Grenache is perfect for a party. Our menu features great matches for both its forms ― red and dry rosé. Pour everyone a glass of each and watch the fun begin.
Be very generous with the cracked pepper on the chicken; it makes a wonderful flavor bridge to the wine.
Lightly sautéed cherry tomatoes with fresh basil.
You'll have extra aioli to serve with appetizer vegetables if you like. We chose radishes and blanched broccolini.
Fresh pears and purchased puff pastry add up to an incredibly easy seasonal dessert.
Our wine picks
Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2007 (Santa Ynez Valley; $18). Tangy raspberries, lemon-lime, and minerals.
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2007 (California; $15). Crisp wild berries, orange blossoms, and spice.
Robert Hall Winery Hall Ranch "Rosé de Robles" 2007 (Paso Robles; $14). With a bit more Syrah than Grenache in the blend, this is a big, tangy, spicy rosé, with wild cherries, citrus, and a minerally finish.
Terre Rouge "Vin Gris D'Amador" 2006 (Sierra Foothills; $16). Mourvèdre takes the lead here, followed by Grenache. Crisp and lively sour cherries blended with lemon-lime zest, for a kick of pleasant bitterness. Intense and refreshing.
RED GRENACHE AND BLENDS
Beckmen "Cuvée Le Bec" 2006 (Santa Ynez Valley; $18). Blackberries with a bright, herbal, floral side.
Cass Grenache 2005 (Paso Robles; $28).}] Cherries, chocolate, and mint.
Clos LaChance Grenache 2005 (Central Coast; $30). Bright with red fruit like cranberries.
Tablas Creek "Cðtes de Tablas" 2006 (Paso Robles; $25). Earthy but aromatic, with anise and black cherries.
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2004 (California; $30). A tongue-in-cheek homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape's 1950s law forbidding flying saucers (or, in French, flying cigars) to land in the village's mostly Grenache vineyards is, in fact, a serious red wine with an earthy, minerally foundation for soft strawberries, herbs, and florals.
Fife "L'Attitude 39" 2004 (Mendocino; $18). A smoky nose, with licorice and tobacco, followed by dark berry and plum flavors and lush tannins.
Jaffurs Grenache 2006 (Santa Barbara County; $34). The wild side of the grape ― meaty and smoky, with lush cherries and pepper through a long finish.
Kunin "Pape Star" 2006 (Central Coast; $20). Earthy and a little minerally but with velvety fruit ― plums and berries ― and a slight herbal quality.
Martella Oleta Vineyard Grenache 2006 (Fiddletown; $26). Dark and smoky, with ripe, briary blackberries and pepper.
Maryhill Proprietor's Reserve Grenache 2005 (Columbia Valley; $26). Peppery, herbal, and deeply berried, this juicy wine is balanced with more than a little tannin.
Quivira Grenache 2006 (Dry Creek Valley; $26). Peppery blackberries, with a little anise spice and rich, meaty textures.
Qupé Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache 2005 (Santa Ynez Valley; $35). Earthy, loamy aromas, with a serious juicy cherry factor balanced with pepper.
Shannon Ridge Grenache 2006 (Lake County; $28). Soft fruit ― blackberries and plums ― edged in chocolate, with enough juicy acidity for great balance.
Twisted Oak "Torcido" Grenache 2005 (Calaveras County; $32). The nose puts you right in the forest, with cedar aromas; flavors run along the lines of minty dried cherries, violets, and black pepper ― a fascinating mix.