by Jane Lopes, on the Pleasures of Real Grenache
My first venture to Irazu, a Costa Rican BYOB in Bucktown, was indeed a success. The food was delicious: plentiful and hearty, perfect for the sub-zero night my friend Jesse and I chose to go. The atmosphere was casual and congenial. The service was friendly without being overbearing (pet peeve: when servers tell me their names and how they’ll be “taking care” of me this evening). But what am I really writing to rave about? Yes, the wine. (I’m so predictable!)
We took a bottle of the 2007 Sineann Scorched Earth Vineyard Grenache from Columbia Valley, Washington. I have fallen in love with this wine. Unlike most American “Grenache,” which, in reality, is probably 20-25% Syrah or some other grape that makes it a little darker and a little denser, the Sineann Grenache is actually light and lively. Smells like strawberries and spice, drinks like a dream. This is the kind of wine you can drink all night long (good thing?) — it actually refreshes the palate with its bright fruit and vibrant yet understated acidity. Great with spicy, heartier food (think: Costa Rican!), but also a pleasure to drink on its own. At only $28, this is the kind of wine to stock up on.