Wines that Rock: Shiraz - Viognier; A match made in Australia

Who ever thought of blending, and co-fermenting, white grapes and red grapes? Who's bright ass idea was that? If I have to go back hundreds of years I will find that person and kiss them square on the lips because they are some sort of wine genius. We have spoken before about how amazing Viognier is, and I noted then what it can do when added to a Shiraz blend. Now it is time to give this amazing blend its time in the sun.

Its hard to say, but credit to the Australians for bringing this amazing blend to the world! It seems insane, crazy, outlandish even to most people. Adding white grapes to a red wine seems like taking all the meat out of BBQ. You are afraid you lose what makes the wine so interesting, so indulging, but in truth this has been going on for hundreds of years. It just seemed to fall off the map for most of us. The French, in some regions, did it because the Syrah (what most countries call Shiraz) grew alongside Viognier and it seemed only natural to do so. Australian winemakers picked up the baton, and we are so happy they did.

Viognier adds a little something else to the big, bad, bold, Shiraz. Often adding a much more aromatic presence to the wine, you start to notice from your first sniff that something is up, something here is dangerous, and oh so beautiful. You could be in trouble, because the next thing you know the silky texture of the blend is allowing you to gulp down glass after glass, right before you start to blast "TNT" by AC/DC. Then on your third glass you just become silly, and start doing Steve Irwin impressions as a solitary tear rolls down your cheek recalling your youth watching Crocodile Hunter at every opportunity. We miss you Steve! 

On your third glass you just become silly, and start doing Steve Irwin impressions as a solitary tear rolls down your cheek recalling your youth watching Crocodile Hunter at every opportunity.

This is what makes Shiraz-Viognier blends so amazing. Like Australia, and Australians, the blend packs one hell of a punch. Its tough, its bold, but its got a quaint charm brought on by a big smile. It has an inherent class, brash and yet gentlemanly. Steve Waugh sledging himself on his way to smashing 200 runs in The Ashes kind of class and mischievous charm. Shiraz-Viognier is outlandish, outrageous, but also elegant and you cannot help but smile as you take in more and more.

Shiraz-Viognier is outlandish, outrageous, but also elegant and you cannot help but smile as you take in more and more.

There is another country that shares this love of mixing Shiraz and Viognier with Australia among other things. From their love of rugby, their take no BS attitude, and habit of putting the delectable flesh of dead animals close to fires. That land is South Africa, who also call Syrah by the name Shiraz. Just to add some genuine South African flair, they will often add some Mourvedre and the wine goes by the name SMV. This is really where the wine stands out, adding even more flair to wine that just takes it to a whole new level. 

Still not convinced? If you are a fan of Syrah then you really need to try these wines next to each other. Grab a Syrah or Shiraz from the same winemaker as one who makes a Shiraz-Viognier blend and take the test. You will enjoy the Syrah for what it always is, but that SV or SMV blend will transport you to a whole new place you never thought the bad boy Syrah grape could go. With that little bit of Viognier, Syrah becomes a more refined bad boy. You feel like you are biting off way more than you can chew, and you will want to chew, but you love it anyway. Like Vinnie Jones beating the hell out of someone and then answering the phone with a pleasant "Bonjour!" 

Like Vinnie Jones beating the hell out of someone and then answering the phone with a pleasant "Bonjour!" 

Wines that Rock is Vynl's ultimate guide to wines from around the world, helping you explore some of the most amazing wines you may may never have heard of. Our wine guide is here to help you find the right wines for the right moments and occasions. The Vynl wine guide is here to show you the way, teach you a bit more about wines, regions, and grapes, and let you plan your very own wine adventure. Wine is meant to grab your heart, so let us help you find a wine that rocks!