Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2016 South Australia

My neighbour and I indulged in a food and wine evening after I approached her to ask if she would be willing to cook some authentic Chinese food for me to pair with wine.  This was a challenge for me as I usually choose wine first and then source dishes to match the wine. Her husband is a Chinese chef and agreed to cook for us.

The food that I was matching wine with was:

  • Pork, roasted for two hours with 5 spice, red bean curd, light soy sauce, hoisin sauce and honey
  • Chicken and Chinese mushrooms – braised with light soy sauce, oyster sauce and garlic
  • Thai long grain fragrant rice

The food was delicious with subtle flavours and transparent sauce. There were no food colouring and none of the familiar thick, glossy sauce that I have experienced in the past with Chinese takeaway food.

To choose the wines, I researched wines that match with 5 spice and soy sauce. Soy sauce and oyster sauce are notoriously difficult to match with wine because of the saltiness. I considered the sweetness in the pork dish so was looking for a red wine with some sweetness, but not cloying, it had to be light. For the chicken dish, I was looking for a young white wine with some floral characteristic. Gewürztraminer would be too floral and a somewhat obvious choice. I did not want a crisp wine but a smooth, rounded white. For both dishes, I was looking for wines with low acidity. For the pork, I chose the Romanian Pinot noir 2016, Incanta, which I have written about in another post and for the chicken dish I chose the Viognier grape, Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2016 from South Australia.

The Pinot noir was perfect with the pork. It had just the right amount of sweetness and was fruity and light. The Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2016 was a clear golden colour with a beautiful green tinge. On the nose it was fresh pineapple. It smelt sweet but on the palate, was dry with a beautiful creaminess- coming from three months on lees. It had low acidity and was strikingly well balanced with a satisfying roundness and then a gorgeous lychee finish. The Chinese mushrooms brought out the lychee in the wine further and was a magnificent and perfect combination. The fragrant rice also matched the wine beautifully and with the food the wine continued to be smooth and fresh.

The Viognier grape produces wines which are floral and fragrant which need to be drunk young as the floral character in them diminishes with age. The next day the wine had lost this characteristic and was quite flat and unappetising so if you buy this fabulous Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2016 ensure that you drink it in one evening!

I purchased Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2016 from Sainsbury’s and paid £8.

Update: 05/10/17 This Wine responds brilliantly to spice and strong flavours. Tonight, I drank it with Chinese takeaway. It was fabulous with beef and mixed peppers in hot chilli sauce and ribs in capital sauce. These flavours are big.

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Read my wine and food column in The Bournemouth Echo on the first Saturday of each month.