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Celebrating Grenache, the Grape for all Seasons

Savethedate24sept.jpgFriday, September 24, 2010 has been designated International Grenache Day (IGD). For the first time this versatile varietal which is also the world's most widely planted red grape will be celebrated around the world by restaurants and wine merchants highlighting its all-round virtues, reports Reva K. Singh

As was recognised at the First International Grenache Symposium in June in the Southern Rhône, where over 250 top Grenache producers, journalists and retailers from 23 countries met to examine the many facets of this intriguing grape, Grenache is remarkable for its broad appeal and versatility. From white to rosé or sweet fortified wines, and as light varietal reds or complex blends, Grenache has historically been disguised in blends from regions like Chateauneuf-du- Pape and Priorat - making great wines greater but lacking the 'brand' recognition that other varietals such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir enjoy. However, it's time to bring this reticent grape to centre stage and give it its due - a grape that is characterized by juicy, luscious fruit, warm spice, balanced acidity and supple tannins.

Because of its diverse winemaking expressions, Grenache is also an outstanding match with food. Described very often as a chameleon, Grenache makes an easy wine choice when you are in doubt about which wine to pair with your dish, especially if it's a red wine you are after with a flavour of the Mediterranean. Dave Powell of Torbreck whose wines are available in India, describes Grenache as a warm climate Pinot Noir.
TheSteading for blog.jpg
Left: A bottle of The Steading from Torbreck Wines

However, Grenache is often served too warm, causing alcohol to be perceived as lack of balance. Serve whites and rosés chilled but not below 8°C and serve red and sweet wines, cool, between 14 and 18°C. Sula's Mosaic Red is the best known Indian Grenache wine. What better place to start your discovery of great Grenaches from around the world?

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From Sommelier India Wine Magazine September/October 2010


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