Introduction to “Chardonnay’s Exotic Sister”
If you love chardonnay, why not try Viognier? After all, Viognier is "Chardonnay's ravishing, exotic sister," according to wine enthusiast and author Karen MacNeil. This crisp French wine is ideal for spring weather, so we’ll look at some perfect Viognier food pairings. But first, the most difficult aspect of this delicious white wine is its pronunciation, so don’t worry if you’re not sure how to ask for it. This French beauty has many fans and will have more once you mastered its often-tangled pronunciation:
Viognier - Vee-yoh-N'YAY
Need more help? Take a listen. Even if it doesn’t help, it may make you laugh a little.
White wine enthusiasts, if you have not explored the beauty of the Viognier grape and the wine it becomes, come visit us immediately. It gets an F for full, floral, fruit – and a solid A for absolutely the wine you want to uncork right now.
What is Viognier?
Let’s back up. The aromatic grape variety has been grown in the Rhone Valley of France for at least two thousand years — and now, the grapes are also successfully produced in Southern France and around the world, including Australia, Chile, Sicily, and here in the United States - especially in California.
While some of the top wines grown and produced in the Rhone Valley may fetch top dollar, there are a number of mid-priced Viogniers worth exploring, especially from California. You can explore all of our Viognier offerings right here.
Vioenier is a spring delight, making a perfect companion for a number of dishes.
Here are some Viognier food pairings:
- Pork chops, ham
- Swordfish, Grouper
- Soft and semi-soft cheese, like brie or fresh chèvre
- Creamy mushroom dishes
- Sweets such as macaroons
Since our favorite woodsy fungus – the morel – is in season, here’s a pairing you’ll want tonight.
We’d suggest you open a bottle of Viognier before you start this recipe and sip as you go along. The rich aroma of morels sautéing in butter is intoxicating, so you may as well enjoy the perfect companion wine while your work.
- 8 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved lengthwise*
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- Hot cooked Penne (or any of your favorite pasta)
Rinse mushrooms under warm running water; squeeze out excess moisture. Slice in half lengthwise any of the larger mushrooms; set aside. For sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add shallots. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Sprinkle flour over shallots; stir to combine. Slowly add reserved 1 cup broth, stirring until smooth. Reduce to low heat. Cook, uncovered, for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper. Slowly whisk in the whipping cream. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 7 minutes more or until the mixture thickens. Stir in reserved morels and 1/4 cup parsley. Cook and stir until heated through. Spoon sauce over pasta. If you like, sprinkle with additional parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Founded in 1934, Haskell’s has championed fine wines for over 80 years. We have 13 wine stores in Minnesota, two delis and one restaurant. As one of the top wine shops in North America, Haskell’s is known for legendary service and one of the finest collections of wine, beer and spirits. Led by Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell, and the Farrell family, Haskell’s continues to be at the forefront of the wine scene throughout the world. Haskell’s also can ship wine, beer & spirits all throughout the world, the U.S. and we deliver locally.