Drinking and Pairing Carménère with FoodCarménère continues to be found in some Bordeaux vineyards but is today more closely associated with Chile. In 1994, French ampelographer Jean-Michel Boursiqout determined that Carménère was unknowingly interspersed and misidentified as Merlot in Chile's vineyards. The varietal was often described as having a "green and herbal" quality but this was back when it was picked alongside the earlier ripening Merlot. Carménère needs 3-6 weeks longer to ripen than Merlot and the under-ripe Carménère grapes would lend a "green" character to the wines. These erroneous plantings have since been sorted out and Carménère is now a specialty of the Chilean wine industry. The wines are exceptionally deep in color, full-bodied, and spiced with cardamom and tobacco flavors. With proper ripening, Carménère combines the charm of Merlot with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pair Chilean Carménère's with grilled or braised red meat, or maybe even a hearty cazuela stew made with a chicken leg or hunk of beef.
Carménère related News & Blog:
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