Think you already know all the best reds out there? Think again. Get to know your new best friend, Carménère.
What Is Carménère?
This bold, red wine might not be at the top of your list yet, but it will be as soon as you try that first glass. It's a medium-bodied red wine with distinctive flavor notes and plenty of herbaceous appeal. What's herbaceous? Well, if you typically consider yourself an IPA drinker, Carménère could convert you to red wine.
Where's It Produced?
Like most red wines you've ever had the pleasure of sipping, Carménère originated in France's Bordeaux region. Today, however, almost all Carménère comes from Chile's Central Valley Region. Funny story: these grapes made their way south almost totally by accident, as they look and taste like Merlot grapes. Fortunately for wine drinkers around the world, Chile's climate proved perfect for those sneaky Carménère grapes, and now this South American red wows wine lovers around the globe.
What's It Taste Like?
Think Merlot balanced with Syrah. Carménère boasts the juicy berry flavors that you might know from Merlot, but it also has the peppery notes that you've tasted in bottles of Syrah. Basically, Carménère is the best of both worlds.
You'll probably notice some rich vanilla notes, too, along with a little green pepper bite. Some drinkers even note a slight bitterness, sort of like a hint of leafy green veggies. Don't worry, though. It's all about balance.
Why You'll Love Carménère:
Feeling indecisive? Carménère has your back, since it mixes and matches all your favorite aspects from other bottles of red.
Want to impress your buds or that hottie you met last weekend? Picking up a bottle of Carménère is guaranteed to be way more interesting than the basic red you'd normally grab.
On a budget? Carménère won't break the bank, and even excellent bottles are on the affordable end of the wine spectrum.
Great Food Pairings for Carménère:
Since most Carménère comes from Chile, it should come as no surprise that it goes well with South American and Latin flavors. Making a mole sauce, some carne asada or Cuban-style pork? Carménère brings out the best of savory roasted dishes.
Thanks to Carménère's relatively high acidity, this red won't even get lost when you pair it with complex dishes. It also works well with lighter flavors and vegetarian dishes, such as stuffed peppers and big bowls of chili, thanks to its low tannin.