What to Drink Now

Episode V: Aromatic whites


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Viognier has enjoyed a mini boom over the past decade or so, yet it has yet to really break out. The sweet aromatics of flowers, peaches and apricots are certainly enticing and beguiling. Unlike many grape varieties, there seems to be a fairly great consistency among Viognier planted around the globe, as the wines tend to have a lightly oily richness with plenty of supporting acidity.

Like Torrontes, Viognier is so perfumed that the wines explode in the mouth with its pungent aromatics, then finishes rather lightly, often with a lingering hint of bitterness that refreshes the palate. Those effusive aromas can be fleeting, though, and are best enjoyed shortly after the wine’s release.

The floral element of Viognier’s bouquet comes from compounds known as terpenes, which are found in the grape’s skins. Terpenes are one of the most common attributes of aromatic wines, so it’s no surprise that another terpene-rich variety is next on our list.

Photo courtesy madichan via Flickr/CC

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