Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Honoring #InternationalGrenacheDay (#Garnacha Day) #Wine

How Do You Celebrate Grenache Day?

Who doesn't love a celebration?  Celebrations are always fun, especially when it involves a wine holiday. Annually, the third Friday of September is set aside to observe International Grenache Day. The Grenache Association began honoring this day in 2010 to celebrate one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world.    

Grenache refers to both the red grape itself and the wine that is produced by that grape, despite the fact that it is often referred to as Garnacha in Spain, where it originated.  Grenache wine is usually associated with the Rhone in southern France, where its the dominant grape for Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Grenache wines are known for their strong fruit flavors and aromas, light tannins and high alcohol content. (Yay!)  The color of grenache wine tends to be lighter, so it is often blended with other varieties, like Syrah in France and Tempranillo in Spain, to add body and fruitiness.

While grenache is known as a red wine grape, there are also other varietals.  There's the dark, purple grape used for Grenache Noir, which is important to the Languedoc region in France. Grenache Gris, also found in France comes from the pinkish-gray grape for wine-making and blending. Then, there's Grenache Blanc, from the green-skinned grapes that produce a medium-full bodied white wine in the Rhone and northeast Spain. Although these grenache varietals are mostly found in France and Spain, they can also be found throughout the world, namely, in Italy, Australia and the United States.

How The Wining Hour Celebrated:
To celebrate International Grenache Day,  we sipped on a 2013 Viña Altogrado Garnacha from Cariñena, Spain.  It was medium bodied and full of intense, juicy, ripe, dark fruit flavors. This garnacha was made from 100% grenache grapes.  Although this Viña Altogrado Garnacha had 15% alcohol and packed a punch, it is very smooth.  Nevertheless, while I probably would not pair this particular wine with a hearty steak or lamb dish, it would go well with a roast pork. Viña Altogrado Garnacha would also be fine to sip on its own (even though after two glasses, I was rather tipsy).   



We were feeling celebratory and tipsy (don't judge), so we also sipped on a 2012 Santo Tomas Vino Rosado Grenache from Valle de San Vicente, Baja California, which is considered a Mexican wine region. We wanted to use this opportunity to examine another variety.  This Santo Tomas Vino Rosado was also 100% grenache and consisted of 14% alcohol volume and was a nice refreshing treat. It was light red in appearance and smelled of fresh red fruits such as pomegranate. It tasted the way it smelled and had a mild tannic finish. This Santo Tomas Vino Rosado was a little sweet for my taste, but it was a nice change and would be a good summer wine.  It would pair well with roasted pork meats and/or soft cheeses like brie.  But, tell us, how do you celebrate Grenache/Garnacha Day?  How do you pair this wine?

For additional information about Grenache and more food and wine pairings, view this primer.

Enjoy your #WiningHour and Happy International Grenache Day! #grenacheday

About The Wining Hour
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