Yay! It's international Grenache day! #grenacheday
We love our Grenache! Ok to be objective, we love wine
Every year on the third Friday of the month of September is when we're supposed to pay special attention to this grape, which creates a bit of a problem for us at Cabonnay, since we celebrate Grenache day unofficially pretty much all the time, and while you may not know it, you probably drink Grenache wine all time yourself too.
Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine grapes in the world. Wines made from Grenache tend to lack acid, tannin and color, which makes it ideal for blending with better known varieties such as Syrah, Tempranillo. It’s also a wine that takes the sting of others. If you have a favorite “Red Blend” turn the bottle around and investigate some and we won’t be surprised if it shows a decent percentage of Grenache grape.
A brief distinction to make, Grenache, at least the Red one we are writing about, is technically called Grenache Noir, and it is different from other varietals such as Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Hairy Grenache. Grenache grapes, originally from Spain and now flourishing in the South of France, especially in Chateauneuf-du-pape where its common to be over 80% of a red blend, can actually be we found worldwide in most hot and dry Mediterranean-type climates where grapes are grown: It happily takes root in Australia, South Africa, parts of South and North America and in the USA the San Joaquin Valley in California is the main US Grenache producer.
Grenache grapes are distinctly berry-flavored with a spiced overtones. Roasted nuts, raspberries, blackcurrants, dark cherry, olive, coffee, strawberry, honey, pepper, general spices, and even gingerbread overtones are present in a variety of Grenache wines. It’s a universally an easy drinking wine that is smooth over the tongue and doesn’t sting the palate. Grenache wines have good body without the high tannins.
Do you like your wines with a kick? Good news: Grenache wines are higher in alcohol – easily hitting 14%-16% alcohol by volume. Averages alcohol by volume in wine is in the 9%-12.5% range so 15% or so is definitely pushing it nicely. Grenache wines are typically best enjoyed as young wines since the grape is highly prone to oxidation. Older Grenache wines tend to take on more leather flavor profiles. Grenache is high in sugar and lends itself well to the making of and blending into fortified wines.
So you see, Grenache is a happy, non-snobby, let-the-good-times-roll wine. You don’t need to swirl and twist and gurgle, you just need to enjoy – it’s often young, fruity, spirited, and the life of the party – and it does so all year round, for any occasion. Also, Grenache doesn’t have a stigma of serving with chicken or beef or fish – it’s good with the whole meal. While there are other wines that pair well with certain proteins, Grenache will forgive you for any meal and you even can toss dessert in with it.
So – in short form – if you haven’t had a bottle of Grenache – go get one. You can’t go wrong. You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur knowing the details – just try a bottle, any bottle, and we’re willing to bet it’s not your worst wine, more so, may even surprise you and be one of your best, easy, drink-now wines that you’ll buy again...
Happy #grenacheday – have fun, drink wine, and stay safe!