What is Grenache

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Grenache may not be a familiar word to those who aren’t avid wine drinkers, but anyone who enjoys a good glass of red has probably tasted these grapes before!

What is Grenache?

Grenache, also known as Garnacha, is a Spanish wine grape varietal that is one of the most widely grown red wine grapes in the world. Originating in the Aragon region, it has become a key varietal in many well-known French and Spanish wine blends, although it is also popular as a single grape as per research published by Vicente Ferreira in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. It grows well in hot, dry climates, and thrives in environments like Australia and California.


Grenache’s popularity in blends is due to its full body, typically high ABV, and mild acidity. It is known for bright, red fruit flavors and a white pepper kick, that can act as a solid, but unobtrusive base for other red grapes, commonly syrahs and Tempranillos. It is used extensively in the southern Rhone region of France, where Grenache makes up 80% of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.

Food Pairings

Grenache is a very versatile grape and can pair well with a wide variety of foods.

  • It pairs especially well with roasted or grilled meats, such as lamb or pork.
  • It can stand up to hearty savory foods, as well, such as stews and braises.
  • Grenache is also great for less spicy Asian food, barbecue, or bean- and lentil-based dishes.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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