What is Grenache?
Learn about this unsung hero of the wine world and how to pair Grenache with tasty dishes. Read up on our expert tasting notes and try our perfect pairings.
Discover more about this charming and delicious grape variety. Read our expert guide on typical flavour profiles, tasting notes and fabulous foodie suggestions for pairing.
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What is Grenache wine?
Grenache is one of the unsung heroes of the wine world. Originally from Spain, where it’s known as Garnacha, it’s a significant component in blends from France to Australia. It produces reds, fortified wines and even rosé. But it’s now being appreciated as a solo performer in impressive wines in Spain, South Africa, Sardinia and worldwide.
Grenache is native to Aragon in Spain, where it’s the most planted variety of grape. It creates reds that are pale in colour but high in alcohol and fruit. In scorching climates, it can reach 16% ABV. It’s used in some of the world’s most famous wines, such as Rioja in Spain and Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Provençal Rosé (France). At higher altitudes, growers manage to entice delicate floral flavours from Grenache and moderate its alcohol content. Even at its most profound, Grenache tends to be charming and delicious when drunk young.
What does Grenache wine taste like?
Ripe red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries head into jam territory in the Grenache grown in hot climates including the Barossa Valley in Australia. In cooler climates, such as Sierra de Gredos in Spain, it has herbal and floral notes, and more moderate alcohol. With age, it takes on cinnamon, nutmeg and cough-medicine-type flavours. Oak ageing brings vanilla, cloves and usually darker wines. The texture tends to be soft with gentle tannins, though premium examples from Châteauneuf-du-Pape are usually more structured. Serve it cool, even as low as 12C, to bring out the floral notes and reduce heat from the alcohol.
What dishes go well with Grenache wine?
Grenache is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food. Due to its spiciness, pure red fruits, fresh attributes and myriad different levels of depth and textures, Grenache works well with a diverse array of food. Grenache pairs perfectly with grilled, stewed and braised meats including beef, veal, pork, chicken and game. Taste it with some of our delicious grilled chicken recipes. Grenache holds up well to hearty dishes, it's perfect for enjoying alongside a casserole such as our sausage and bean cassoulet or pork cassoulet. It's also a good match for less spicy Asian foods – try with our saucy Japanese greens with sticky sesame rice or other Chinese-inspired dishes from our Chinese recipes collection.
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