Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache is one of the most widely planted grape varietals in the world. It ripens late in the season, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, the south of France and certain areas in California. Grenache is the dominant varietal in most southern Rhone Valley wines, especially in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, where it typically comprises 80% of the blend. In Australia, it is typically blended in GSM" blends with Shiraz and Mourvedre.  Grenache is also used to make rose wines in Spain and France, notably those in the Tavel district in the Cotes du Rhone. In Spain, Grenache is known as Garnacha and is widely planted in northeastern and central Spain. 

Grenache is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content. Since it tends to lack acid, tannin and color, it is often blended with such other varietals as Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo and Cinsault. 

The characteristic notes of Grenache are such berry fruits as strawberries and raspberries. When yields are kept in check, Grenache-based wines can develop complex and intense notes of black currants, black cherries, black olives, coffee, gingerbread, honey, leather, black pepper, tar, spices and roasted nuts. 

Grenache pairs well with medium to full-bodied savory dishes with meat, lamb, chicken, turkey, roasted or braised veal or pork, chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, mushrooms, risotto and cheese-based pastas. 

Cheeses that go well with Grenache include Asiago, Brie and Camembert (without rinds), mild Cheddar, Emmental, Gouda (including smoked), Manchego, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Provolone and Pecorino Romano.