25th March, 2022

What to Know About Grenache Wine

What to Know About Grenache Wine-cover

Grenache is a very versatile red wine grape variety that has becomeextremely popular over the last decade. It is often associated with the southern Rhône region of France, but the varietal is grown extensively in northern Spain, plus Australia and the United States.

Grenache vines can be planted on their roots or grafted onto other varieties. They have grown best in warm climates, but tolerate cooler areas if they get enough sun.

Wines made with Grenache are typically light-bodied and fruity, with aromas of cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and spice. Grenache wines tend to be great for food pairings, especially spicy foods such as Thai and Indian cuisine. Unsurprisingly for a French wine, it also pairs well with cured cheeses like gouda or gruyere. The low acidity makes it a fruity Grenache that's easy on your palate.

Grenache grapes are used for making fortified dessert wines as well. They are usually dry, medium-bodied, and low acid. The grapes are harvested at full maturity, resulting in a sweet fruit flavor. They are perfect for dessert, sparkling, and sweet fortified wines.

What Kind of Wine Is Grenache?

It’s a type of red wine with a distinct flavor and is known for its rich character. It's mostly produced in the wine region of Southern France, particularly Rhône Valley and Provence.

Due to its fragrant aroma and rich color, Grenache is often referred to as the "Queen of Wines." Grenache is made from black grapes with thick skin and is best served at a cool temperature.

A Brief History of the Grape Varieties

As you know, wine is made from grapes. Grapes come in two main types: red and white. Red grapes are usually grown in warmer climates, while white grapes are widely planted in colder areas.

Red grapes include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and more. They are generally heavier in body and stronger in flavor.

White grapes include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Muscat, and more. These grapes tend to produce lighter-style wines with lower alcohol content.

Wine is produced from these grapes through several processes. First, the grapes must be harvested, mashed, and undergo fermentation. This process converts their sugar into alcohol. Afterward, the resulting liquid is aged in oak barrels. Finally, the wine is bottled and sold.

The history of wine is almost as old as the history of civilization. Wine has been around since ancient times. The earliest known evidence of winemaking was found in China and dates back thousands of years. In the Middle Ages, people believed that wine had magical properties and it was often given to kings and other important figures.

Today, wine is enjoyed all over the world by people from every walk of life. People consume it at home, in restaurants and bars, at parties, and so on. There are thousands of different kinds of wine available. Some are better suited for special occasions. Others are ideal for day-to-day drinking.

Characteristics of the Grenache Grape

The Grenache grape is both an individual grape and a group of grapes. The group includes Grenache Noir, known for producing red wines, and Grenache Blanc or Grenache Gris, which produces white wine. Both varieties share similar characteristics, including the following:

  • Grenache grapes are grown primarily in France, Spain, and Italy. They are also found in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Portugal, Australia, Brazil, and the United States.
  • They are harvested between September and November.
  • These grapes ripen slowly, taking about three months after harvest to reach peak maturity.
  • The grapes tend to produce high amounts of sugar during fermentation, resulting in higher alcohol levels.
  • Grenache grapes have thick skins that contain large seeds, which contribute to the wine’s body and structure.
  • They are used to make red wines, although some producers use the grape to make rosé
  • The grapes grow best in warm climates and are highly susceptible to disease.
  • Grenache wines are generally bolder and richer tasting than other varieties.

What Grape Is Grenache Similar To?

The grapes found on Grenache do have some similarities to other grapes. Spanish garnacha tinta is actually the exact same varietal. However, the most popular grape in Spain is Tempranillo, which is a bit brighter and more fruit forward, but otherwise has a similar profile.

Also, Grenache is similar to the French grape Syrah. Both grapes have high acidity levels and tend to be very tannic. They both grow well in warm climates. When produced together, these grapes create some great blends.

What Kind of Wine Is Tempranillo?

Tempranillo is a Spanish grape and wine. It was created when a Garnacha wine grape was crossed with an unknown parent in Spain’s Ribero del Duero region. The resulting Tempranillo can vary significantly depending on where it’s grown, but it produces tannic wines with medium acidity and is complex in flavor.

They’re often ruby-colored and full-bodied. In some regions, winemakers have begun making whites out of Tempranillo grapes—but these aren’t as common or well known as those made from red grapes.

Are Garnacha and Grenache the Same Grape?

Garnacha and Grenache are different names for a single grape variety. Garnacha comes from Spain and has many synonyms, such as Graciano, Ull de Llebre, and Monastrell. Grenache comes from France and has numerous synonyms: Garnacha, Macabeo, Pinot Gris, Gros Manseng.

What's in a name?

All of these names refer to slightly different grapes that make different wines based on region and winemaking style—which means you can expect any number of Grenache flavors in your glass depending on which country your wine comes from and what vineyard made it.

Garnacha means little grain. There are multiple Spanish red concentrated wines made with Garnacha grapes (also known as Grenache), including rosé and red blends.

However, the term Grenache almost exclusively refers to a single varietal (Grenache Blanc) grown primarily in France and Spain, although there are some American Grenaches that come from California vineyards specializing in high-end wine production.

Another variant of Grenache grows predominantly in Italy (called Cannonau). It's worth noting that while both versions grow widely throughout Southern Europe and much of Northern Africa, only varieties from specific areas have official geographic indications orappellations d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations.

These areas have soil types best suited to growing each type of grape. If you want truly authentic Grenache-based wines, choose from European countries where AOC laws apply.

Is Grenache a Sweet or Dry Wine?

It depends on how it's made. Most winemakers use a maceration technique, which means they soak the grapes in water before pressing them. It allows the sugars to be extracted into the juice, making it sweeter than other types.

Grenache is often used in blends because it is so versatile. Grenache based wines really can be anywhere on the spectrum from dry to sweet, depending on what the other grape varieties introduced were.

Health Benefits of Grenache Wine?

Red wine contains antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells and DNA. Antioxidants neutralize these harmful compounds, protecting our bodies from disease and aging.

Other benefits might include:

  • Reduces the risk of a heart attack
  • Improves bone density
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Protects against cancer
  • Promotes healthy digestion

Food Pairings

What do you think of when you see a glass of Grenache? Some will say it’s a dry red wine that you should savor with rich foods and flavorful desserts. Others will say it’s an excellent table wine to serve with dishes like poultry, vegetables, or smoked meats.

The reality is neither is wrong; while we associate different wines with different foods and combinations, some truly stand on their own. Grenache is one such example. This full-bodied, bold red wine has been a steady favorite for centuries in France and Spain.

It’s often associated withSyrah because of its spicy undertones, but fans suggest it may even outshine its relative's taste. There are more than 20 types of Grenache wines, so there’s certainly no shortage of choices for who love wine tasting.

Here are some tips on how to pair Grenache wine with food:

  • Try serving it with seafood dishes.
  • Pair it with rich meats, such as beef, pork, lamb, and duck.
  • Serve it with Italian foods like pasta, pizza, and risotto.
  • Have it with a salad.
  • Enjoy it with cheese.

How to Store Grenache Wines

  • Store in a cool place where temperatures stay below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, store it in a refrigerator if possible.
  • Keep your bottles upright or in a wine rack, so they do not roll around on the shelf.
  • Avoid storing near heat sources, such as radiators or ovens.
  • Avoid leaving it out in direct sunlight. It will oxidize faster when exposed to light.
  • Use corks made of natural materials like cork or synthetic materials like plastic. Natural corks allow air to circulate through the wine, which keeps oxygen from getting inside the bottle. Synthetic corks keep oxygen out by sealing the top tightly.
  • Never leave your wine open for more than two weeks. The longer your wine sits, the greater chance there is for spoilage.

How to Serve Grenache Wine

  • Wine experts recommend serving it chilled. Most people prefer drinking at room temperature, but chilling helps reduce the risk of oxidation.
  • If you plan to serve your wine straight from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes first.
  • If you want to chill it right away, pour it into a glass filled with ice cubes.
  • Remember to swirl the bottle gently to release the aroma when serving.
  • You may find that it tastes bitter after sitting for a few hours. If this happens, don’t worry. Just decant and serve it again later.
  • You can also add fruit juice or sparkling water to enhance the flavor.
  • To clean your glasses, run them under hot water and dry them thoroughly before using them again.

Grenache Facts

  • Grenache grapes are native to Southern Europe. They were originally cultivated in the region of Roussillon, located between the Rhône River and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • In the early 20th century, Grenache became one of the most important red wine varieties in Bordeaux. Today, it is still widely planted throughout the world.
  • Grenache has been described as having a spicy-sweet scent. Its color ranges from deep ruby red to dark purple.
  • It tends to produce medium-bodied wines that are usually quite fruity, with dark berry flavors. Some winemakers use Grenache to make rosé wines.
  • Grenache is known for its ability to age well. As such, it develops complexity over time.


What does Grenache taste like?

When you first take a sip, you might notice a hint of spice. Then, you’ll taste notes of fruitiness and softness. Due to its higher alcohol content, Grenache is best served slightly chilled. You may want to serve it at room temperature if you prefer.

Is Grenache a good wine?

Yes! If you love red wine, you need to add Grenache to your list of favorites. It is one of the most versatile varieties. You can find Grenache in many different styles, from dry to sweet to sparkling.

Is Grenache a heavy wine?

Though it's rich in tannins and flavors with high alcohol content, it does not necessarily feel heavy on your palate. Instead, it feels smooth and velvety. That makes it perfect for those who don't like overly powerful wines.

How do you eat Grenache grapes?

The best way to enjoy Grenache is by eating them straight out of hand. The skins contain more flavor than the flesh. However, they can also be used to make jams and jellies.

How would you describe Grenache?

Grenache is described as being spicy-sweet with hints of cherry and plum. It is also said to have a very long finish.

Where to Buy Grenache Wine

Locate and purchase Grenache wine at your local liquor store or wine shop. If you can’t find it locally or would like it delivered to your door, consider buying from anonline retailer, like Liquorama. In most cases, Grenache wine is sold by bottle; however, some varieties are available in half-bottles for a more affordable price.


Grenache is an excellent choice when looking for a variety that will go great with almost any meal. Its versatility makes it easy to incorporate into any occasion. Whether you choose to drink it with food or sip it on its own, there is no denying that Grenache is a delicious wine.

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