Irish Monkey Cellars
2008 Viognier - El Dorado
$20 / 750 ml.

The Viognier grape is among the newest rising stars of the West Coast wine arena, only having been grown as a distinctly bottled variety for the last 10 years or so. The varietal produces intensely aromatic wines, often likened to having hints of violets and peaches in the nose.

The 2008 is finally released!

In pairing with your cuisienne, we recommend simplicity. Strong competing aromas (such as from substantial garlic, rosemary, strong thyme and lemon juice) are not recommended. This may well be the ultimate salad wine! It has a somewhat sweet profile - with a "gap" in tartness that is just perfectly complimented by a fresh green salad with oil-and-vinegar dressing. Great!

However, flavors that center around quickly-sauteed dishes, especially when black pepper is left behind ... make for good pairs. Of course, cheeses and saussicon (dried sausage, such as mild Genoa salame) are great!

Serving
Temperature Cool, not cold Too cold, and the beautiful fresh violets aroma is hidden. Too warm, and the delicate tart-to-sugar balance is lost.
Glass Moderate bowl, long stem The Viognier aromas develop quickly in the glass while cool. Use thin-walled glass however, so as to not over-warm the wine too quickly.
Transition to

Rosé
Sauterne
Merlot
Grenache
Mouvedre
Pinot Noir

The wine that follows should sing counterpoint to Viognier's playful aromatic profile. Wines that are either singificantly more aromatic (Sauterne) or less so but with a solid flavor make good partners in the transition.