Pairing with Grenache

5 great recipes for regional wines


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When I think back to the early days of my journey into wine, I find it funny to recall that I didn’t realize that Châteauneuf-du-Pape was in any way related to the Grenacha of Spain I was tasting. If you put the two together, you’ll see what I mean. Châteauneuf-du-Pape tends more toward concentrated dark fruits with earthy and herbal tones (and is usually a blend). In recent years, these wines have gotten bigger and richer. They are certainly worth seeking, but I find it very important to experiment and find the style/producer you like.

A Cassoulet may be one of the largest projects you’ve ever tackled in your kitchen, but it’s worth every second. As for the perfect pairing with Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a Cassoulet of White Beans with Braised Pork, Sausage, and Duck Confit fits the bill to a tee. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making this, then you at least owe it to yourself to seek it out at a local French restaurant. If you are the adventurous sort, you can save some time by buying Duck Confit from a specialty butcher.

2009 Vignobles Mayard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos du Calvaire - The nose showed dusty black cherries, blueberry and citrus rind with wild herbs and savory meaty notes. On the palate, I found blackberry fruit and spice with violet candies and bitters. This wine showed great structure and wonderful balance as it was bitter, then sweet and acidic, then rich on the palate. The alcohol showed slightly on the long finish but still showed enough fruit and structure to forgive it. 

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  • Snooth User: my bottle
    323479 37

    All great suggestions. Garnacha is my go-to cook out wine. I also like an unoaked Garnacha poured over a bowl of berry sorbet.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

  • Lamb shanks, lamb cutlets, best end of lamb, saddle of lamb, go great with grenache.
    For fattier cuts, cabernet sauvignon can work well
    For spicier recipes, shiraz (still talking about lamb here)
    I like the cassoulet suggestion but most bean and veg stews with a bit of garlic, onion and bones/cheap cuts/chorizos or ethnic sausages will go well with cotes du rhone wines, and they also go well with tempranillo, as does lamb.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM

  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 198,229

    Thanks for the tips Williamsimpson. I try very hard to diversify my suggestions so that people can get the most out of these articles and expand their food-way of thinking.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

  • Snooth User: higdog
    929914 84

    I just served a seafood paella with chorizo with a La Cartuja Priorat and it paired very well. Mild tannins worked well with the shrimp/scallops/clams, saffron and chorizo. Nice wine. Wish Priorats were not so hard to find!

    Dec 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

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