International Grenache Day is celebrated on the third Friday each September. According to DaysOfTheYear.com, The Grenache Association established Grenache Day to celebrate this grape and all the varieties and vintages of wine that were produced from it. In fact, over the ages that have passed since it first began being used and cultivated, new varieties have appeared.
Grenache (known as Garnarcha in Spain) is one of my absolute favorite red grapes. The first time I sipped this varietal was as a Spanish Garnarcha, and I immediately fell in love with it’s deep, juicy plum and red berry flavors and soft texture upon first sip. Since then, Grenache/Garnarcha has held a very special place in my heart, and it’s a rare day that I see it on a restaurant’s wine list and pass it over.
Grenache/Garnacha is the second most widely planted red grape in the world. How can that be, seeing as so many of us are unaware of its existence? Grenache is one of the world’s most popular blending grapes. Although it is an absolute superstar as a single varietal wine, it is also widely blended with other grapes the world over to provide luscious fruit and to help boost alcohol levels in the finished blend.
Grenache/Garnarcha is the most widely planted red grape in Spain, and a powerhouse in our own Desvia, where it is blended with Tempranillo. This grape is also one of the trio known as “G-S-M” that comprise many popular Southern Rhone blends (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre). Grenache is also commonly vinified as a rosé .
Grenache has it all, from juicy blackberry, plum, cherry, strawberry and currant, to spicy black pepper and licorice, as well as floral and earthy notes (think violets and rose petals over tobacco and leather), and when oaked, lends notes of cocoa and vanilla. The soft tannins lend a velvety texture on the palate that even the most fickle can’t help fall in love with.
Grenache/Garnarcha can stand up to rustic and earthy dishes with game meats, pork, and beef as well as those with tomato sauce, or even a hearty paella. Hard cheese and dark chocolate are simple pairings that will make this grape variety shine.
The official hashtag used to celebrate this day is #GrenacheDay.