Last Friday, the 18th of September, I celebrated Garnacha Day on social media with other wine writers and wine lovers. Garnacha is a synonym used in Spain for the wine variety Grenache.
Garnacha/Grenache is typically a red grape variety that has wild aromas and flavors with a soft texture. It is capable of making fun rosés, easy drinking reds and on rare occasions fine wines that can age for many years.
I could not help but think of my time in Barcelona, Spain, when I was drinking these wines.
Barcelona is a special place, like New York City. It has some of the most remarkable architecture in the world, inventive cuisines and a prevalence of live music and street performers. It has a sense of freedom and openness. This sense of being open to various ways of creating makes it seem almost like a sibling to New York City.
I think this openness comes from the diversity of the people. In Barcelona, the 2nd largest group of foreign residence is Italians with Pakistanis and Chinese being 1st and 3rd respectively. I know “foreigners” are one of the top reasons why New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world – if I may brag about my own city. And I place foreigners in quotes because once you have gotten your first year living here under your belt, then you are one of us. And this of course leads us to the topic of immigration.
Is allowing immigration a good idea or a bad idea?
Lately, this has been a hot topic around the world in politics and it is certainly a hot topic in New York City. But I think many of us can agree that it is not such a simple yes or no question. I am not an expert on this subject and so I will leave it to those who know most of the facts that represent the pros and the cons of this subject.
I will say that I do enjoy diversity of wine and people. It has made me a better person, it has opened my mind and yes, made life challenging at times but ultimately a lot more rewarding.
This topic can be related to wine. Is it a good idea to allow competing wines from other countries into our market? Will it hurt sales of local wines? Or could we create an ideal world where we export wines to each other all over the world ultimately sharing in all the interesting flavors from various parts of the globe?
My perfect world would be a world that was safe and prosperous for everyone while remaining diverse. But I know that is only a dream for now. So I sit back, I have a glass of wine and hope the doors of New York City will always be open to good people and good wine from around the world.
Everyday Drinking Wine (less than $15)
2014 Beso de Vino Garnacha, Cariñena, Aragón, Spain ($11): is a 100% Garnacha red wine. Lots of fruit with flavors of stewed strawberries with a touch of Mediterranean herbs. Easy drinking, fun and I recommend placing it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before consumption. A great wine to help transition from the whites and rosés of summer to lighter reds in the fall – and it has one of the best labels adding to the fun of the wine.
Special Occasion Wine (from $15 to $50)
2009 Edetaria Garnaxta Blanca, Terra Alta, Catalonia, Spain ($30): This is a blend of Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo. Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc) is a white variety mutation of Garnacha and so this is a white wine. A unique smell of green almonds with a slight floral nose. The palate is rich and this wine is a alternative for those who like old world Chardonnays with very little oak.
Fantasy Wine (over $50)
2002 René Barbier Clos Mogador, Priorat, Catalonia, Spain ($64): This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and the rest Mataró and Merlot. A wonderful example of the greatness that is achieved by the diversity of these varieties. On the first taste this wine gives a burst of black raspberry flavor with a whiff of smoky minerality that makes it unforgettable. This is an enticing wine made in a mediocre vintage. Bravo René Barbier!