From Near-Extinction to Palate Perfection: Viognier

From Near-Extinction to Palate Perfection: Viognier

While Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have had their share of the limelight, there exists a gem that’s quietly been making its mark – Viognier.

Once teetering on the brink of obscurity, this white wine grape variety has not only made a resurgence but has also captivated the palates of wine lovers worldwide. It’s the kind of comeback story that even Rocky Balboa would applaud.

So, let’s go beyond Chardonnay in the whites and explore some Viognier…

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The Past and Present

By the 1960s, Viognier’s presence was fading, with only a few acres remaining in the Northern Rhône. Yet, against all odds, it made a triumphant comeback. Today, it thrives in various corners of the world, including California, Virginia, and Australia. In France, it expands its reach within the Rhône Valley and further west into Southern France. Its journey from near-extinction to global prominence is a testament to its unique qualities.

What is Viognier Wine?

Derived from the grape variety named Viognier, Viognier Wine boasts an intriguing history. In the Northern Rhône, it often hides behind the names of appellations like Condrieu and Château-Grillet. The latter, a single producer, lends its name to an entire appellation.

Interestingly, Viognier collaborates with the red grape Syrah in Côte-Rôtie, where it can constitute up to 20% of blends, although it usually plays a supporting role to Syrah’s brilliance.


Viognier exudes notes of stone fruit, from apricot to nectarine, often accompanied by hints of citrus oil. A touch of honeyed sweetness graces its profile, amplified in sweeter renditions like late-harvest Viognier.

As it matures, nutty nuances may emerge. Blended with other grapes, like Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, it adds a savory layer to the palate.


Viognier is an enigma that appeals to various preferences. Its ability to traverse the spectrum from lively to creamy allows producers to craft wines that mirror both the terroir and their vision. Oak aging further broadens its horizon that often entices Chardonnay enthusiasts.

Food Pairing

Pairing Viognier with food requires finesse, honoring its floral notes and medium acidity. From roasted chicken to seafood delights like lobster and shrimp, Viognier’s subtle bitterness harmonizes beautifully.

Cheeses like Gruyere and herbaceous spices like tarragon find companionship in this wine.

Dishes that balance fruit flavors and creaminess, like chicken tagine with apricots and almonds, elevate the Viognier experience.

Buying Guide

Alcohol by volume (ABV) of Viognier ranges from 13.5% to 15%, impacting the wine’s overall taste.

Lighter Viogniers around 14% ABV offer a leaner profile, while higher ABV styles provide a richer, bolder character.

Additionally, pay attention to the winemaker’s choice of oak aging. New oak imparts creaminess and spice, while neutral or stainless-steel aging highlights floral and tropical notes.

Go Vee-own-yay

As you explore white wines, don’t miss the chance to discover the elegance of Viognier. This white wine, with its roots in history and branches reaching across the globe, promises a journey of flavors and aromas that will leave an indelible mark on your wine-loving heart.

Explore the wide variety of Viognier at Benchmark Wines, all the way from reputed family-owned vineries and get $30 OFF on your first offer.

Cheers to uncorking a world of wine wonder!🥂

Further reading: Grenache Wine: Say Hi to the Sun-kissed


Cheers and Cheese: 8 Evergreen Wine and Pizza Pairing

Picture this: you’re sitting at home, eagerly awaiting the arrival of your piping-hot pizza delivery. A tantalizing aroma fills the air as you prepare to embark on a culinary adventure. But wait! Before you take that first glorious bite, there’s something missing—a partner in crime, a trusty companion that will take your pizza experience to new heights.

No, we’re not talking about your favorite cheesy TV show or a stack of napkins (although those are essential too).

We’re talking about the perfect wine and pizza pairing to fulfil your feast!

Welcome to a blog that celebrates the divine union of wine with pizza, where taste buds unite in harmonious ecstasy.

PS: Before we dive in, a word of caution: we take no responsibility for sudden cravings.

Let the wine and pizza symphony begin!

1. Cheese Pizza with GSM or Montepulciano


Let’s start with the classic cheese pizza, a timeless favorite enjoyed by pizza lovers of all ages. Its a simple yet delightful combination of tangy tomato sauce and melty cheese.

The best wine with pizza that has red sauce is GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) or Montepulciano. These red wines offer a medium body with soft tannins, allowing the cheese pizza’s flavors to shine without overwhelming them.

The fruity notes in GSM and Montepulciano wines, such as cherry and blackberry, harmonize beautifully with the savory elements of the cheese pizza.

2. Pepperoni Pizza with Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc

Pepperoni Pizza with Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc
Pepperoni Pizza with Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc

Next up is the ever-popular pepperoni pizza, known for its zesty, slightly spicy kick.

To complement the bold flavors of pepperoni, opt for a red wine like Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc.

Sangiovese, with its vibrant acidity and red fruit flavors, is a fantastic choice that cuts through the richness of the pepperoni, while Cabernet Franc adds a touch of herbaceousness that beautifully complements the pizza’s savory elements.

3. Margherita Pizza with Garnacha or Dry Rosé

Margherita-Pizza-with-Garnacha-or-Dry Rosé
Margherita-Pizza-with-Garnacha-or-Dry Rosé

The classic Margherita pizza calls for wines that are equally refreshing and versatile.

Garnacha, also known as Grenache, is an excellent red wine choice. It boasts a vibrant fruitiness, with notes of strawberry and raspberry, that wonderfully enhances the fresh tomato and basil flavors of the Margherita pizza.

If you prefer a lighter option, consider a dry Rosé. Its crispness and delicate fruit flavors, such as watermelon and citrus, provide a delightful contrast to the pizza’s creaminess.

4. Sausage Pizza with Syrah or Pinotage

Sausage Pizza with Syrah or Pinotage
Sausage Pizza with Syrah or Pinotage

Sausage pizza, with its savory and smoky notes, requires a wine that can stand up to its robust flavors.

For this pairing, turn to Syrah or Pinotage. Syrah, known for its boldness and spiciness, complements the sausage’s rich and meaty profile while also adding a touch of black pepper and dark fruit flavors.

Pinotage, a South African red wine, offers a unique combination of earthiness and ripe berry flavors, creating a harmonious blend with the pizza’s flavors.

5. Hawaiian Pizza with Riesling, Zinfandel, or Lambrusco


The pineapple controversy aside, Hawaiian pizza lovers can enhance their experience with a variety of wines. The sweet and savory combination of ham, pineapple, and cheese calls for wines that balance the flavors without overpowering them.

Riesling, with its fruity sweetness and vibrant acidity, creates a beautiful contrast to the pizza’s saltiness and provides a refreshing palette cleanse.

Alternatively, you can opt for a Zinfandel, which offers juicy berry flavors and a touch of spice that complement the Hawaiian pizza’s ingredients.

For those who prefer a touch of effervescence, try pairing the pizza with a slightly sparkling red Lambrusco, which balances the sweetness of the pineapple and the smokiness of the ham.

6. White Pizza with Pinot Noir or Chardonnay


White pizza is a pizza topped with creamy cheeses and fragrant herbs.

The best wine with pizza like this is Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir, being a versatile red wine, offers a delicate balance of red fruit flavors and earthiness with its medium body and soft tannins.

Alternatively, you can choose a Chardonnay, which complements the pizza’s richness with its buttery mouthfeel and notes of citrus and tropical fruits.

7. Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Malbec or Touriga Nacional

Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Malbec or Touriga Nacional

Barbecue Chicken Pizza is smoky and tangy in flavor, which demands a full-bodied red wine.

The boldness of Malbec beautifully complements the barbecue sauce and grilled chicken, creating a delectable combination that lingers on the palate.

Alternatively, you can opt for Touriga Nacional, a Portuguese red wine renowned for its robust character, rich berry flavors, and hints of spice.

8. Salad Pizza with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, or Grüner Veltliner

Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, or Grüner Veltliner
Sauvignon Blanc-Verdejo-or-Grüner-Veltliner

For those seeking a lighter and more refreshing pizza option with minimum guilt, the salad pizza is a fantastic choice. Topped with fresh greens, tomatoes, and tangy dressings, it pairs exceptionally well with crisp and vibrant white wines.

Sauvignon Blanc, with its zesty acidity and herbaceous notes, provides a delightful contrast to the salad pizza’s textures and flavors.

Verdejo, a Spanish white wine, offers a citrusy profile with hints of tropical fruits, further enhancing the salad’s freshness.

Lastly, Grüner Veltliner, a versatile Austrian wine, combines green apple flavors with a touch of white pepper, creating a dynamic pairing that complements the salad pizza’s vibrancy.


Pairing wine with pizza is an art that elevates the dining experience to new heights. With the right combination, wine and pizza enhance each other’s flavors, creating a symphony of taste that tantalizes the senses. From the classic cheese pizza to the adventurous Hawaiian pizza, there’s a perfect wine waiting to accompany each slice. As a wine lover in Singapore, you can explore these exciting pairings by visiting the best wine shop in Singapore, Benchmark Wines.

Further Reading – Bubbles Without the Bucks – Italy’s Sparkling Wine, Prosecco