Grenache is a fruity and full-bodied red wine that pairs best with grilled hamburgers, Duck with cherries, roasted rack of Lamb, pork chops and pub fare. Rich with cherry, raspberry and strawberry notes, Grenache also features earthy flavours of herbs, smoke, and black and white pepper.

Grenache features low-medium tannin and low-medium acidity and focuses more on its fruity flavours. The low tannin ensures Grenache goes well with anything featuring a mild amount of heat, however, you don’t want anything too spicy as Grenache is high in alcohol. Many people love Grenache with pizza, but I find Grenache lacks acidity to deal with a zesty tomato sauce.

Grenache can be bought as a single varietal, but you’ll often see it blended into GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) wines. Grenache is also the key grape used in Châteauneuf-du Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône Village blends.

Grenache VS Garnacha

The main difference between a French Grenache and Spanish Garnacha, which are the same grape, is that Garnacha is produced in a fruitier, lighter, and fun style. There are many exceptions to the rule, and you’ll find many interesting and expensive blends of Garnacha in Spain.

Inexpensive and fun Garnacha pairs best with barbecued fare and tapas dishes incorporating Lamb or pork.  I’ll have a blog up soon for Garnacha and Food Pairings.  For specific pairings, you can head to my homepage, where I have a food and wine pairing search engine.

Best Food with Grenache

Duck with a Cherry Sauce & Grenache Pairing

Grenache is an excellent wine pairing with Duck with a Cherry Sauce as this velvety red wine is loaded with cooked cherry flavours to complement the sauce.  On top of cherry notes, you’ll also find juicy flavours of raspberry, strawberry, plum and blackberry, which are a refreshing contrast against the crispy duck skin.

Duck is a fatty bird and has more in common with red meat than chicken or turkey with how flavourful it is.  The full-bodied flavours of Grenache stand up to the rich and slightly sweet duck meat.  Meanwhile, as the wine mingles with the Duck, you’ll taste incredible flavours of espresso, pepper, smoke and herbs that improve the meal even more!

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Herbs & Grenache Pairing

A roasted leg of Lamb is a very rich dish that is exceptional with a full-bodied glass of Grenache.  Lamb has a gamey flavour that not everyone appreciates, and Grenache’s bold strawberry, cherry and raspberry flavours help cover these gamey flavours up.  In addition, Grenache’s herbal, spice, smoke and pepper flavours are right at home with the roasted and herbal flavours of the Roasted Leg of Lamb.

No matter how you cook your Lamb, whether it’s lamb chops, rack of Lamb, Lamb shanks, or lamb stew, the fruity and lively flavours of Grenache are certain to please you.

Grilled Pork Chops & Grenache Pairing

Grenache, with its flavours of smoke, black and white pepper, along with herbs, is perfect with grilled Pork Chops served with a sprinkling of herbs, and salt and pepper.  The smokiness of the wine, plus any chocolate flavours, complement the charred flavours of the grilled Pork Chops.  Plus, the pepper, spice and herbal notes are right at home with any seasonings you serve with your Pork Chops.

Pork Chops are often served overcooked, as many people are worried about food poisoning and getting ill.  This makes for some dry pork chops that come across as bland rather than tasting slightly sweet and savoury.  Fortunately, Grenache’s juicy strawberry and cherry flavours can rescue a bland Pork Chop by introducing some excitement into the mix.

Welsh Rarebit & Grenache Pairing

Welsh Rarebit is a classic British dish of hot cheese sauce consisting of beer, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and butter served over toasted bread.  Grenache goes well with Welsh Rarebit, as the wine’s velvety fruit flavours complement the cheese sauce’s silky texture. Furthermore, cheese instantly makes any red wine taste better as it smooths out any flaws.

Grenache, in general, is a fun red wine, and it’s a wine you want to share and enjoy with others.  And share, you should, as Grenache is high in alcohol.  The lively and easy-going nature of Grenache makes it an instant winner with many classic British comfort foods such as Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Macaroni & Cheese and Baked Beans.

Cottage Pie & Grenache Pairing

Cottage Pie is the same as Shepherd’s Pie, except it uses Beef instead of Lamb.  As I talked about Lamb paired with Grenache above, I thought I’d switch to Beef to avoid being redundant.

Grenache pairs well with Cottage Pie as this full-bodied red wine can stand up to all the meaty, earthy and savoury flavours that Cottage Pie dishes out.  While Grenache is full-bodied, it is also fruity, meaning it doesn’t obliterate the core flavours of your Cottage Pie such as the buttery crust, earthy root vegetables or meaty beef flavours.  The velvety texture of Grenache also complements the silky gravy found in Cottage Pie that unites all the delicious flavours.

Furthermore, Grenache improves your Cottage Pie as it introduces notes of spices, herbs, black pepper, espresso and smoke.  These secondary flavours are subtle, so they don’t overwhelm the dish.  On the other hand, the loud fruit flavours of Grenache are not subtle, however, they show enough restraint to come across as refreshing rather than obliterating your Cottage Pie.