Alicante Bouschet (al-i-KAN-tay boo-SHAY)

The name for one of the last extant crosses of garnacha (grenache) with petit bouschet, crossed in France by Henri Bouschet in the mid-1800s. In Spain, sometimes called garnacha tintorera. Innocuous in flavor but thick skinned, high yielding, and deeply colored. It is, in fact, one of the very few grapes (red or white) in the entire Vitis vinifera family to have red flesh. As such, alicante bouschet has been used for decades in southern France to give light red wines more color and the appearance of more flavor intensity. In California, it was used extensively during Prohibition to make thin watery wines seem like standard reds. Alicante Bouschet is still used in California, mainly in the Central Valley, where it is a useful extender in jug wines. Should not be confused with the denomination Alicante in southeastern Spain, where the main grape is monastrell (mourvèdre).


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