Posted on 15.05.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: a Viognier that’s the ultimate ‘crowd pleaser’

The suggestion of a ‘crowd-pleaser’ might sound like faint praise, but believe me, it is a huge compliment. I am often asked to make recommendations for wedding wine, but the stakes didn’t come much higher than the nuptials of one of my oldest friends last summer, at which I was best man. Screwing up the wine would have felt as bad as ballsing up the speech.

Choosing a wine that has wide appeal is actually more difficult than it sounds – the person who likes a punchy Marlborough Sauvignon might not be taken with a flinty Chablis – so this Viognier from South Australia had the task of satisfying well over a hundred thirsty revellers. Yalumba Organic Viognier (Tesco £10, or Waitrose usually £10, but currently on promotion at £7.49*) did a brilliant job, with its aromatic honeysuckle, ripe citrus and juicy apricot, its succulent, ever-so-gently spicy texture and the appealing saline note on the finish.

Viognier’s spiritual home is the Northern Rhône, where it is most famous for Condrieu, a luxurious wine that commands high prices. A fickle grape, it is not that common in Australia, but Yalumba has been making this organic, vegan-friendly version for the best part of two decades and the experience shines through in the wine, which is bright and satisfying.

At a recent ‘Zoom’ tasting, the Guardian’s esteemed wine critic Fiona Beckett suggested  matching Viognier with Korma – a wonderful marriage, for sure – but this wine is actually really versatile. Rather than conjuring up potential pairings, its creator, winemaker Louisa Rose (pictured below), told us she’d be hard-pressed to think of something it wouldn’t partner. And if that’s not the definition of a crowd pleaser, I don’t know what is. The perfect wedding wine.

*The Waitrose promotion runs until 2/6/20 – it’s great value.

Full disclosure: I don’t get paid to plug anything and the links are not ‘sponsored’.

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