Even if you’ve never heard of Grenache, there’s a good chance it’s the main ingredient in some of your favourite red wines and rosés.
Spicy and fruity with hints of strawberry and raspberry as well as white pepper and cinnamon, Grenache wines could never be accused of lacking personality.
What is Grenache?
Grenache, also known by its Spanish name Garnacha, is a red wine grape that originated in the Aragon region of northern Spain. It was adopted by French winemakers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region where it was renamed Grenache.
It’s now one of the most widely planted red wine grapes in the world and thrives in hot and dry climates, making it popular with winemakers in Australia. Grenache wines are known for their rich fruity notes, earthy spiciness and, despite a lighter colour, high alcohol content.
Grenache wines come in many styles, so the best way to serve it depends on the type of wine you’re dealing with. Full-bodied Grenache-based wines should be served at room temperature between 17-21˚C. If you’re drinking a lighter red wine or rosé, slightly chilled (12-19˚C) is best.
Varieties of Grenache
Despite being slightly undervalued, Grenache is a key ingredient in some of the world’s most famous wines, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s also a favourite among home winemakers. Thanks to its naturally high sugar levels, it has the capacity to make excellent dessert wines too.
Food Matching Recommendations
Grenache wines are notoriously food-friendly. Full-bodied reds are best paired with slow-cooked stews and roasts as well as sweet Moroccan tagines or mild Indian curries. Lighter versions and rosés go well with grilled seafood or fish dishes and make for excellent barbeque drinking.
Overall, Grenache wines are amazingly versatile, surprisingly affordable and just as lovely to sip over an elegant sit-down dinner as a casual BBQ. Get some while you can!