The red grapes of the Rhone, syrah, grenache, mourvèdre and cinsault, are rightfully widely celebrated for their camaraderie, (Châteauneuf-du-Pape being the ultimate blend) but let’s not underestimate the Rhone’s white grapes, an equally close-knit kin.
Viognier, marsanne and roussanne are joined by grenache blanc, bourboulenc and clairette to make perfumed, often profound and powerful whites. Most of the white blends are typically fuller in body, absorbing and reflecting their preferred warm, sunny climates through a waxy palate and inherent, often exotic, spicing. Honeysuckle, musk, quince and nuts are common characteristics among the traditional VRM trio blend. The satisfyingly fuller whites are ideal for pairing with denser, richer foods; think goose, roasted squash, risottos and - fortuitously timed - fresh BC halibut. With April's weather in that tricky transition between spring sun and winter wetness, here’s our Top 10 Rhone varietal blends, from France, and around the world.