Wine Lists

Australian viognier and Maker & Monger cheese pairings to try

By J'aime Cardillo

25 Apr, 2024

Viognier is a textural white grape that is a great match for a slew of cheeses, so, we called in an expert. Maker & Monger's Anthony Femia pairs five Aussie viognier wines with five different cheeses.

Viognier Wine

Viognier [vee-on-yay] is a textural, oily, full-bodied white wine that was born in Condrieu – a French wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) – located in the northern Rhône.

The white wine grape was first planted in Australia in the 70s and 80s, and ranges from delicate and full-flavoured (depending on its region), right through to botrytised styles. It's more aromatic than chardonnay, but if you're a fan of fuller-bodied chardy you're sure to like viognier. You'll find oaked and unoaked examples around the country, and you may have even tried it as a blend (shiraz viognier, anyone?).

Aussie styles typically display notes of peach and apricots, along with floral notes, but it's not uncommon to experience flavours of tangerine, mango, honeysuckle and notes of rose.

A champion of the grape, Yalumba decided viognier deserved a day of celebration, and so in 2021 the Eden Valley winery dubbed the last Friday in April International Viognier Day.

Viognier has been described as a food wine, in the sense that it's yet to meet a food it doesn't like. It's an especially good match for cheeses (whether your preference is creamy or more piquant). So, who better to serve up some expert cheese pairings than Anthony Femia from Maker & Monger? Located inside Melbourne institution, Prahran Market, Maker & Monger is a cheese (and foodie) destination that specialises in farmhouse and artisan cheese.

We poured five of our favourite viognier wines and asked Anthony for his ideal cheese match. While the viogniers are from Beechworth, the Yarra Valley, Nagambie Lakes and Wrattonbully, when it comes to the cheese, Anthony takes us around the world – starting in Italy, then heading to France, there's a local stint in Gippsland, before we finish in England.

Maker & Monger pairing: La Tur

Langhe, Italy

La Tur is a sheep, cow and goat milk lactic set Robiola – an Italian, soft-ripened cheese of the Stracchino family in Langhe, Italy. It has a cloud-like texture to it that melts wonderfully. The aroma of this cheese is what hits you first – lactic yet earthy – but on the palate you'll taste a sweet creaminess and a slightly tangy finish. Perfectly complementary to those notes of stone fruit, citrus and the light headiness of the honeysuckle.

RRP $28 (200g)

Maker & Monger pairing: Chabichou du Poitou


A mild but complex goat’s milk cheese from central, western France with a wonderful sweet, slightly acidic taste and a delicate tangy flavour. The smell is typically ‘goaty’, but has a mild softness that only comes with youthful ripening, which makes it an essential pairing.

Anthony Femia says: I’d strongly recommend picking a young (3–5 week old) cheese to work with this viognier’s acidity and tightness. Older, more plump cheeses will dominate the experience.

RRP $20 (120g)

Maker & Monger pairing: Tomme de Chevre by Agour co-op

Midi-Pyrénées, France

With a mixture of ewes and goats milk this is a very balanced, approachable, and versatile semi-hard cheese. Slightly fudgy and with a textured graininess that has a beautiful aroma of straw and toasted hazelnuts. The flavour is sweet and nutty with a slight citrus tang on the finish. It's a favourite in the shop amongst our team, and is a texturally beautiful pairing with this viognier.

Anthony Femia says: There are few locally made cheeses that resemble the Tomme de Chevre – sometimes (or, for many, often) the French do it best.

RRP $15 (100g)

Maker & Monger pairing: Riverine Blue by Berrys Creek

Gippsland, Victoria

Beautiful, buttery texture with the blue moulds evenly rippled from centre to rind. It’s slightly sweet and fruity at first, but then develops into a gentle spice and slight lanolin flavour with notes of raw almond as it warms in your mouth. This is a great introduction to the world of blue cheese for the novices out there!

Anthony Femia says: This is Berry’s Creek signature variety, and is Australia’s best blue cheese! Warm to room temperature before serving.

RRP $18 (100g)

Maker & Monger pairing: Colston Bassett Stilton selected by Neal’s Yard Dairy

Nottinghamshire, England

More balanced than your typical blues, this Stilton is left to mature and gain flavour for some time before being pierced to let the blue moulds bloom and enhance a fruity yet savoury taste that is reminiscent of Vegemite. This is your hit of umami.

Anthony Femia says: This Stilton is the only expression left that uses animal rennet to set the curd. Hand-ladling and 12-week maturation, before spiking to ensure the creamy texture and balanced flavours of the spice of blue and the character of milk.

RRP $13.50 (100g)

Each expert cheese pairing is available at Maker & Monger. For more information visit

Enrol in a Halliday Wine Academy course

Learn more about food and wine pairings with Halliday Wine Academy. 

Across eight modules, Halliday Wine Academy's Introduction to Wine online course offers a detailed look at the Australian wine landscape. Learn about Australian wine regions, how wine is made, how to taste and describe wine, how to approach food and wine matches, along with handy tips that address common wine questions.

If you prefer to learn in a classroom setting, enrol in our 2024 Fundamentals of Wine in-person classes that kick off in May. Our Fundamentals of Wine in-person course includes one two-hour session per week for four weeks. Students will be hosted by Jane Faulkner in Melbourne. 

Image credit: Yalumba.