Is Viognier a sweet wine?

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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

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