Divine Wine Sunday: Horton Vineyards Viognier

As noted in posts from last week, I was in the midst of a lovely beach vacation in the great state of Virginia.  Sadly, it has now come to an end.  But while there, as a good little Wino would, I made it a point to try some Virginia wines. Now some of you may be surprised to hear that Virginia has wines, but let me tell you, Wino Friends, that Virginia has many a fine wine and many beautiful vineyards.   As a former resident of Northern Virginia, I frequently visited the fine vineyards in the area and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the delightful wines.  That’s right… Virginia isn’t just for lovers.  It is also for Winos.  (See the Virginia Wine website here!)

While hanging out with family along the Chesapeake Bay, it is practically a requirement to have a CrabFest.  If not, it would just be a downright pity.  So, of course, we had a CrabFest (to avoid pitying ourselves), during which I popped open a bottle of this week’s Divine Wine of the Week.  And I was rather delighted by this pairing!

Horton Vineyards Viognier (with a crab!)
Photo by: Sister Krissi Kai

Divine Wine of the Week: Horton 2011 Viognier, Horton Vineyards, Virginia

Price Range: $20 from Horton Vineyard, $13.99 at Harris Teeter in VA Beach

Wino Assessment:

This wine was delicious! As W2WK followers may know, I’m a big fan of Viogniers in general.  But I was first introduced to them via Virginia, so perhaps my heart is connected to Viogniers from this region.  The Horton Viognier was particularly delightful. It was creamy and smooth but had that buttery honeysuckle flavor.  It’s easy to drink, especially with something salty and fishy (such as blue crabs).

The Wine:

Horton Vineyards describes their 2011 Viognier as such:

“Exotic honey and tropical fruit aromas jump from the glass. Full bodied, viscous mouthfeel.  Matching the right grape varieties with the right climate is the essence of viticulture.  Our warm growing seasons in Virginia ripens our Viognier perfectly every year, producing a wine full of floral aromas, exotic tropical fruit surrounded by subtle oak nuances from barrel fermentation.”

I hope some of my fellow tasters of this wine (slash family members slash W2WK loyals) comment regarding their thoughts on the wine.  “Honey and tropical fruit” are definitely what I recall (just didn’t think of that fine ‘tropical fruit’ descriptor when writing my assessment!).

You can read more about Virginia’s Viogniers in this very interesting article from the Washington Post which talks about Horton Vineyard’s Viognier beating out California Viogniers in a tasting contest a few years back.

The Bite:

So beyond blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay with extra Old Bay Seasoning on them, what does one eat with Viogniers? Well, since Viogniers are typically very aromatic, they go well with dishes made with aromatic ingredients.  This may include things like ginger, lemongrass, chile past, fish sauce, curry powder, cilantro, and lime (and yes, Old Bay Seasoning). Pairing sweeter wines with salty dishes can be a nice balance.  While Viognier isn’t particularly sweet, it has that floral element that accompanies the salty and spicy dishes nicely. So next time you’re enjoying a Thai dish or another spicy Asian dish, try it with a Viognier and report back!


(Source for Wine Know in this post unless otherwise stated: Wine, Food, and Friends)

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