Mourvèdre

  Mourvèdre (French)/Monastrell (Spanish)
(moor-VED’rr)/(moe-nah-STRELL)

Synonyms: Alcallata, Alcayata, Alicante, Arach Sap, Balzac, Balzar, Benadu, Beneda, Beni Carlo, Berardi, Bod, Bon Avis, Buona Vise, Casca, Catalan, Cayata, Caymilari Sarda, Charnet, Churret, Damas Noir, Drug, English Colossal, Espagnen, Espar, Esparte, Estrangle-chien, Flouron, Flouroux, Garrut, Gayata Tinta, Karis, Maneschaou, Marseillais, Mataró, Maurostel, Mechin, Monastre, Monastrell Menudo, Monastrell Verdadero, Mourvedre, Mourvegue, Mourves, Murvedr Espar, Negralejo, Negria, Neyron, Pinot Fleri, Plant De Ledenon, Plant De Saint Gilles, Reina, Ros, Rossola Nera, Spar, Tintilla, Tire Droit, Torrentes, Trinchiera, Valcarcelia, Verema, Veremeta, Vereneta

Wine Name: Mourvèdre, Monastrell, and in Rhône blends, in Australia – GSM blends and blends from the Spanish regions of Almansa, Valencia, Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla

Background: Mourvèdre has tradtionally be a blending grape mostly for southern Rhône red blends as well as Spanish red blends from Jumilla, Valencia and Alicante. It adds a deep purple color and and earthiness with spice to Grenache and Syrah wines. The grape has moderate tannins and sometimes show a gamey taste. It is showing up as a pure varietal wine recently especially from Jumilla, Cline in California and from Australia.

Classic Brands and Sources: Château Beaucastle, d’Esclans, Domaine Tempier, Domaine Ray Jane (France); Bonney Doon, Cline, Qupé, Ridge (U.S.); D’Arenberg, Penfolds, Pikes, Rosemont, Torbeck, Yalumba (Australian)

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical varietal

Body – full

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+) to high

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs well meats that are roasted or smoked and dishes with hearty sauces slightly acidic

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Beef, lamb, game, veal or pork grilled, roasted or smoked, barbeque, chili, cold cuts, hamburgers, meatloaf, sausages, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto, truffle oil

Cheese Pairings:
Mild, medium or smoked Cheddar, Edam, Glouchester, Manchego, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda.

Merlot

  (mare-LOW)
Synonyms: Merlot, Merlot Noir, Médoc Noir

Wine Name: Merlot, Red Bordeaux (St Saint-Émilion, Pommerol, Fronsac, right bank Merlot dominant) many producer names

Background: Merlot was traditionally a blending grape for Bordeaux wines in France and other places. It is softer and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon and came to prominence after the 1991 Sixty Minutes television show titled “The French Paradox.” Less experienced wine drinkers rushed to this softer, milder red wine as its own varietal for health reasons. The 2006 movie “Sideways” tried to tarnish Merlot’s reputation as the number one red wine varietal consumed in the United States but it still reigns strong. One of the most expensive wines in the world, Château Petrus, produced in Bordeaux France is 100% Merlot grape so it can be a great wine. In cool climates Merlot may have some leafy, green pepper aromas but when produced in temperate or warm climates it usually tastes of blackberry and plum fruit with soft, velvety tannins and not very acidic.

Classic Brands and Sources: France – many Bordeaux producers; USA – Clos Du Bois, Chateau St Jean, Duckhorn, Merryvale, Newton, J Lohr, Pahlmeyer, Paloma , Shafer, Sterling, Chateau St Michelle, Barefoot; Chile – Casa Lapastole, Santa Rita, Viña Casablanca

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Right Bank Bordeaux

Body – medium (+)

Acidity – medium (-)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)

Style #2 – warm climate , New World

Body – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry but fruity

Tannins – medium (-) to medium


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs well with savory, low acid dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:

Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meat loaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto

Cheese Pairings:
Brie and Camembert without rind, mild Cheddar, Emmental, Gouda, smoked Gouda, Gorganzola, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Pecorino, Provolone, Romano

Malbec

  (MAHL-bek)
Synonyms: Côt, Auxerrois, Pressac

Wine Name: Malbec, Cahors

Background: Malbec is a native grape to southwest France commonly used to blend in French Rhône and Bordeaux blends. In Cahors, France, near Toulouse, it is still used as a varietal where it is likely to taste of plum, raisins and tobacco and be somewhat acidic. However as a varietal in its own right, it has come to prominence in Argentina where there often are violet aromas along with the plum and a soft ripe lush texture. It has ample tannins somewhat between a Cabernet and a Merlot.

Classic Brands and Sources: Argentina – Alamos, Catena, Luigi Bosca, Norton, Trapiche; France – Château du Cayrou, Château du Cèdre, Clos la Coutale, Clos de Gamot, Château Gautoul, Château Lagrezette; Chile – Montes, MontGras, Morandé; Australia – Taltarni, Wendouree

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Cahors style

Body – medium to medium (+)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)

Style #2 – Argentinian style

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry but fruity

Tannins – medium


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with a wide range of foods both savory red meat dishes and those with slightly acidic sauces.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Beef, bacon, barbeque, cassoulet, ham, meat loaf, pork, prime rib, sausage, stews, veal.

Cheese Pairings:

Mild Cheddar, Edam, Glouchester, Manchego, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda.

Lagrein

  (lah-GRINE)
Synonyms: Burgundi Lagrein, Lagrain, Lagrain Blauer, Lagrein Kretzer, Lagrino, Lagroin

Wine Name: Lagrein, Lagrein Scuro, Lagrein Dunkel, Lagrein Rosato, Lagrein Kretzer, Lagrein di Gries, Lagrein di Grieser

Background: This tannic red grape from northeast Italy in the Trentino-Alto Aldige region produces a very drinkable wine with sour plum, cherry and chocolate flavors with some herbalness and not unpleasant bitterness.

Classic Brands and Sources: Viticolori Alto Adige Co-op, Barone de Cles, Colterenzio Co-op, Muri Gries, Hoffstäter, Lageder, Thurnhof, Tiefenbruner, Peter Zemmer

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical

Body – medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – high


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with medium bodied, acidic dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pairs with chicken, game, veal, pork, lamb and heavier fish especially tuna and salmon, and shellfish with slightly acidic sauces

Cheese Pairings:
Epiosses, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, cream cheese, Gouda, Neufchatel, Pont-L’Eveque, Raclette, Reblochon, Roquefort, Saint-Nectare, Vacherin

Garnacha

  (Spanish Gar-NAH-char), (French gra-NOSH)
Synonyms: Grenache Noir (French), Garnacha Tinta (Spanish), Garnatxa (Catalan), Cannonau (Sardinia)

Wine Name: Grenache, Garnacha, Southern Rhone Blend, GSM

Background: Garnacha is the world’s most widely planted grape variety although most of it is in Spain. It produces a high alcohol, fruity wine often used for blending. Because it is low in acid, it is susceptible to oxidation. When used in France’s southern Rhone region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it takes on heady aromas and spicy, red berry fruit flavors. It is also used extensively in Southern Rhône Rosé and Provence wines because of its acidity. Old vine (more than 50 years old) Garnacha has moderate procution levels in Spain and produces a much fuller-bodied concentrated wine.

Classic Brands and Sources: Priorat – Mas Martinet, Alvaros Palacios; Spain – Campo de Borja, Borsao, Cellar de Capçanes; France – du Péga, Rayas, Chapoutier, many others; Australia – Clarendon Hills, D’Arenberg, Hardy’s

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical young vines

Body – medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry but fruity

Tannins – medium (-)

Style #2 – old vines

Body – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with medium to full-bodied savory dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Savory dishes with beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meat loaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto

Cheese Pairings:
Brie and Camembert without rind, mild Cheddar, Emmental, Gouda, smoked Gouda, Asiago, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Provolone, Romano

Grenache

  Grenache/Garnacha
(French gra-NOSH), (Spanish Gar-NAH-char)

Synonyms: Grenache Noir (French), Garnacha Tinta (Spanish), Garnatxa (Catalan), Cannonau (Sardinia), Abundante, Aleante, Aleante di Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cananazo, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau Selvaggio, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha roja, Garnatxa negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache, Grenache rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Rousillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Aragones, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana, Uva di Spagna

Wine Name: Grenache, Garnacha, Southern Rhone Blend, GSM

Background: Garnacha is the world’s most widely planted grape variety although most of it is in Spain. It produces a high alcohol, fruity wine often used for blending. Because it is low in acid, it is susceptible to oxidation. When used in France’s southern Rhone region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it takes on heady aromas and spicy, red berry fruit flavors. It is also used extensively in Southern Rhône Rosé and Provence wines because of its acidity. Old vine (more than 50 years old) Garnacha has moderate procution levels in Spain and produces a much fuller-bodied concentrated wine.

Classic Brands and Sources: Priorat – Mas Martinet, Alvaros Palacios; Spain – Campo de Borja, Borsao, Cellar de Capçanes; France – du Péga, Rayas, Chapoutier, many others; Australia – Clarendon Hills, D’Arenberg, Hardy’s

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical young vinesBody – medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry but fruity

Tannins – medium (-)

Style #2 – old vinesBody – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with medium to full-bodied savory dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Savory dishes with beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meat loaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto

Cheese Pairings:
Brie and Camembert without rind, mild Cheddar, Emmental, Gouda, smoked Gouda, Asiago, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Provolone, Romano

Appetizer Pairings:

See Grenache/Garnacha Appetizer Pairings

Douro Dry Reds

  Douro Portugal Dry Red Wine Blends
Synonyms:

Wine Name: Douro Red, Douro Blends, Red Blends, Red Douro

Background: The Port production region of the Douro Valley in Portugal has recently turned to an increased production of dry red wines using excess port grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela, Aragonez (Tempranillo), Bastardo, Castelão, Cornifesto, Donzelinho Tinto, Malvasia Preta, Marufo, Rufete, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Francisca, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca. The wines result in blends similar to Bordeaux wines that are full-bodied, dry and moderate tannins.

Classic Brands and Sources: Quinta do Crasto, Quinta das Tecedeiras, Quinta de Roriz

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs well with red, savory meats, grilled or roasted.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Beef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto.

Cheese Pairings:

Mild and medium sharp Cheddar, Corvo, Edam, Glouchester, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda.

Appetizers that pair:

See Appetizers that pair with Cabernet Sauvignon

Cynthiana

 (sin-thea-ANN-ah)

Cynthiana is thought to be a genetic variant of the Norton grape.

Synonyms: Cynthiana, Norton’s Virginia, Norton’s Virginia Seedling, Nortons Seedling, Red River, Virginia Seedling, Vitis Nortoni

Wine Name: Norton, Cynthiana

Background: Norton is a purple grape selected from seedlings in the early 1800’s by a Dr. Norton of Virginia. It is considered the only native American grape capable of producing dry red wines similar to those produced from European origin, i.e., vitis vinifera grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. It does not have the “foxy” taste of American native Lambrusca grapes. Genetic studies indicate Norton is mostly Vitis Aestavalis (although Vitis Cinerea is thought to be the parent by Davis Viticultural Research) and Enfariné Noir, a vinifera cultivar related to Pinot Meunier, which shares the rare as well as most common alleles with the presumed `Norton” vinifera parent. The reason there is so much interest in Norton is because of its resistance to mold, mildew and phylloxera which is the opposite of most v. vinifera species.

A grape called Cynthiana has been grown for a long time in Missouri and Arkansas and by genetic studies it appears to be the same as Norton although some would dispute this due to different growing characteristics. However, because there is evidence indicating differences in wine quality and season of ripening, Cynthiana may be a mutation of the original Norton.

Norton is moderately high in malic acid and has flavor profiles of cedar, elderberries, and cherries. It seems to do best with oak aging and malolactic treatment.

Classic Brands and Sources: Horton, Chrysalis Vineyards, Crown Valley

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical

Body – full

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Norton pairs well with acidic, full-bodied dishes.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pairs with barbeque, chicken, veal, pork, game and beef that has acidic sauces or marinades.

Cheese Pairings:
Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Majorero, Mahon, Bucheron, dry Jack cheese, cream cheese, Gouda, Neufchatel, Pont-L’Eveque, Raclette, Reblochon, Roquefort, Saint-Nectare,Vacherin

Norton

 (NOR-ton)
Synonyms: Cynthiana, Norton’s Virginia, Norton’s Virginia Seedling, Nortons Seedling, Red River, Virginia Seedling, Vitis Nortoni

Wine Name: Norton, Cynthiana

Background: Norton is a purple grape selected from seedlings in the early 1800’s by a Dr. Norton of Virginia. It is considered the only native American grape capable of producing dry red wines similar to those produced from European origin, i.e., vitis vinifera grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. It does not have the “foxy” taste of American native Lambrusca grapes. Genetic studies indicate Norton is mostly Vitis Aestavalis (although Vitis Cinerea is thought to be the parent by Davis Viticultural Research) and Enfariné Noir, a vinifera cultivar related to Pinot Meunier, which shares the rare as well as most common alleles with the presumed `Norton” vinifera parent. The reason there is so much interest in Norton is because of its resistance to mold, mildew and phylloxera which is the opposite of most v. vinifera species.

A grape called Cynthiana has been grown for a long time in Missouri and Arkansas and by genetic studies it appears to be the same as Norton although some would dispute this due to different growing characteristics. However, because there is evidence indicating differences in wine quality and season of ripening, Cynthiana may be a mutation of the original Norton.

Norton is moderately high in malic acid and has flavor profiles of cedar, elderberries, and cherries. It seems to do best with oak aging and malolactic treatment.

Classic Brands and Sources: Horton, Chrysalis Vineyards, Crown Valley

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical

Body – full

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Norton pairs well with acidic, full-bodied dishes.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pairs with barbeque, chicken, veal, pork, game and beef that has acidic sauces or marinades.

Cheese Pairings:
Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Majorero, Mahon, Bucheron, dry Jack cheese, cream cheese, Gouda, Neufchatel, Pont-L’Eveque, Raclette, Reblochon, Roquefort, Saint-Nectare,Vacherin

Red Rhône

  (ROAN)

Synonyms: Côtes du Rhône

Wine Name: Côtes du Rhône is produced in both the northern and southern Rhône Valley. However it may take on the name of specific cru villages without being called Côtes du Rhône. This would apply to specific southern Rhône villages such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Lirac, Rasteau, Vacqueyras, and Vinsobres; in northern Rhône, wines take the names of the specific cru villages of Cornas, Côte-Rôtie, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Saint Péray,

Background: In the southern Rhône the Grenache grape is required to be present at not less than 50%, with 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. A maximum of 20% of other authorized varieties is permitted. This blend varies in taste from straight Grenache in that it is more tannic (from the Mourvèdre ) and fuller-bodied with more flowery aroma elements (from the Syrah).

In the northern Rhône, red wines are 100% from the Syrah grape and tend to be full bodied and very tannic.

Classic Brands and Sources: Beaucastel, Chapoutier, Jaboulet, Delas Frères, Guigal, Ferraton, Chave, Vins de Vienne, Andre Romero’s La Soumade, Boudinaud

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical northern Rhône

Body – full

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – high

Style #2 – typical southern Rhône

Body – medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with acidic foods/sauces, salty and fatty foods

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Beef, cold cuts, barbeque, chicken, chili, pizza, game, sausage, truffles, grilled tuna

Cheese Pairings:
Blue cheese, Swiss, Saint-Nectaire, Saint-Marcellin, Roncal, Port Salut, Pont-L’Eveque, Maroilles, Gouda, Emmental, Castelmagno, Beaufort, Banon