The Best Cheap White Wine: Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier

Posted on: February 15th, 2015 by

I traveled all the way to a ramen place in Richmond, British Columbia, to find—from Chile—one of the best cheap white wines I’ve ever had: the 2013 Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier. This is a grape that can produce very expensive, sublime wines in France from the tiny region of Condrieu. Viognier can also produce very oily, heavy, perfume-y (like potpourri) wines that aren’t cheap, either. But as I drank this with my pal Sonja, I could not stop raving about the Cono Sur and being astonished at the same time. (Sorry, Sonja, for the broken record routine.)

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier

cono sur bicicleta viognier

This Viognier was plenty aromatic in the most pleasing of ways and extremely refreshing. A very small percentage of the wine (5%) sees time in oak barrels and this touch of wood adds extra depth and a smidge of welcome richness and texture. A quick spin on WineSearcher reveals the average price in the US is 9 bucks. Buy it by the case and make it your house white wine.


gmen ramen richmond bcAlso, do go to G-Men Ramen Shop in Richmond. Try the Tan Tan Men, which features spicy sesame and peanut pork bone broth. It was sensational. So was the fried chicken (tori karaage) off the izakaya menu. The batter was super-crispy and the thigh meat very flavorful. Both were a perfect match with this Viognier. (I’d say the wine “killed it” but that’s kind of an inside joke between me and Jay Friedman, who recommended this place. Please peruse his blog, Gastrolust.)

And while my first night in Richmond began at a Japanese restaurant, I was actually in town (on the cusp of Chinese New Year) for a media tour focusing on exploring regional cuisines of China. Stay tuned for tales of epic dim sum eating, a few good wines, new friends, and Underberg.

Note: I went with “cheap” rather than the more genteel “inexpensive” to describe the Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier. Forgive my coarse ways. I love this wine! (Now that’s more like it.)

Here’s my favorite bargain white wine from France.

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14 Responses

  1. Is it a coincidence that there is a Bike on the label? I think not….

  2. Mmmm… I love a good inexpensive Viognier!

  3. Don’t know much about wine except that I love it (bet you hear that a lot)! This sounds really good – I’ll be on the lookout here in AZ!

  4. I’ll have to try this wine! I enjoy white wine occasionally but my husband hates it so I’ll just have more to myself 🙂 And who doesn’t love a good bottle under $10?

  5. I’ve had other Cono Sur wines, and have really enjoyed them. I love, love, LOVE a good Viognier, too. Have to say, it’s my favorite white wine. Will have to give this one a try with some upcoming recipes, too! Thanks!

  6. Todd Suesz says:

    Hi Jameson, Although I haven’t had this vintage, Ive been very please with it as well as all the Cono Sur wines. This is the winery I visited when I went to Chile. Wonderful experience. Their Carmenere wines are also delicious! In answer to the bicycle question above, the winery is working towards a zero carbon footprint. One of the things, they do is have all the vineyard workers ride bikes out to the vineyards to do their work. Visitors also have to ride the bikes to tour the vineyard, and I hadn’t been on a bike in 30 years!!! I still remembered, and didn’t fall over1 LOL It was fun, and that is why they put bicycles on the wine labels. Keep up the good work, my Friend.

  7. I love wine so I will have to try this one sounds like a great option =)

  8. Next time I’m in Richmond I’ll definitely try this ramen place. Now onto search for this wine. Who doesn’t love a bottle of wine for under $10?

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