Viognier Wine is the great South African secret

Viognier wine: What You Need to Know

Viognier wine was almost impossible to obtain fifty years ago. The plant that makes the wine, the Viognier plant, was having a difficult time being planted at the right time to harvest it for wine later on in the year. Even in France, wine makers were having a difficult time with this plant.

However, since that time, it has been growing rapidly and well in areas such as South Africa. The hotter the climate, the better the plant does. This does not necessarily mean that it is easy to grow in South Africa either.

The Viognier plant is extremely vulnerable. Powdery mildew is just one problem that planters can face. Other problems include the fact that the wine is hard to get just right. If the berries are left too long, the wine is lacking. If the berries are picked too early, they turn a green color and are tasteless.

The wine itself is very distinctive. There is no bite to this wine despite the high alcohol content (about thirteen percent). This lack means that the wine is often had with little time to age, despite the traditional wait of fifteen to seventy years before drinking it. The wine is also known to be very sweet. Mixing it with Syrah (Shiraz) wine in Australia is common to make it less dry. In South Africa and other areas the plant is grown, this is not an ideal thing to do.

Some wines are better harvested than others. Alvi’s Drift Viognier is one of our top sellers. With a pale straw color, the fruit is nuanced with a hint of cashew nuts, elegant and aromatic. This really is a red wine drinkers white.

Dishes to have with Viognier wine:

Matching viognier with a dish can be difficult due to its unique taste. However, it is not impossible to match Viognier with anything.

An Indian curry would be an ideal dish to have with Viognier wine. Coriander and ginger are two spices that go well with Viognier that happen to be in Indian curries.


For those who don’t quite want to go to the extremes of learning how to cook curry, chicken with orange ginger sauce and coconut pilaf is another dish that is made to match Viognier very well. Don’t forget to sip on your wine, whilst cooking. Another great discovery to enjoy Viognier wine with is this Chicken Recipe.

Coconut Pilaf Recipe

Original recipe can be found here.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 cup all-purpose flour (not bread, or self rising, flour)
– 1 cup coconut milk
– 1 cup roasted and finely chopped salted macadamia nuts
– 1 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
– 4 skinned chicken breast halves with bones, about six or seven ounces each
– Kosher salt
– fresh ground black pepper
– around 2 tablespoons butter
– about 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 cup chopped shallots (onion substitute)
– 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
– 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
– 1 cup chicken broth (reduced-sodium)
– 1/2 Viognier or other dry white wine
– 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges’ worth)

While the oven is preheating to 375, put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Put coconut milk in another wide shallow bowl. In a third bowl, mix the nuts and bread crumbs. Rinse the chicken. Pat it dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Put the butter and olive oil in large frying pan. This must be over medium heat. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess. Dip into coconut milk; let excess drip off. Press and coat on all sides with the nut mixture. Put coconut milk aside for now.

Lay chicken in the frying pan in a single layer. Turn pieces with a spatula after three or four minutes (the bottom should be golden brown) – be careful not to break the nut coating. Brown other side for two or three minutes. Bake on a baking pan until no longer pink in the thickest part (you should cut it to test this) – it should take fifteen to twenty minutes.

While that is cooking, wipe the scorched nuts from the other pan with paper towel. If it is dry on the pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and butter. Next, add the shallots, ginger and the garlic. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, stirring often. Pour in the chicken broth, wine and orange juice. Boil for eight to ten minutes, or until there is only half of the liquid left.

Pour the mixture you just made into the blender. Hold the lid down with a towel tightly, and whirl it until the mix is very smooth. Return it to the frying pan and add 1/4 of the leftover coconut milk. You may discard the rest. Stir over low heat until it is warm and then pour into small bowl. Add the coconut pilaf by spoon onto the plates, then the chicken. Enjoy.

Drink Wine, Be Merry

Viognier Wine….. Your new Discovery

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