AKA Grenache: Fun Facts About Garnacha
By Zeke Quezada
I have to admit that I was drinking a splendid bottle of Cannonau and was surprised to find out that for the past couple hundred years in Sardinia the Grenache grape has been known by this name. In Spain, Grenache is known as Garnacha and seen as how there is a good chance that is where it originated I usually call it by that name.
It made me think about how many factoids about wine are out there that would be impossible to know. What that means is that the world of wine and wine education is a vast expanse of knowledge just waiting for you to explore. Naturally, I figured I should share a few factoids about Garnacha with you so that you can bolster your wine knowledge and impress the people at your next dinner party or wine event.
Fun Facts about Garnacha or Grenache or Cannonau
- Grenache is the second most planted wine in Spain next to Tempranillo
- Grenache is a significant component in the trifecta of wines around the world know as the GSM, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. This blend is found worldwide and Grenache plays in big role in Australian GSM wines
- Paired with spicy dishes Grenache’s higher alcohol content helps to alleviate some of that fire in your mouth from your favorite Spanish, Indian and Mexican dishes.
- You’ll taste the berries in Grenache from the strawberries and raspberries. If you get pink grapefruit, you’ll be almost sure it is Grenache. However, if that sweetness gets you to a candied level as in artificially fruit-flavored you can be sure that is Grenache.
- Old World Grenache leans toward more herbal notes whereas new world Grenache gives off notes of licorice and flowers.
- You can find Grenache in wines such as Priorat and Chateauneuf-du-pape.
- You might even hear someone refer to Grenache as Alicante
These days you’ll find Grenache almost everywhere. The quality is getting better in California where wine makes are allowing it to stand alone and it is doing well.
As for me, I am going to sample a few more bottles of Cannonau from Sardinia just because I like to be the guy at the dinner table with a fun fact about a wine no backstory.
Guest: “What are we drinking”
Me: “Cannonau from Sardinia”
Guest: “I have never heard of that”
Me: “Oh…It’s been around for a few hundred years.”
Yes, I am that guy!
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