Wednesday wines: Grenache | Gourmand and Gourmet

Wednesday wines: Grenache

Unsung Hero: One who does great deeds but receives little or no recognition for them.  That’s the story of story of Grenache. It’s The Apprentice Chef. The Shift Working Nurse. The Digger in the trenches. Grenache was once the workhorse of the Australian wine industry, included in the red blends and fortifieds that were often destined for export back to The Empire (Britain) at the time. Then we turned on the poor little bugger and in the 1970’s and early 1980’s the Federal Government incentivised a Vine Pull Scheme offering farmers money to pull these ancient vines out of the ground. Fortunately, one particularly irreverent bloke named d’Arry Osborn (and a few other visionaries) refused to do so because they knew the true potential of this grape. Today d’Arenberg (at which d’Arry Osborn is still the owner and has just completed his 71st consecutive vintage!) are known as ‘The Custodian’ of the Grenache grape variety and they now have one third of McLaren Vale’s old vine Grenache under their guise. In our opinion, it’s the perfect dinner party wine. It’s light enough on its feet that nearly any red drinker can enjoy it but also has enough complexity and interest that the one wine snob will immediately give you a wink of kudos. All in all it is one of the best investments you can make for around $20 and is delicious alongside salty roast pork, with mulberry, plum and blueberry plus more savoury flavours of beetroot and nutmeg. It’s an absolute cracker of a wine and with the 2012 just being released (one of the best vintages in a while), you need to get on board! Wine: 2012 d’Arenberg ‘The Custodian’ Grenache Retail Price: $24 Food match: Roasted pig and an enormous glass to pour into. Location match: Any back deck meat fest in the cooler months. Soundtrack match: Unsung Hero by Tina Arena (maybe just to read the lyrics, not to listen to). Words by David Bone, Cuttings Wine