South Australia’s McLaren Vale is a narrow strip of land
wedged between the heights of the southern Mount
Lofty Ranges and the temperate waters of the Gulf of
Saint Vincent. Its Mediterranean climate, undulating
topography and diverse soil types allow the region’s
ambitious winemakers to produce a remarkable array
of wines ranging from crisp, dry Riesling to monolithic
Shiraz and everything in between. First planted in
1838, McLaren Vale is still revered as one of Australia’s
top wine-producing regions.
Unlike Shiraz, which, as one beloved
wine writer noted, “seems to go well
with any four-legged creature wrestled
onto a grill,” Grenache is gentler and
has more refined needs. Yes, the
Old Faithful Sandhill can serve as a
low-key backdrop to some heartier
meats, but its highest calling is to lend
a relatively soft touch to pork, poultry
and feathered game. Furthermore, the
wine’s roundness, restrained tannins
and moderate alcohol level help to sop
up the chili heat of spicier preparations.
It is also an enthusiastic accompaniment
to lightly aged soft and
semi-hard cheeses, as well as smoked
and cured meats.
Serve at cool room temperature (62°F).