Pairing with Grenache

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Pairing with Grenache

I often think of Grenache as an easy pleaser. If I’m on the way out the door to go to a party or need to pull that bottle for a friend who has asked for something that’s sure to impress, I almost always go with Grenache. Why? Because the majority of Grenache is fun to drink and easy to understand. Grenache is a late ripening grape that’s very high in sugar, which usually results in a high alcohol levels and a smooth mouth-feel. Yet, it’s also very low in tannin and acid. When you mix that all together, you get a wine that wouldn’t necessarily be the best bet for a grand tasting, but is a sure bet for a party, barbecue, housewarming or random gift for friends. 

Of course, this is a broad generalization. You’ll often find Grenache blended with other varietals, such as Syrah, Carignan and Tempranillo. I certainly wouldn’t label Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Priorat as nothing more than a party wine, and yet many of them are being made primarily from Grenache. However, in the end, the majority of Grenache that you’ll find will be fun, unassuming and easy drinking.

The problem is what to pair with it. Low acid and tannin means that you need to steer clear of extremely rich foods, high alcohol tends to over-accentuate spicy foods. No problem. We can find a number of great dishes to pair with Grenache that will easily fit the bill.

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  • Snooth User: my bottle
    323479 37

    All great suggestions. Garnacha is my go-to cook out wine. I also like an unoaked Garnacha poured over a bowl of berry sorbet.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

  • Lamb shanks, lamb cutlets, best end of lamb, saddle of lamb, go great with grenache.
    For fattier cuts, cabernet sauvignon can work well
    For spicier recipes, shiraz (still talking about lamb here)
    I like the cassoulet suggestion but most bean and veg stews with a bit of garlic, onion and bones/cheap cuts/chorizos or ethnic sausages will go well with cotes du rhone wines, and they also go well with tempranillo, as does lamb.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM

  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 198,229

    Thanks for the tips Williamsimpson. I try very hard to diversify my suggestions so that people can get the most out of these articles and expand their food-way of thinking.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

  • Snooth User: higdog
    929914 84

    I just served a seafood paella with chorizo with a La Cartuja Priorat and it paired very well. Mild tannins worked well with the shrimp/scallops/clams, saffron and chorizo. Nice wine. Wish Priorats were not so hard to find!

    Dec 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

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