Is Viognier a sweet wine?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is Viognier a sweet wine?

—Sarah, United Kingdom

Dear Sarah,

While I’ve tried some sweet, dessert-style wines made from Viognier grapes, most Viogniers are dry, white table wines.

Certainly there are some made in a very ripe style, which—even if not in a dessert style—can take the peach and spice flavors in the direction of candied or preserve notes. Even when Viogniers are made in a more restrained style, they can still have aromas that suggest more sweetness than you’ll actually taste.

Winemaker Louisa Rose, who makes fantastic Viogniers at Yalumba in Australia, once told me that she thinks Viognier is a white wine for people who prefer red. This white wine can have a lush texture and low acidity compared to other whites. If you like your whites crisp and refreshing, Viogniers might not be for you. But if you’re intrigued by heady aromatics of spice and floral along with fleshy notes of apricot and peach, give Viognier a try.

—Dr. Vinny

White Wines Viognier Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

Which sparkling wines are made from Chardonnay?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers clues for figuring out a sparkling wine's grape …

Jun 24, 2019

At what point of color saturation does a rosé become a red wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how rosés are made.

Jun 21, 2019

What kind of grape is Pouilly-Fumé?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the wines from this Loire Valley region.

Jun 19, 2019

Is it true that you can clean a red wine stain with white wine? What's the best way to clean a wine stain?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers some tried and true methods and advice for …

Jun 17, 2019

How long will an unopened bottle of Champagne stay good?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how sparkling wine ages.

Jun 14, 2019

Are sulfites added to wines for shipping?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where sulfites come from, and why wines often …

Jun 12, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search