The theme for this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday (#67), which is being hosted by 1WineDude, is “Seeing Red For the First Time.” For those of you who are new to WBW, the idea is that wine bloggers everywhere will write a review on the same basic theme, and this month that means all the participants will be posting about wines they would use to introduce a white wine drinker to red wines, so all of you exclusive white wine drinkers should take some good notes.
For me, the timing of this theme could be better, as this weekend, I’m getting together with 6 of my friends for a “girls weekend,” and, of course, I’m the one in charge of brining the wine…and lots of it. While putting together a wine list has been fun, it’s also been a challenge to find wines to match the various tastes without buying everyone their own bottle. One girlfriend, in particular, is a fresh, fruity white wine drinker who tends to drink sweet Rieslings and completely avoids red wines. That said, she issued a challenge, saying that maybe I could convince her with a really good one, but that warm, dry wine typically makes [her] gag.” So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw this month’s WBW theme, as it not only gives me the opportunity to work through my own ideas, but also will give me a wealth of knowledge in other people’s finds.
After going back and forth on whether to go big and bold with a Zinfandel or sweet and fruity with a Grenache, I decided to look for a 100% Grenache. In addition to the sweet jamminess, Grenache is lower in tannins, and big tannins are something I think white wine drinkers might find off-putting. In many ways, Grenache is all of the things that my girlfriend likes about white wine, but from a red grape. Plus, raspberry and strawberry flavors seem like a friendlier way to ease a white wine drinker into the world of reds, rather than something that has harsher black fruit or herbaceous characteristics or that has more funkier flavors like earth or leather.
Admittedly, I toyed with the idea of buying a rose, but in the end, felt that a full red wine was the better choice. However, to combat the dislike of warm wine, I cooled the bottle to more of a cellar temperature, since red wines often are served to warm (and white wines often are served to cold).
The wine I decided to open is the 2008 Bitch Grenache (snooth), made by R Wine Winemakers in South Australia and imported by Grateful Palate Imports. It was a medium ruby with a pinkish, watery rim. On the nose, there were ripe strawberries and raspberries preserves, followed by a hint of white pepper and cinnamon. In the mouth, there were strawberries, raspberries, and red currants with a touch of cream, cinnamon, and white pepper. The wine had high acidity and alcohol, with soft, smooth tannins and a light-to-medium body.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $15, this wine is a great everyday wine—refreshing, food-friendly, and flirty with a little bit of hotness and attitude. That said, I think the wine is a little too acidic and has too much heat from the alcohol to be the perfect wine for a white-wanna-turn-red-wine-drinker. I still think Grenache is a good option, but Bitch just seems a little too moody to be the right wine for this task. However, if you’re already a red wine lover, you may want to consider grabbing a bottle if you see one.
Overall: 3.5 Corks