Viognier vs. Sauvignon Blanc: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Newbies to the wine community often believe that two white wines with different names are the same thing. They are both made with white grapes, after all, right? 

However, once you try them, alongside chilling the wine properly, you will find that the notes of the wines are what really sets them apart from each other. So let’s get right into the specific comparisons of these two!


Is Viognier The Same As Sauvignon Blanc?

Although they might look the same, they are indeed very versatile wines when it comes to their notes and alcohol content. 


What Is Similar About Viognier And Sauvignon Blanc?

These two white wine selections have light similarities compared to their differences. The first being the most obvious, they are both white wines made from green-skinned grapes.

They also both originate from France, and although they both have different notes, they both share one specific note in common – peach. Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc can also be produced into dry or sweet-styled wines. 


What Is The Difference Between Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc?

The main difference you’ll find when comparing Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc is their remaining notes aside from their shared notes of peach. Also, you’ll find when configuring food to pair, Sauvignon Blanc, compliments more cuisines than a Viognier might. 

Viognier holds notes of tangerine and mango, and unlike Sauvignon Blanc, the Viognier also can hold floral notes like a rose. On the other hand, Sauvignon Blanc holds notes of melon, gooseberry, and grapefruit. 

It can also be paired with a variety of meals, including but not limited to cuisines made with chicken, salmon, lemon, and eggplants. Sauvignon Blanc also is found to pair with cheeses including but not limited to gouda, mozzarella, and ricotta. 


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Sauvignon Blanc is considered to be drier in taste compared to a Viognier. This mainly has to do with the notes of the wines, of course, for the floral notes of the Viognier make it seem sweeter to some than it actually might be. 

In comparison, the grapefruit notes of the Sauvignon Blanc will assist in decreasing the wine’s sweetness.


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

You’re right if you’re guessing the sweeter wine, Viognier, has more alcohol content. Viognier has an average of 13-15% alcohol by volume; you’ll find this will typically exceed the comparable wine. 

For example, Sauvignon Blanc contains around 12-14% alcohol by volume. Although the Viognier seems to typically have a higher alcohol level, it’s important to note that the percentages of both overlap. 

The alcohol content of the wine you choose can greatly vary due to the climate in which region it was created. Warmer region’s wines are found to have more alcohol content than those with cooler climates.


How Do I Choose Between Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc?

Although it’s recommended to try it to see which you’ll prefer, the best way to decide between the two is to compare the notes and styles of the wines. 

For example, if you prefer a sweeter wine that has a higher alcohol content, and if you love floral notes within your wine – we recommend trying a sweet Viognier. 

However, if you prefer a more dry wine with notes of grapefruit and melon, a Sauvignon Blanc might just be the one for you. 


Final Thoughts On Viognier vs. Sauvignon Blanc

Although not the same, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc have their fair share of similarities, including color and origin, and one shared a note of peach. 

Their differences are what set them apart from each other, mainly with the remaining notes aside from their shared note of peach. Viognier is considered to not only have a slightly higher alcohol content but is also the sweeter of the pair, thanks to its floral notes.