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The Instacart guide to Mencia red wine

Mencia red wine originates from Spain and Portugal, along the Iberian Peninsula. However, the most prominent grape is sourced in Bierzo, Spain. An aromatic red wine, similar to the likes of Pinot Noir, Mencia is a medium-bodied red wine with distinctive fruity and floral notes, including berry and black licorice.

Mencia red wine is high in terpenoids, which are aroma compounds that bring out flavors like raspberry, strawberry, and cherry in this aromatic wine. It has a slightly mineral texture which gives a peppery flavor once it comes in contact with the palate. It also has deep currant and pomegranate notes, thanks to its tannin level.

The Mencia grapes come from a handful of regions, like Bierzo, Valdeorras, and Ribera Sacra, Spain, as well as Dao, Portugal. The slopes of the hills this particular vine grows on directly affect the ripening process of this distinct wine, providing it with the flavors and aromas it is known for.

Mencia red wine has a slightly bitter tannin. It is often blended with other wines to offset the tannins. It is most commonly blended with wines like Brancellao and Mellenzao. To balance out the bitter tannins even more, look for Mencia wines stored in oak barrels for a softer taste, blended with hints of nutmeg and brown sugar. 

This variety of wine is light and pale, but is balanced out by its robust flavors. It was originally thought to be a clone of Cabernet Franc, but DNA evidence has debunked that theory. Though they have some similarities, the Mencia red wine grapes are distinct. As they have been growing in popularity, Spanish and Portuguese winemakers have been carefully cultivating this vine, which requires careful maintenance.

High yields of Mencia grapes result in diluted wines. In recent years, winemakers have focused on more concentrated growing patterns to ensure a thicker, heavier, and richer flavor.

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FAQs Mencia red wine

Yes, in recent years, winemakers have been using older vines of the Mencia grape to get a fuller, thicker wine. Newer vines were producing slightly more diluted versions of this wine. To get a deeper, richer flavor, closer to the flavor the wine originally had when it was discovered, winemakers have been working to cultivate older vines in their original hillside locations. Since the 1990s, this particular variety of wine has grown in popularity both locally and worldwide.

Mencia grapes produce a very dry wine that does not have a sweet flavor. It has low to moderate acidity and tannin levels. Mencia grapes must be harvested quickly once ripened as they quickly lose their acidity, which will affect the acidic balance of the finished product. Generally, it is a balanced, medium-bodied wine with a dry yet fruity aftertaste.

Mencia red wine pairs perfectly with spicy meat dishes like Cajun-style chicken or Ibérico pork sirloin. Grilled meats with flavorful seasonings blend seamlessly with this aromatic red wine. Nuts, pesto, and even roast duck are also known to pair well with this particular wine. Mencia should be paired with flavorful foods to enhance all the flavors, but nothing that will overpower it completely. Pair with herbs and spices rather than aged cheeses and overly spicy dishes.