Grenache Wine Pairing Is As Versatile As It Gets

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The thing that makes Grenache a great wine is its blending abilities. In France, you can find some superb Rhone wines that use Grenache as the base blend, as with Gigondas, Cotes du Rhône and Chateauneuf du Pape. In Spain, where it is called Garnarcha, it is the dominant grape in blended wines from Rioja. In Australia, Grenache is often blended with Shiraz to make some powerful red wines such as the famous Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre blends, or GSM wines.

By itself, there isn’t much to Grenache. It’s a tannin heavy red with little color to it. It does have quite a bit of fruitiness to it when it’s young but the wine can oxidize quickly giving it a short shelf life. Its strawberry fruitiness makes it a winner for dry rosés that need a lift or as white Grenache, something along the lines of a white zinfandel.

All of that said, it does pair well with a host of foods. Because of its light sweetness and being a dry wine, Grenache is a good match for grilled red meats. The heavier the wine, the heartier the meat it can be paired with. Try it with kebabs, fillets, beef stroganoff, prime rib, lamb chops or even a cheeseburger.

You can scale down the Grenache food pairing with lighter varieties of the wine. For instance, if you want something quaffable with barbeque chicken wings, Italian sausage or pancetta, roasted game hen, quiche, any number of pasta and red sauce dishes, mussels in tomato sauce, lobster, chicken dishes, all of these are great with a Grenache based Rosé. Try it with braised rabbit for a completely different spin.

No matter what you are eating, there really are no right or wrong pairings. Sure, you can make a better Grenache wine pairing by knowing more about the wine, but whenever you are serving wine with food it’s always about what tastes good to you. Do yourself a favor though and try different styles of Grenache. Venture into the realm of Rosés and pick out one that has a Grenache base. Ask your wine shop owner for a suggestion. Grab a couple Grenache Shiraz blends from the Australian section. Spend some money on a decent GSM and definitely grab several Cotes du Rhône and Chateauneuf du Pape and have them with some venison or duck liver pate. Half of these wines would go with just about any pizza for that matter. And as always check our Wine And Food Pairing Guide for even more choices.

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