Feeling fancy or celebrating a major milestone? Find out why you're going to want to make Grenache your go-to red.
What Is Grenache?
Whether you call it Grenache, Garnacha or Cannonau, this is one high-level red. It's known for its high price tag and delicious flavor profile, and you can easily pick this red out of a lineup thanks to its light, semi-translucent color.
Where's It Produced?
This red is popular enough that winemakers produce their own unique versions all over the globe. About 50 years ago, 800,000 acres of vineyards produced sweet, juicy Grenache grapes, but today just 500,000 acres are still going strong.
This wine originated in Spain's Aragon region, where it's known as Garnacha. It later crossed the Pyrenees to France's Rhone region, which remains the biggest Grenache producer today. You can also easily find bottles from France's Languedoc-Roussillon region, Sardinia and Sicily. Winemakers in California, Washington and South Australia have also gotten on board as demand grows for a great bottle of Grenache. Look hard enough, and you might even find a bottle from China, where winemakers have begun to try their hand at this high-value red.
What's It Taste Like?
You'll recognize a glass of Grenache the moment it hits your taste buds. This red is known for its fruit roll-up and cinnamon flavors. It's not all about sweet, though. Most bottles have a hint of oregano and other spices. Some varieties have herbal notes of tobacco to balance things out, and some have grapefruit or orange aromas.
Why You'll Love Grenache:
Like so many red varieties, Grenache isn't always easy to find on its own. You'll find tons of well-known Grenache blends, though. Blends from the Rhone region are perennial favorites for wine enthusiasts, and Port-like dessert wines such as Banyuls, Rasteau and Maury are ideal if you're looking for something sweet.
Though you can find bottles of Grenache that fit just about any budget, this is definitely a red wine that you can splurge on. Bottles from Châteauneuf-du-Pape tend to come with the highest price tags and the biggest baller status.
Great Food Pairings for Grenache:
Think rich, savory meals and fall flavors. The subtle spice of Grenache makes this red ideal for roasted meats and vegetables. Pair a bottle with a rack of lamb, some prime rib or a huge tray of freshly roasted squash. Don't feel like you have to go easy on the seasoning, either. Grenache is a great way to spice things up.