August 2015- Vignoles
By Gabriel Miller
Who wouldn’t love a tropical vacation to some far off secluded island, enjoying a nice breeze, the sound of waves gently cascading and falling over soft beach sand, and the subtle aroma of the vast salty ocean? An island vacation presents numerous opportunities for adventure, relaxation and discovery. Unfortunately we cannot always jump on a plane and slip away to a tropical paradise whenever we want. However, for those in need of a short escape from the rigors of everyday life, wines made from the Vignoles grape offer possibly the next best thing.
Bold tropical flavors and easy drink-ability are the foremost attributes of this fantastic grape, but other characteristics and complexities make it a favorite for many wine enthusiasts. At the outset, wines made with Vignoles explode with aromas and flavors of tropical fruits reminiscent of pineapple, mango, kiwi, passion fruit, citrus and stone fruit. This makes for a very fruit forward and expressive wine, but there is also so much more to these wines thanks in large part to this grape’s strong acidity. This acidity elevates Vignoles based wines from simple fruit bombs and transforms them into complex and layered wines capable of intriguing even the most sophisticated palate. The fruit forward nature of the grape combined with the strong acidic foundation, allows winemakers a huge amount of creativity and diversity for how they make their individual Vignoles wines. This is why there are great Vignoles wines that run the gamut from very sweet dessert wines all the way to completely dry. Usually wines made from Vignoles are lighter bodied and bright, with nice balanced finishes and a somewhat crisp mouthfeel.
While radiant and electrifying on their own, Vignoles wines are also a perfect complement to many different food dishes. The fruit forward nature of these wines interplays wonderfully with many tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, but also goes with strawberry and apricot just as well. Swiss cheese is another fantastic companion, as are spicy peppers and ginger. Many Mexican dishes, which are traditionally tough to pair with wine, go great with Vignoles. The same can be said for many Caribbean and Asian dishes as well. Seafood and spicy barbeque are perfect partners too. Sweeter Vignoles wines compliment many desserts, especially cheesecakes or strawberry shortcake. Many meals can be enhanced with Vignoles and possible pairings for the wine are endless.
Perhaps the next time you sit dreaming of the far away tropics, grab a glass of Vignoles, head out to the backyard hammock, and relax for a few minutes. Close your eyes and let the tropical fruit flavors whisk you away from your everyday worries and enjoy a little mini vacation. It might be even better than the real beach!