I recently crashed a virtual Twitter wine tasting of Virginia viogniers. When I read about a sparkling viognier that was part of the line up, from Horton Vineyards in Madison County, Va., I had to check it out. You know, for research purposes. (You’re welcome.) Unfortunately that was the only of the “official” viogniers I was able to find on short notice, but I picked up a bottle of Veritas Vineyards viognier for comparison. The viogniers I’ve tasted thus far are floral and fruity (notes of pear and peach) without being sweet, making them ideal for pairing with cheese. As expected, both of these viogniers are perfect with goat cheeses — bloomy-rinds in particular. And at $25, Horton’s sparkling viognier is another budget-friendly stand-in for champagne.
For the tasting, my cheese board consisted of: goat d’affinois (France), Point Reyes Toma (cow, California), Marieke 2-year gouda (cow, Wisconsin) and Hook’s Little Boy Blue (sheep, Wisconsin). Now Artisanal advised staying away from blues or sheeps-milk with viognier, but I had to be a rebel. Alas, they were probably right — this blue was too acidic for the wine. I was pleasantly surprised by the aged gouda with the sparkling viognier, but the goat was the winning match.
At the all-American goat tasting, we poured the Veritas viognier, which went nicely with each cheese — but again, it was particularly nice with the bloomy-rind Monocacy Gold. If you can get your hands on some Caromont goat cheese from Virginia, you can take the Virginia love-fest one step further. But in any case, look for Virginia viognier for your next goat cheese party — you won’t be disappointed.