Big City to Small-Town: Flavours & Finds

Experience the world by food & drink in your own backyard & local community.

An original small-town girl, Lisa Culbert has spent the past 6 years living and working as a

lawyer in the “Big Smoke” of Toronto and recently resumed living in what she can only describe as the welcoming and wonderfully peaceful town of St. Marys. Now working remotely, she delights in sharing her local town and county discoveries that highlight her passion for world travel, city trends and fine food & drink, but without the traffic jams and a whole lot more fresh air.

This Weekend: Sip your way to the South of France with a glass of Viognier!

Ever dreamed of travelling to the South of France? Sitting atop a glorious hillside breaking off a piece of baguette and wiping the crumbs from your lips while breathing in the glorious countryside that surrounds you?

Well. I challenge you to go… BUT without the plane ticket and dare I say it, without the baguette. Take the express route to “le Midi” by embarking on a taste experience of a lesser known, but increasingly popular wine varietal called Viognier. Pronounced “Vee-yoh-N’YAY”, this varietal originates from France’s southern Rhone Valley. Practice its pronunciation as you gaze into the Rhone River winding through southeastern France, past Lyon and into Switzerland.

Awestruck by the endless Rhone, you’re left wondering what does this mean for your next corkpopping event? Well, when you’re in the mood for a “drinking wine” – meaning a no-food required or a “let’s get the ball rolling on the evening” wine, Viognier is your new best friend.

Replacing Chardonnay’s heavier notes of oak and butter, a sip of Viognier delights the palate with its fresh flavours of sandalwood, citrus and a hint of honey. It brings the elements of Spring together (much faster than our Ontario weatherman) with a sophistication that can only be compared to that of les Française.

While sipping away however, should you get the urge to nosh – bring out your favourite semisoft cheese and slice off a wedge. Rest it atop a crostini or cracker, sprinkle on crushed pine nuts or crumbled walnuts and add:

• a drizzle of a flavoured olive oil (savoury); or

• honey (sweet)

and be prepared to be delighted as Viognier’s flavours are made bigger and bolder with the grainy, the creamy and your savoury or sweet selection.

Give it a try the next time you’re at the LCBO in the “France” general section or Vintages collection. Or, head to Little Red’s Pub & Eatery in downtown St. Marys as I did recently, to enjoy your own tour of the “Rhone” with a glass of Viognier (no plane ticket required).

You May Also Like