One of the most versatile grapes which is widely grown across major wine regions, Grenache or Garnacha (as it is known in Spain) produces spicy, fruit-forward, full-body wines with high alcohol content.

Grenache Cheat Sheet

On its own, Grenache grape, sometimes, lacks the acidity and tannins but is used in many notable blends, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone GSM, Priorat, Rioja being some of the famous ones.

Ripe red fruits, black fruits, baking spices, jams and herbs are some of the common flavours of Grenache. It adds the flavours to the blends and helps round off the tannins thereby making the wine well balanced and structured. Grenache also takes well to oak ageing and many Grenache-based blends can age for decades.

It thrives in hot, dry weathers and is widely planted across in Rhone Valley in Southern France, Navarra and Rioja in Spain, McLaren Vale in Australia and many wine regions of the USA.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape in southern Rhône is the most famous Grenache-based blend. Many of these are available widely and I’ve never been disappointed with these full-bodied, smoky, spicy, rich-flavoured, tannic wines.

Wine with 100% Grenache grape are also a huge success. These dry wines with notes of raspberry, cherry, caramel and cocoa are delicious and make for easy-drinking, too. The variety is also well suited to the production of rosé wines.

Grenache Food Pairing

Grenache-based blends tend to be full-bodied, bold wines that pair well with hearty foods, grilled meats and vegetables, rich sauces and complex stews.
Some of the other styles of Grenache – varietal as well as blends can be juicy, easy-drinking and light and go well with creamy sauces, Indian food with mild spices of clove, cardamom, bay leaf and even with cheese platters. Some suggested pairings are:

1. Goulash or stew made with meats and vegetables. This hearty dish pairs really well with the rich, smoky tannic wines.
2. Mac and Cheese. Lighter versions of Grenache will pair very well with the classic Mac and Cheese.
3. Gruyere Cheese. The creamy texture and light flavours of Gruyere are a good match for low alcohol Grenache-based blends.
4. Grilled vegetables. Depending on the sauce and the level of grilling, both bold as well as light Grenache wines will pair with it.
Avoid salads, or dishes with very light flavours and texture, as the flavours of the food will get lost in the bold flavours of the wine.

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