Before Shiraz, Grenache was the most widely planted red grape in Australia, used mainly for sweet and fortified wines. However, with its growing popularity, Grenache has taken a foothold once again. In the south of Australia, these wines can obtain lush, rich textures with attractive sweet fruit and spicy notes, making them great for casual get-togethers and parties.
It’s with parties in mind that I thought to pair this with Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta, Shallots & Sage. They may be unassuming, but stuffed mushrooms are wine-friendly and bridge the gap between finger food and fine dining. In this case, the salt of the pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano provide that salty/sweet combination with the Grenache that always makes for an excellent pairing.
2008 Alpha Box & Dice Grenache Tarot – The nose was rich, showing ultra-ripe blackberry and blueberry fruit wrapped in buttery crust with sweet baking spices wafting up from the glass. On the palate, it was silky smooth and concentrated, yet balanced showing red and black fruits with cinnamon and clove. The finish was short yet pleasant, showing a touch of alcohol. This was a serious party pleaser wine that was almost too much, yet continued to color in the lines.