairing a wine to dessert: make sure that the wine is sweeter than the dessert. I broke the rule with a homemade cheesecake that simply denatured the wine. On the other hand, the wine held up better with a homemade chocolate cake that wasnít as sweet.

My final meal was vegetarian. There was a moderately spicy broccoli mushroom sort of quiche that contained no cheese. The wine was very refreshing and almost ethereal. The other dish was a sweet potato, olive, and rustic potato concoction held together by crushed crackers. The wine was somewhat less exciting than before but still fine. As often with vegetarian meals, I was still hungry. Always on the lookout for an unconventional pairing, I tried dried, lightly sweetened cranberries. They killed the wine. Why stop there? Candy-coated peanuts went better. They turned up the wineís acidity but the combination was good enough to go back for seconds.

Final verdict. I liked this wine and intend to buy it again, even more so at its relatively low price. Iíll let you in on a secret; this is the first Viognier wine that I liked to any extent. I plan to taste other Viognier wines in this series. I donít promise that Iíll try the top-of-the-line offerings from the northern Rhone Valley; they are quite pricey.

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