June 2015- Vidal Blanc
Vidal Blanc's Starring Role
By Gabriel Miller
In Hollywood we applaud the actor or actress with the skill to capture an audience with a powerful performance which truly makes us feel as if what we are seeing is real life. The goal of these performers is to make you forget all you know about them, all their past performances in other movies or shows, and all their paparazzi glamour shots and red carpet moments and completely transform into the character on the screen. One of the greatest compliments the actor or actress can receive is based on their versatility and their ability to seamlessly transfer from one character to another. To be able to portray the strength and moral fiber of a charismatic and great hero one day and a lonely, troubled and flawed man the next is a great talent. Great actors refuse to be typecast; they flawlessly move from project to project and tend to succeed in everything they portray. In the wine world, many grapes do get typecast. They rise to popularity for one particular style and then wineries and winemakers around the world jump onto the bandwagon to the extent that a particular grape only becomes available in the one form of wine. On the other hand, there are grapes like Vidal Blanc which has refused to be pigeon-holed, allowing winemakers all over to make many unique and different styles of wine that are both fascinating and alluring.
There are several reasons Vidal is able to give great performances in a variety of starring roles. One of Vidal’s most important attributes is its slightly higher acid content. In dry wines, Vidal’s acid is bright and crisp with a light body and a refreshing finish somewhat similar to a Sauvignon Blanc. In sweeter wines, the acid interplays with the residual sugar to create a balanced wine and keeps the sugar from making the wine feel flabby and heavy or one dimensional. Vidal ripens fairly early, but unlike many other grape varieties, Vidal will continue to hang on the vine and develop new flavors until early winter. This means that Vidal is ideal for decadently sweet dessert style ice wines that are complex and interesting to the palate. Wines made from Vidal also have the structure and flavors that lend themselves well to barrel aging, making wonderful oaked wines that with delicious flavor and texture. In wine blends, where Vidal may not be in the leading role, it has a tendency to steal the show as well. Vidal has the ability to spruce up the acid in a blend and can contribute fantastic fruit and subtle floral characteristics and flavors as well. A good winemaker will often use a tiny bit of Vidal to “brighten” up a blend and to add complexity to it.
Vidal has a ton of perfect food “co-stars” to pair with. Seafood and chicken dishes are great pairings for most of the different styles of Vidal. Vidal also goes great with several vegetable dishes; try it with asparagus, broccoli or snap peas. It compliments many types of salads as well. Wines made from Vidal tend to have many vibrant grapefruit and green apple flavors that work fantastically with a variety of fruits. There are also citrus undertones that complement many Latin-American dishes. Vidal wines with a touch of sweetness can cut through spicy dishes or bleu cheeses very well. Ice Wines made from Vidal are perfect compliments for desserts like custards or Crème Brule and also go well with pumpkin and pecan pies. Buttery oaked Vidal wines pair great with cream based sauces. Because of the wide variety of Vidal wines, there are tons of cheese pairings that will enhance any meal.
With so many delicious performances, it is easy to see why Vidal wines have captured the hearts of so many fans around the world. The Vidal Blanc grape and its great range create phenomenal wines that beg for a standing ovation followed by an encore.