Wines that rock: Viognier - Together or alone, unrelenting rock and roll

Eric Clapton. "Its late in the evening, she's wondering what clothes to wear...I say my darling you are wonderful tonight." Coming from the same man who was so influential on rock guitar with Cream. His virtuoso crossed into romance, blues, and epic guitar riffs that broke amplifiers in many a bed room. John Frusciante, another great guitarist who was such a massive driving force between the sound of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and yet could stand out on his own. Viognier. A wine that is so versatile it shines on its own, or as part of a band that blends such different characters together to create harmony.

What is the most fascinating thing about Viognier (besides how much fun it is to so vee-on-yay) is where you will find it. It can be very difficult to find on its own, like a guitarists solo album, but worth the look. My first real taste of a great Viognier blew my fragile little mind, and can probably go down as the wine that started the Vynl revolution. It was like drinking butterscotch, without the sweetness. The oiliness of the wine felt like I was slurping down fruit flavored oysters. A little briny, dry, and yet citrusy. Fan-fucking-tastic, a real wine that rocks.

The trick with single variety Viognier, you find it in unexpected places, and at good prices because it is usually an experiment for the winemaker in question.

Most of the Viognier you will find though, is in a blend. Viognier has this amazing ability to give a wine that little something extra, if the minerality is too high add some Viognier to liven it up on the fruity side and balance it out. If your wine is too light add some Viognier to beef it up. It goes really well added to Chenin Blanc for just that reason. Like a singer who can burst their lungs and a guitarist who wails. Think Plant and Page, a perfect measure of light and dark. Dionysus split into two focused energies of his character, then brought together into one again. Completely mad, and yet harmonious.

You would almost expect it to end there, that there could not be anything more that Viognier could do. Somebody tell that to the Australians, who borrowed a technique from France that was almost lost. Masters of the Syrah grape, they took to perfecting it by adding small bits from other varieties and somehow struck upon the idea of blending in Viognier to this bountiful red wine Yes, you read that right, a white grape in a red wine. The result is pure decadence. The flavors begin to jump out and scream at you. The Viognier in the red wine My favorite being the SMV blend from Lourensford Vinyeards in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Just that hint of Viognier made all the difference in the wine, as it overshadowed the solo Shiraz that they presented alongside it.

Whether on its own, or as part of a melodious blend, Viognier is something to keep an eye out for. It has the ability to crank up the volume and boost the treble of any wine, sending its flavors and characteristics into overdrive. A dark power indeed, selling its soul to the God of Wine for its strange ability to become a great wine that rocks.

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!