Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

Grenache is a grape in search of a bandwagon. 

It's one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, but most wine drinkers know it -- if they know it at all -- as one of the varietals that make up the blends of France's Rhone and southern regions and of Rioja in Spain. Domestically it's almost always a blending grape too, though in recent years, 100-percent Grenaches from Spain's Priorat region have caught the palates of cork dorks worldwide. 

So if you want to try Grenache on its own terms -- and you should, because its fresh berry fruit and light to medium body make it accessible and friendly to a variety of foods -- a good place to start is with the French and Spanish winemakers who have the most experience with it. 

For example, the 2006 Domaine Andre Brunel. It's a simple, light-bodied and enjoyable wine, with tangy raspberry and strawberry aromas and flavors that end in a crisp, clean finish. It's also only nine bucks, which, for a wine that would play as well with grilled salmon or tuna as it would with roasted chicken or burgers, has definitely earned its own bandwagon.


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Bill Citara