Grenache is a dark red grape variety grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. Its rich, luxurious and juicy flavour makes it popular for offering colour and body to red wine blends.
Where is Grenache grown?
Grenache grapes bud quickly but ripen late, so they need hot, dry climates to thrive, such as in Spain, where it is thought to have originated.
Here in Australia, Grenache is cultivated in sunny Barossa Valley (a place that we RedHeads call home) and McLaren Vale.
Grenache can also be found growing in the southern Rhône Valley of France as well as the Monterey AVA and San Joaquin Valley regions of California.
Grenache wine style and character
Grenache red and rosé wines have lower acidity levels and tannins and are very high in alcohol (around 15-16%). The fruity flavours and body blend well with other wines like Shiraz, Mataro and Mourvèdre, and wines vary from medium to full-bodied.
Our best Grenache wines
Wines using Grenache grapes tend to be jammy and packed with stewed fruit flavours.
Black cherry, raspberry and strawberry are joined by spices like white pepper, cinnamon and anise. You may also notice subtle flavours of orange rind, tobacco, and herbs such as oregano.
Grenache is typically aged in oak barrels, which elevates the wine’s sweetness and adds hints of vanilla.
Wines created by grapes as rich in flavour as Grenache can handle being paired with grilled meats (red and white), game, bean or pulse-based dishes, and lighter curries – think green Laksa and Thai fish curry. It can also handle a little heat if you like your food with a kick.
Grenache wines also pair perfectly with charcuterie and cheese boards. Cheddar and Red Leicester can hold their own with Grenache’s rich flavours and perfectly complement the jammy fruit flavours.
How to serve
With a high alcohol content, Grenache wines are best served at a cooler temperature. For full-bodied wines, the ideal temperature is just below room temperature (between 15-18oC).
Before serving, chill your Grenache in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then decant or pour out the wine and leave to breathe for a further ten minutes before drinking to allow the wine to aerate and develop its fruity aromas.