When I am asked my favorite wine I almost hardly ever have an answer. There are so many varietals that pair with many different things and add to an experience, that picking just one is hardly possible. However, I do have a grape that I would put in as a top contender: Grenache. Now this grape isn’t super common (at least here in Oregon) but it is produced at a few wineries throughout the state. Just what is Grenache? It is a red grape (there is also a blanc version but that is even more rare!) that is originally from Northern Spain, that is also called “Garnacha”.
The first wine I ever tried and actually enjoyed was a 2008 Boedecker Cellars Grenache. I remember the velvety mouth feel, cherry and pepper notes, and the smooth finish. It was love at first sip. I might be a bit partial but I am drawn to this grapes high tannins and acidity that create a very balanced wine after aging. Usually this grape is very fruit forward with jam-like flavors and cherry, with a kick of spice on the end.
Most of this varietal is grown in Southern Oregon, but you can find it throughout the state. J.Scott Cellars has a current release, as does Milbrandt Vineyards in Washington. Many times it is used in blends as well, like in Folin Cellars “Estate Misceo”. The next time you are wine tasting keep your eyes peeled for this medium bodied varietal. We have a few local options to choose from, and there are many more produced in France and Spain if you are feeling adventurous. Cheers!