Updated 2009-03-23 10:32:00 ID=348:1

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, California Central Coast Wine Value Pick,  Changala 2005 Viognier  Paso Robles 2009-03-23 10:24:25:133
©2009 The Romantic Table

California Central Coast Wine Value Pick, Changala 2005 Viognier Paso Robles

California Central Coast Wine Value Pick, Changala 2005 Paso Robles Viognier


This month our recipe editor is featuring a lot of leafy green vegetables with pasta in classic Mediterranean style preparation. We decided to look for a robust white wine to pair with the pasta.

This month our recipe editor is featuring a lot of leafy green vegetables with pasta in classic Mediterranean style preparation. We decided to look for a robust white wine to pair with the pasta as well something to jazz up the dinner a bit. So, this month for our wine California Central Coast Wine Value pick, we picked a Paso Robles wine based upon a Rhone white grape varietal, Changala Winery's 2005 Paso Robles Viognier.

Changala Winery's 2005 Paso Robles Viognier


From the Changala website:

The grapes for our 2005 Viognier come from two vineyards in the Paso Robles Appellation. One of the vineyards is located on the east side of Paso Robles and one is located in Templeton. Ripe, fruity, and full bodied, the acidity of this wine makes it an excellent complement to many types of foods, especially spicy foods such as Thai or curry dishes. Fermented in neutral oak and stainless steel.

Background:

Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) is one of the great white grape varietals from the Rhone region in France. The other two are Roussane and Marsanne. It is common to find wines especially from the southern Rhone region which use all three in a blend. Viognier is an ancient grape with a long lineage. Most likely originating in Dalmatia, it came to the Rhone regions with the Romans.

Wikipedia states that the name of the grape may be derived from the "Roman pronunciation of the via Gehennae, meaning the 'road to Hell'." Anyone who has cultivated this grape knows the truth of that statement! It is a stingy and capricious producer. But when handled well, Viognier produces a fine wine of moderate acidity with rich and complex aromas of stone fruit and orange blossoms. In the Rhone region, it is often blended with the famous regional red wine Syrah to soften the tannic Syrah and add fragrance to the wine.

Our observations:

When we opened the bottle we notice the pronounced stone fruit aromas characteristic of this wine. In the glass the wine was a transparent gold color. Swirling the glass we noticed slow developing, long running tears indicating substantial structure to the wine.

The aroma of the wine had pronounced stone fruit aromas of apricot and peach wine with a little orange overtone.

On the palette, the wine was rich and creamy, off-dry with a very slight sweetness and moderate acidity. The alcohol level at 14.1% was not overwhelming, and enough to give a sense of a nice mouth full. Neutral oak barrel aging was used in the processing, so there was no perceptible oak in the taste.

The finish was long and smooth, leaving a light lingering orange-citrus aftertaste.

We liked this wine very much. The moderate acidity, richness and fruity aromas definitely makes this wine a candidate for an aperitif substitute for those of us who can't face another glass of Chardonnay! As a food pairing wine, it has the right amount of sweetness and fruit-citrus overtones to complement simply prepared fowl dishes such as grilled chicken with rosemary and it will pair well with light vegetable pasta dishes.




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A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.