International Grenache Day!


Established after the first International Grenache Symposium in 2010, International Grenache Day is celebrated every year on the third Friday of September. A red grape, known to flourish in hot, dry weather, Grenache is commonly grown in southern France (Rhone especially) and in Spain, where it is known as Garnacha. 

Grenache is not usually bottled by itself; you will see this mostly in Spain with Garnacha, where the grape originated in Aragon, an area in northern Spain. In Rhone and Australia, the grape is used in the “GSM” blend – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. It is also made into unique roses and sweet fortified (alcohol level 15% or higher) wines.

On its own, Grenache will produce a spicy, berry-flavored wine with a fairly high alcohol content. Because of this high content, it pairs well with hearty dishes, like stew, and herbed or spiced meats and vegetables; grilled or roasted. 

Back in the day when I was a varietal drinker, I latched on to Garnacha at one point and drank my way through many cases. The chosen two bottles were Las Rocas and Vina Borgia; the latter, since then, moving to a box format as well as a bottle. So whether you choose a bottle of Grenache or Garnacha, with friends and/or family, just make this a very Happy International Grenache Day!  

Cin Cin!


Muscadet: My Latest Pour II


As the summer heat winds down (hopefully) here in the east, this week I opened a delicious bottle of Muscadet (pronounced “moose-kah-day”).

Located in the Loire Valley region of France, Melon de Bourgogne is the only grape variety permitted here to make this white wine. Because of this, the grape is sometimes just referred to as Muscadet. Other grapes are grown in this area but they must have a specific designation when they are used.

Not to be confused with the Muscat grape used to make Moscato, Muscadet is a dry, light-bodied wine with some citrus notes and high acidity. It is also known to have some briny notes due to the breezes coming off the sea. When bottled there is a small trace of carbon dioxide left, which gives Muscadet a slight effervescence.

Great as an aperitif or paired with some soft cheeses, Muscadet also goes well with chicken or fish, but especially shellfish. So belly up to a bowl of steamed clams in butter and garlic, chunk of bread in one hand and a glass of Muscadet in the other. What a great way to say good-bye to summer!

Cin Cin!