Season 1, episode 7
What is a Carmenere Grape?
I swear I’m not making this up,
but as soon as I tasted this organically grown wine from the Colchagua Valley in Chile, I immediately heard accordion music, you know, folk music with an oom-pah beat. When I went looking for an example of what I was hearing in my mind, I found the music – the very music – and it was animated with a funky dancing chicken. Seriously, I’m not making this up. Beagle’s Honor.
Carmenere, by the way, is a grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France. It is almost impossible to find Carménère wines in France today because the Phylloxera plague of 1867 destroyed nearly all the vineyards of Europe, afflicting the Carménère grapevines in particular. For many years the grape was presumed extinct.
The name “Carménère” originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson color of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is one of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux. I learned all this from the Wikipedia. Someday, if you remind me, I’ll tell you about the music I hear when I read the Wikipedia. It’s awesome.