Carménère can translate to “crimson,” indicative of the wine’s beautiful, deep crimson color. Gaining popularity in Chile, the vines of Carménère flourished in the Southern American climate though it was originally born in Bordeaux, France. It is a medium-bodied red wine, flaunting flavors of cherries and sharp spices. The smoky, earthy tones of the wine can be reminiscent of dark chocolate and tobacco.
Carménère was thought to have been extinct following the Phylloxera plague of 1857 that disintegrated a mass quantity of Europe’s grapes. Because of this, it is often called the “lost or missing grape of Bordeaux.” Thankfully, before the plight occurred, some cuttings of the grape were imported to Chile. Now, Carménère is Chile’s national grape, thriving in its warm home.
Also known as the “Grande Vidure,” the Carménère is thought to be Merlot’s distant cousin. Its aftertaste has a kick of bitterness, making it well-paired for meaty dishes and barbecues. Interestingly enough, the savory taste of Carménère has been compared to that of an IPA, making it an excellent starting varietal for beer lovers. Recently featured in our International Wine Club, this lesser known wine varietal is a great way to spice up your Indian or Mexican food. The distinct flavor of Carménère is best served while it is young.
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