High on the Hog Grenache

This weeks experiment; can a label on a wine bottle help you determine what to pair it with?  In the case of our latest find “High on the Hog” (found at your local Trader Joe’s) the answer is yes! What do I mean? This is a Grenache from Santa Barbara.  The Santa Barbara wine region is really suited well for Grenache.  It’s a lighter red with some complexity that you can only find in some more expensive wines.  Pairing with various foods brings out its subtle notes. When I read on the sign it had cinnamon notes, I thought ham, fall and thanksgiving. Well, that’s exactly what we paired it with and sure enough it brought out those notes in the wine. We also tried it with cheese which brought out the subtle jammy quality. I didn’t like it paired with chocolate as much, but it was still ok.  The front side of the wine opened up after 30 minutes, but is not a wine to enjoy on its own. Overall, the label was true – this wine works with ham.  Is it the best wine to pair with? No, however for the sale price it’s not a bad choice. I give this wine 3 glasses.

About myredwineguys

My red wine guys, Jim and Rich, have been drinking and comparing red wines together for the last 10 years. We drink reds exclusively (except for champagne during New Year’s Eve celebration's or special occasions). In our search to find the best red wine for the buck, we are constantly buying and drinking a variety of reds. Frequently, we see many of our favorite reds increase in price (making them impractical to buy and consume with the dismal economy). This motivates us to try and compare lesser known reds from a variety of wineries. We are constantly telling our friends where to buy and save on these great reds. One weekend over a bottle of red wine (of course), we decided to share our recommendations with the world via a blog (with the support of our wives who really think this is another way for us to drink more red wine). We are going to be making road trips up the coast and sharing our opinions on some great California Reds. Jim is a retired Navy Senior Chief now working as a Navy Technical Rep. His world travels have given him the opportunity to taste wines on different continents. He finds himself often comparing them to his favorite region – Napa Valley’s Oakville/Rutherford districts that produce some of the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignon's. Richard is a musician who grew up in Santa Maria with a family rich with red wine tradition. According to the family legends, his grandfather used to make wine out of grapefruit when grapes were not available. He grew up drinking and making wine with his father and other Italian families in the central coast, long before there were grape vines in the area. In fact, the reason his family located to California was to make wine! Thank you for visiting our site! We hope you enjoy a glass of exceptional red wine soon!
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