Monthly Wine Exploration - January 2018: California Grenache

Monthly Wine Exploration - January 2018: California Grenache

Our Monthly Wine Exploration provides an opportunity to learn about different wine varietals, regions or styles and share your thoughts.

A limited supply of wine will be available in-store for purchase. 

This month, we have chosen to highlight the New York Times Wine School and will focus on California Grenache.  If you are not familiar with the Wine School column, it is a great way to learn about different wine styles and regions.  Wine School consists of two articles per topic - the first article sets up the theme and suggests producers to seek out to try, and the second article (which comes out about a month later) goes into more detail on the grape and what the writer experienced while tasting the wines. 

Of the producers listed in this month's article, we could only obtain Donkey and Goat.  We also chose Bokisch as another great example of a Grenache from California even though it was not listed in the article.  As is common with Grenache, neither of these wines is 100% Grenache.  The Donkey and Goat is a blend of Grenache, Merlot and Mourvedre.  The Bokisch is a blend of Grenache, Graciano and Petit Verdot.  

What to look for when tasting

You can refer back to our Many Faces of Grenache post from September as a refresher on some of the characteristics of the grape. Grenache tends to be comparatively lower in acid and higher in alcohol than many other red wine grapes.  Common flavors include strawberry, cinnamon, raspberry, black pepper, and licorice.

Food Pairing

I tend to agree with Mr. Asimov's suggestions on food pairings.  While Wine Folly suggests "spiced" dishes with Grenache and Bokisch recommends Chipotle Chicken, the spice level shouldn't be excessive.  Grenache tends to be a high alcohol wine which can intensify the spice burn of food.  To help, we've assembled a few recipe recommendations on our Pinterest Board -

What do you think?

Rita and I will be adding our thoughts here as well but we'd love to hear from you.  Add your comments about the wines in the comment section below.  Also, reflect on the questions that Mr. Asimov asks in the Reader Perspectives section and you share your thoughts on the Wine School article. 



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