Mencia/Jaen is a black grape variety known by “Mencia” in Spain and “Jaen” in Portugal. Similar to Pinot Noir, it is often made into a fresh and fruity wine, meant for immediate consumption. In Northwest Bierzo, Spain, Mencia is enjoyed as a local favorite and is becoming more popular on a global scale.
This grape produces wine with a medium body, medium-high acidity, and medium alcohol. It is known for its red and black fruit flavors, including sour red cherry, pomegranate, red currant, plum, black cherry, and blackberry. It also has notes of herbs, black pepper, and sometimes licorice. Bottle-aged expressions can go on to develop flavors of leather, earth and game.
Mencia pairs well with grilled and roasted meats such as pork, chorizo, steak, lamb, chicken, BBQ, sardines, and wild game. It especially compliments hearty and flavorful dishes like roasted vegetables, beef stew, fajitas, corned beef and charcuterie meats. Mencia is often enjoyed along with Spanish tapas, Empanadas, and pepperoni pizza.
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