Tempranillo vs. Garnacha (Grenache)

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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These wines are from the same place. So must they have some similarities, right? If not, what are their differences? How will I know which one I will like more? We are here to help you answer those questions by providing the specifics of this comparison. 


Is Tempranillo The Same As Garnacha?

Tempranillo and Garnacha are not the same wine and hold more differences than similarities to show it. So let’s get into those differences to assist in defining these two wines.


What Is Similar About Tempranillo And Garnacha?

Tempranillo and Garnacha have light similarities compared to their differences. Both of these red wines originate from Spain, contain roughly the same alcohol content, and are both produced in dry styles wines. 


What Is The Difference Between Tempranillo And Garnacha?

Getting into the stronger differences between the two include grape type, notes, styles, and food pairings. 

Tempranillo is made from a black grape variety and contains more savory cherry, fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill notes. 

In addition, Tempranillo is most commonly made in a dry style that pairs perfectly with Mexican cuisine and other foods like bell peppers, steak, potatoes, and wild rice.

Garnacha is made from a blue grape variety and contains notes such as strawberry, orange, plum, and leather. The wine is most commonly made into not one, not two, but three different styles. 

The dry, semi-sweet, and sweet Garnacha is said to pair best with Asian cuisine that contains roasted meats and vegetables. 


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Due to Garnacha’s notes of herbs and ripe fruits like blood orange, it is considered to be the sweeter of the two. On the other hand, Tempranillo’s more savory notes of cedar and tobacco are what make this wine drier in taste in comparison to Garnacha. 


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Tempranillo and Garnacha have nearly the same amount of alcohol content. Tempranillo tends to carry roughly 13.5-15% alcohol content by volume, compared to Garnacha, which carries 13.5-16% alcohol content by volume. 

As you can see, there is a chance that the Garnacha will tend to hold more alcohol content depending on the climate in which the wine was produced. 


How Do I Choose Between Tempranillo And Garnacha?

If you prefer a wine that has a more dry taste with savory notes like cedar and tobacco, then you’ll surely prefer a Tempranillo over a Garnacha. If you’re also serving Mexican cuisine to your guests, they will thank you for serving Tempranillo alongside the cuisine. 

If you have a dinner party coming up and plan on serving Asian cuisine, Garnacha is the go-to! This wine is made for pallets that prefer sweeter notes of strawberry and orange, so if a drier wine is not a preference, you will enjoy a Garnacha over a Tempranillo. 


Final Thoughts On Tempranillo And Garnacha

Tempranillo and Garnacha are not the same wine and have many differences in grape types, notes, styles, and food pairings to show it. Due to its notes, Garnacha is considered to be the sweeter of the duo. 

Although these wines carry a pretty similar alcohol content, it’s shown that Garnacha is the one that might tend to carry a higher content among the two.