Close your eyes (we know that’s hard while reading a blog- so read the next sentence before closing them). Think to yourself of some of the best wines in the world and what grapes they come from (now open them- well at least I hope you opened them). Most everyone thinks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, or Pinot Noir. However, what if I told you some of the most expensive, delicious, and if your are willing to do some searching, approachable, wines in the world were made from Grenache/Garnacha (the Spanish spelling).
Most famous from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region of the Rhone in France (where it is blended with a myriad of other grapes). Grenache is widely planted in the old world, especially France, Spain, and Italy. It has a relative light color and the nose screams of candied fruits and savory spices (like cinnamon and nutmeg). The alcohol can get high from hot growing regions, like Spain and the southern Rhone Valley in France. However, the low(ish) acidity and medium tannin structure makes for a versatile wine. Our favorite pairings include tapas (it can handle many flavor profiles), first dates, spicy ethnic foods (which the alcohol helps clean from your palate), and while trying to be a hipster and watch a European Soccer game on late night ESPN.