Grenache is the little red grape that could. Here’s why you should be drinking more of this aromatic variety, along with a few of our picks to try.
Grenache, or garnacha as it’s known in its native Spain, is one of the world’s most widely planted grapes. Despite this, it hasn’t played a starring role in many wine cellars – until now. The variety has been happy to be a workhorse in red blends, rosés and fortified wines for a long time thanks to its prolific yield, but wine lovers around the world are waking up to the appeal of its pale, medium-bodied and highly drinkable characteristics. “It’s a seriously underrated variety that has the most incredible capacity to express terroir. And I think the Barossa region is currently producing the most exciting renditions of this variety that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.” — Geoffrey Hunt, Sommelier and Restaurant Manager, Appellation, Barossa Valley
Grenache was first planted in the 12th century, in the Mediterranean regions of Spain and southern France. From the 18th century onwards, it began making its mark on the rest of the world, spreading to Australia and beyond.
Grenache is a medium to full-bodied wine, with red fruit flavours that are layered with a peppery spice. It’s balanced tannins and acidity make it easy to drink, although it does tend to have higher alcohol levels.
Grenache gets along very well with meat – whether it’s a barbecue grill or hearty stews, pies or pub grub, such as sausages and mash. It’s also a great pairing with turkey and game.
There are reportedly thousands of acres of grenache vineyards in China, which could be responsible for the emerging signature Chinese varietal: the marselan. A grenache and cabernet sauvignon hybrid, this wine is both smooth and soft and is accompanied by very ripe fruit flavours.
This wine is made by pressing the grape skins early, ensuring plush fruit flavours and a velvety structure.
A full-bodied wine that is defined by its distinctive plum, raspberry pastille and spicy notes.