Grenache might just be the Rodney Dangerfield of varietals. While it’s the major grape in the lower Rhone’s celebrated Ch•teuneuf-du-Pape, in California it’s mostly dumped into jug blends. That said, in the hands of the right grower and winemaker, it can offer things many varietals can’t, from delightful jamminess to intriguing dustiness all in one glass. Pierre La Fond Bistro (516 Sate St., 962-1455, pierrelafond.com) will celebrate Grenache at its next Passport to the World of Wine on Wednesday, December 3, at 6 p.m. Zach Blair, Bistro Sommelier, has chosen five fine specimens for us to see how the grape takes to terroir in France, Spain, the U.S., and Australia. Plus he’s serving one of my favorite wines, Hewitson’s Miss Harry from the Barossa Valley, which will be sure to go well with Chef Nathan Heil’s menu-food matches with Grenache beautifully. November’s syrah evening featured delectables like lamb pops, smoked duck with chutney, Manchego quiche, and mushroom and blue cheese tartlets, so whatever Heil has in store is sure to please. The event costs a mere $25.
Pierre La Fond Bistro