Mencia is a medium-bodied red that is only grown in Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula. This rare red has floral, strawberry/raspberry, sour cherry, pomegranate and peppery flavours.
Due to the peppery flavours, this wine is excellent with meat, such as pepper steak, charcuterie, pastrami, corned beef or spicy sausages. The red fruit flavours also make it excellent with wild game and fowl, such as Turkey or Duck.
Mencia is very friendly with vegetable dishes you’d a bit of pepper to, such as wild rice dishes, mushroom risotto, or a juicy portabello mushroom steak with a side of peppers and onion.
Mencia is not even close to mainstream, so you’ll find several styles out in the wild as not one style has become popular yet. Generally you’ll never find a single-varietal Mencia, and other indigenous varietals will be blended in to smooth out Mencia’s bitter profile. Oak aging will further reduce the bitter tannin in this wine, adding vanilla or nutmeg flavours in its wake. Despite the different styles, one thing is for sure, this is a wine that will evolve with aging, and young Mencia should be decanted for approximately half an hour before serving.
Do you have a favourite Mencia and Food Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!