Your what hurts?


No word of a lie[1], here’s the conversation from my wine shop:

Me: What would you recommend for a grin ache?

Store person: Alleve.

Me: No, really, I have to write a post about it. I’d like something local…

Store person stares at me.

Girlfriend laughs at me.

Store person (to girlfriend): Is he drunk? Are you ok? Should I call the police?

Girlfriend (to store person): He’s fine.

Me: What are you both laughing at…. Who am I? Why am I here? Why does no one get that reference?

Girlfriend (to me): It’s gren-ash.

Me: Ah. Maybe I do need that Alleve too.

Bottle of Chatter Creek GrenacheSo, after that little bit of Totally True Adventure ™, we settled on a Chatter Creek 2004 Grenache, from the lovely Columbia Valley and bottled a few miles away in Woodinville.

Now, those of you who haven’t gone over to Wikipedia yet to look at the article on Grenache, it is a old grape, commonly found in Rhones and, based on the shelves I looked at, Shiraz. It is also the same as the Spanish Garnacha, which I wish I had know while scouring the shelves for Grenache. I mean, sure, the words look similar, but the last time I made the assumption that two similar words were probably related, well, the less said about that the better, just let it be known that the Italian Emergency Services are top notch, even when faced with odd events involving bananas. Wonderful to see that it is also grown for ‘jug wine’ too.

But this wine was no jug wine, but I’ll admit to feeling extraordinarily happy after a couple glasses along side my dinner.

I’m not entirely sure how to classify this wine. If you’re familiar with baseball, this wine could be a utility player, it isn’t so overpowering as to destroy a lovely breaded white fish, or so weak as to be unheard as you sip with a nice strip steak. We had it along side a spicy beer can chicken and cold emmer salad, and it was delightful. A hint of spice, a hint of fruit.
In fact, we had a nice piece of thyme chocolate from Theo Chocolates and it matched perfectly. The only thing it wouldn’t match up with directly is pure citrus. What really makes this wine shine is a slight hint of salt (which the chocolate did happen to have) and I’d imagine that a salted strawberry or raspberry might even work along side a glass. I’d test it for you, but you should have some fun in tasting wines too, right? Ok, ok, hold on, I’ll be right back.

I do so love farmer’s markets and fresh strawberry season. First bite of a strawberry, salt free, with a sip of wine definitely shows that this wine is not for the pure sweets of berries, but a sprinkling of salt and, while the wine doesn’t necessarily sing as the berry remains quite sweet, it is tempered into an uneasy truce of taste.

I guess the biggest test is, would I drink this wine again? It depends upon the price point. This is a wonderful $10 wine. Unfortunately, it was sold in a $15 bottle, which always makes me a little sad, when the price point is just a little off. When they are so far off that it is crazy, a $20 wine in a $80 bottle, I have no problems passing it by. It is just that ‘Well, I liked it, but not quite that much, but almost…’ point that bothers me. So, instead, it will remain a good ‘Bring to Parties’ bottle, along with a few $10 wines, in hopes of exposing more people to more and different wines.

But, speaking of those $10 wines, now that I know more, and knowing is half the battle, I’ll put in a plug for one of my favorite wines that is almost always found at such a low price point, and since it is a Garnacha, it is totally on point. Right?

Garnacha de Fuego Old Growth is a wine we picked up because of the price point and it’s amazingly similar to the Chatter Creek. Stands up to most foods without over powering, is inexpensive enough to drink any time. I wish I could link to it, but I’ve never found a website specifically for the wine, just numerous reviews and wine merchants selling it. That’s old school. Right?

[1] Note: All ‘true quotes’ are likely to be completely and totally fabricated for sake of amusement. Please, no wagering.

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There’s no Grenache in my cellar
The Secret Life of Grenache


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