GSM – There’s No Place Like Rhone

If you do a reasonable amount of wine tasting or maybe just hang out in tasting rooms, you may have recently heard the term “Rhone blend” or more specifically…”it’s a GSM”.

While that may strike you as an acronym for a fancy car or a significant muscle injury, I am in fact referring to the varietals of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from the Rhone wine region of France.

The GSM blend will normally consist largely of Grenache, followed by Syrah and then Mourvèdre. However, a visit to the northern Rhone region will see Syrah taking over the majority role. (Can you say SGM..?) These three varietals are the main players from the Rhone, but there are in fact over 20 grapes that are allowed in blends from the Rhone AOC. Many blends will use small quantities of Carignan, Cinsaut, Viognier or other secondary varieties. Just use the term “Rhone blend” and you will be sure to cover all your bases.

Rhone blends are for the most part ready to drink right off the bat but can be aged for a few years if desired. The flavor profile leans toward ripe dark berries with some peppery, earthy, rustic qualities. For a great food pairing try some rosemary herbed meats on the grill.

Fire up the barbeque, open that Rhone blend and enjoy..!