What is Grenache Blanc? Liz & Rachel Taste & Tell


Rachel Portell: We are moving on to such a cool wine project, I love them so much. Uproot is a project out of Napa Valley, and they bring in fruit from Santa Barbara so this is a Santa Ynez Grenache Blanc. Their labels, I can’t decide if people either love them and gravitate towards them or are a little thrown off by them.

Liz Mendez: Love it.

RP:  You love it?

LM: I love it.

RP: So each wine label, you can see here too, is actually a tasting note, so every label is different.

LM: Really?

RP: You didn’t know that?!

LM: No!

RP: Seriously?!

LM: I seriously didn’t know that.

RP: You thought it was just their branding?

LM: I thought that was so cool!

RP: This is a tasting note. So the light pink is bubble gum, I think the grey is normally petrol. She’s [Liz] got some beef with petrol.

LM: In fairness, my mentor’s had a mentor who is really against the terminology. So his whole thing about the terminology is a) we don’t have petrol in this country so don’t call it that. (you know what dump it into mine for the rinse, so we don’t waste, because I don’t want to waste this beautiful wine). Even if you would use the word petrol to describe a wine in Germany, that would be like an insult to the German’s, and so I just feel as though we have other descriptors and terminology to use that we understand.

RP: But for the wines that are truly like, what is that, what else would you…

LM: I think we have other terminology, I think that we have beeswax, and honeysuckle, you said honeysuckle not too long ago…

RP: I think this wine reminds me of like, when I just smelled it (we obviously tasted this once before)

LM: We tasted this once before but we had technical difficulties.

RP: (like once before in this sitting, and we had to come back to it, so this is still her fist time trying) I would say yeah, like walking through a forest by a river, you can explain the river, and there is honeysuckle planted. This in a glass is a lovely forest stroll with some honeysuckle.

LM: In those same terminologies, one of the things that we talked about when we smelled it was the minerality. And wine professionals a lot of time get a little bit of grief for using the term minerality because it’s not a layman term. When I type minerality on the computer it tells me it’s a typo

RP: Always, it’s so annoying!

LM: When I want to describe minerality to someone that I want them to drink this, I talk about how the sidewalk smells after it’s raining, or when you’re walking along a river kind of like how the rocks smell with the water up against the bank. So I feel like that’s a great way to describe minerality.

RP: Which is how we came to walking along a riverbank with honeysuckle. Now we’re full circle back to where we were when the camera cut off last time

LM: Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t make sure you have the right terminology. Smell what you smell, taste what you taste and drink what you like to drink

Every time I taste this wine I’m thinking about when I was little and we had honeysuckle because I lived in Georgia  It’s cool, it takes you places. Let it take you wherever it’s going to take you

RP: What do you think of the palate?

LM: The texture. This is something that I love about Grenache Blanc. I definitely think this is a wine that, it’s a red wine drinker’s white wine. You have a lot of people that say red wine, I don’t do white wine, and I always love turning them on to wines like this because when they taste it they’re like, I really like this. It’s that texture. I feel like it’s a white, and it has all of the indicators of being a white wine, but it has this texture that is a little weigther, kind of like Semillon does this too for a red wine drinker

RP: It still has this killer acidity that makes it pair well with..

LM: It just pops

RP: It’s still a bright and beautiful white, but it does have a weight…

LM: It does. It is a white wine that can really pair with meat. I feel like a lot of times when we get into the protein or the meats people go red right away, even if they’re lighter reds, or they go rosé. This is a white wine that I definitely want to have with pork. And vegetables too, I feel like it could be a really great wine with vegetables. But yeah, I want to have that with pork.

RP: There are a lot of types of pork. What kind of pork are you talking about there?

LM: There are so many kinds of pork! Have you ever seen that Simpson’s episode where… So Lisa becomes a vegetarian, and Homer says ‘So you’re not going to eat bacon anymore?’ And she’s like ‘no dad’. ‘What about ham?’ ‘no dad’. ‘What about pork chops?’ ‘Dad, those are all the same animal’. ‘Sure Lisa, the wonderful magical animal’.

LM: But yes, I want to have this with pork shoulder and vegetables, even like shredded pork shoulder carintas sytle with vegetable escabeche on top.

RP: Brining me back to when Mark made this, and there was some ceviche in there because ceviche is my favorite and I get mad when I come in and he doesn’t have any.

LM: He’s all about the freshest ingrediens so sometimes he doesn’t have it [at Vera].

LM: That brings up another good point. One of the things about Grenache Blanc is I don’t pour it at the restaurant because sometimes it can be sort of an oxidative grape that doesn’t stand well to be opened a couple days. So, I would definitely say this is kind of like  dinner party wine especially with the label, it’s a conversation starter, but also this is a white wine, and you don’t say this about a lot of white wine, that can take you from the beginning to the end of a meal. Like it can go with the shrimp ceviche and it can also with your entree

RP: Like, you’re serving this at Thanksgiving

LM: Yes, absolutely. We do porkgiving

RP: Makes even more sense.

To try this Grenache Blanc, visit www.tayloredwines.com/products/2013-uproot-grenache-blanc

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