Wine lovers all over world are celebrating one of the most widely planted grapes for the First International Grenache Day today, September 24th. A late ripening grape, Grenache grows best in hotter climates and dryer soils like those of Spain (where it’s called Garnacha), the south of France and California’s San Joaquin Valley, but is adaptable to many soils. The vines bud early, and the long ripening season pushes the sugars in the grape to higher levels making Grenache-based wines some of the higher alcohol levels, often over 15% ABV.
Grenache is often blended with Mourvèdre and Syrah, adding ripe strawberry and raspberry flavors melded with warm, spicy notes. Often thought of as the Pinot Noir of the south, Grenache is notable in the Southern Rhône beauties of Cotes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the Spanish Priorat.
An important point to remember when serving or tasting Grenache is temperature. Remember to “Keep it Cool.” If served too warm, the alcohol might seem to be out of balance. White or Rose Grenache should be served chilled, but not lower than 45°F (8°C). Red and sweet Grenache should be served between 55 and 65°F (14 to 18°C)
The 2010 International Grenache Symposium put together a great primer on Grenache, you can find here. It describes the characteristics of different types of Grenache along with suggested food pairings.
We’re talked about a number of Grenache-based wines on Another Wine Blog:
For International Grenache Day, the nice people at Hahn Family Wines sent us some Limited Edition Grenache-based wines to help us celebrate the event. We’re thinking about sharing them with the saucy Madeleine at Madeleine’s Wine Bistro and Piano Lounge in Kemah, where she just debuted her new Fall menu.
If you’d like to be part of the International Grenache Day festivities or want more information visit The Grenache Symposium website.
Grab your own special blend of Grenache, and let us know which one is your favorite!
Viva le Grenache!