10/03/07 – Wines that start with “v”

By Jesse on October 1, 2007

Winos,

It’s only following a period of careful reflection and determined self-critique that I came to the unfortunate realization that we’ve never yet done a meeting devoted to wines that start with the letter “v.” Despite the proliferation of v-skewing wine words like vintage, varietal and vomit, we have never yet tasted wines exclusively starting with that letter. Lets correct that post haste.

Feel free to bring any wine, whether varietal or region, that starts with the letter v. Please note, that does not include brands that start with the letter v (i.e. you can’t bring a “Valley of the Moon” Cabernet Sauvignon). Among the wines you CAN bring, however, are…

Viognier – Remember the Scarlett Johannson wine? To quote my timeless e-mail of May 1: “the majority of the articles on the white grape Viognier tend to reference its floral nature, its intense fruit aromas, and its richness of body and flavor. It also seems to vary significantly, as many whites do, on the basis of production methods. Apparently Viognier is occasionally over-oaked in a Chardonnay style, which doesn’t produce great results — similarly, Scarlett is sometimes overdone and not as appealing as when she’s allowed to express her remarkable natural beauty in a more subtle, intimate setting, in which her true complexities are even more resplendent (you know it’s a good analogy when you can’t tell if I’m talking about the actress or the grape).” Viognier from the Northern Rhone region of Condrieu is still considered some of the very best. It’s also widely planted in California and in Australia; for a complete list of Viognier regions around the world, check out a very interesting website appropriately called www.EnjoyingViognier.com.

Vouvray – One of the best examples of Loire Valley white wine, this French classic is made from the Chenin Blanc grape and varies largely in response to the particular terroir of the vineyard sites. An excellent Voyvray website details the differences between the various flavors and mouthfeels associated with Vouvray, which range from dry and austere to sweet and vibrantly fruity. If you go the Vouvray route, ask your local wine dealer for a recommendation, as they’ll likely have some good suggestions. Some Voyvrays are sparkling as well, in case you’re into that.

Verdicchio – A northern Italian white varietal, the wines of which are noted for their high acidity and a characteristic nutty flavor. Check it out here.

Vinho Verde - this Portuguese wine is made from Albarino, the ancient clone of Riesling (best exemplified in Spain’s Rias Baixas region) which runs light and aromatic with a bouquet of peaches and melon. We had a few at Sarah and Heather’s house and didn’t like them very much.

Also feel free to bring any other wine, red or white, that starts withv.” I myself will be bringing a unique varietal that I’m sure none of you (with the possible exception of Joe Marcello) will have ever had.

We’ll be meeting at Jordan’s house in Santa Monica. Chill your v-wine if it’s a white (which I imagine most of them will be) and bring some fascinating tasting notes. We’ll see you on Wednesday night at 9:00!

Jesse