Pairing White Rhone Wines with Food

Food friendly and versatile varietals from the Northern Rhone

 


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Pairing White Rhone Wines with Food When most people think of the Northern Rhône, they don't think of white wine. It's really no surprise that Viognier (one of the principal white grapes of the region) had nearly gone extinct only fifty years ago, with just eight acres planted across the entire region. Now, Viognier, as well as Marsanne and Roussanne, have spread across the world. Viognier, being the most popular of these varietals, has found success in South America, Australia, California and even Virginia. Frankly, we're lucky to have Viognier in our arsenal of food-friendly wines because its versatility allows it to pair well with some of the more difficult wine-pairing cuisines around the world; namely Indian, Asian and vegetarian foods. It also has the ability to stand up against moderately spicy foods.

Marsanne and Roussane have not had as much success as Viognier, but they are certainly worth seeking out as they are both truly unique grapes. While they are the only grapes permitted in Northern Rhône whites such as Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, you can also find varietal bottlings from the Rhône-Rangers in California and in Austrailia. 

Exploration is important, but the wines and recipes I’ve put together are a great start. I think you’ll find that Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane deserve a place in your repertoire.

Photo courtesy LollyKnit via Flickr/CC

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Comments

  • Snooth User: Amanda Schuster
    Hand of Snooth
    870341 1,975

    My family usually pairs an American Viognier with butternut squash soup at Thanksgiving. Have to agree that's a pretty slammin' pairing.

    Mar 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM


  • Snooth User: ontheriver
    101178 52

    I've heard that white Châteauneuf-du-Pape pairs well with lamb and is served that way in Lyon.

    Mar 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM


  • Snooth User: txwineguy2
    552506 11

    We visited the Provencal region , around Avignon, and found the Rhones their very tasty and affordable. The 'Cotes du Rhone' in either white or red were superb!

    Mar 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM


  • Snooth User: txwineguy2
    552506 11

    We visited the Provencal region , around Avignon, and found the Rhones their very tasty and affordable. The 'Cotes du Rhone' in either white or red were superb!

    Mar 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM


  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 163,063

    This was the most fun I've ever had while writing a wine pairing piece. Up until a few months ago I had very little experience with these grapes. I was amazed at how versatile they are and they will find space in my cellar, as well as onto my client's tables.

    Mar 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM


  • Snooth User: edlohmann
    1029696 4

    I learned something new that I can incorporate in my wine tastings at Chrysalis vineyard.....in vino veritas

    Apr 01, 2012 at 11:04 PM



  • My experience tasting wines made from Viognier vines is low, because for our country its production is recent, however, the wines I tasted were excellent, unfortunately for reasons of fashion, has shelved its mass production, for other more popular, in the case of Roussanne have not had a chance to try, the Marsanne only once, which is was an experimental production that makes a wine cellar, with respect to their pairing, it is true, is broad spectrum of flavors and textures which can be drunk. To me it seems very practical, is a grape that can be placed between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, without reaching the extrem of either.

    Apr 08, 2012 at 3:14 PM


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