Cost: Average $9.99
Where buy now: Costco – $6.99
Grapes: 100% Garnacha
I’m going to preface this review by saying I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love this wine. I could probably stop there, right?
Grenache or Garnacha? WTF? In short, “Garnacha” (Gar-nah-cha) is Spanish, “Grenache” (pronounce it gren-awsh so you don’t sound like a boob] is both English and French. Spanish Garnacha contains 100% Garnacha/Grenache grapes. The French blend Grenache grapes with other grapes to give you varietals such as Cote de Rhone or the ever so popular AND expensive Chateauneuf-du-Pape (shat-en-uhf-doo-pahp). I’ve also seen blends from Australia, commonly seen as “GSM” which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (moo-veh-dray).
I’ve been enjoying Garnacha for a couple of years now. Garnacha seems to be both palatable and in my price range. I came across Altovinum Evodia at my local Muni [remember Muni=St. Anthony Village Wines & Spirits] on sale for $8.99! Zang! I’m not going to lie, I was drawn to the blue label gleaming in the florescent store lights, it definitely sticks out on the shelf. Perhaps I’m just drawn to pretty shiny things, attribute that to undiagnosed A.D.D. if you want. Beyond the esthetic of the label, let’s pop that cork and get down to business, shall we?
Mmm. . .Oooh. . ., Oh. . .Uh-huh, that’s the stuff. This, my friends, is damn good wine. It is deep red in color and silky; soft and round yet bold with peppery raspberry, blackberry and cherry flavors. It has a nice finish (yes, I swallowed) that lingers long enough to make you want to go back for more. From the Calatayud region of Spain. Read up, it’s the new sexy place to go.
If you like Garnacha but can’t get to Costco nor want to pay $9.99, pick this Castillo de Monseran Garnacha up instead. All you need is a $5 spot and some loose sofa change. You’ll typically find this toward the bottom of wine shelves but this one is almost as good! (I’ve bought it by the case.)
Here’s a kick-ass tapas recipe to pair with it. All I ask is that at least ONE of you try this and let me know, nay, thank me profusely for turning you on to a great wine/recipe one-two punch!
Catalan Pizza w/ Red Pepper Marmalade
●3 cups of drained roasted red peppers [3 – 14 to 16oz jars] thinly sliced
●3 Tbsp oil [I use coconut oil]
●1 large onion, thinly sliced
●¼ cup of granulated sugar
●1 ½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
●Salt to taste
●Goat cheese [optional]
●Pizza dough [make your own if you are an over-achiever- I’ve used Trader Joe’s dough and Pillsbury’s thin crust dough]
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until soft but not browned (about 10 minutes), stirring often. Add peppers, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the sugar, vinegar and 2 Tbsp of water until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 min. Then, uncover and increase heat to medium. Stir occasionally until peppers are soft, onions are glossy and the liquid has reduced. Season with a little salt and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Follow pizza crust instructions. I typically bake the pizza dough for about 5 min. Then, I take it out of the oven, top with the maramalade mixture and drop goat cheese on top. Pop back in the oven for 5 minutes, then slide it off the pizza pan to cook directly on the rack for another 5 minutes.