G Day: Anyone up for Cabernet Gernischt Day?

Among the Cabernet Gernischt in China.


By Jim Boyce

It seems every grape, like every dog, will have its day.*

For Malbec, that date is April 17. For Chardonnay, May 23. Fans of Grenache open their bottles on the third Friday in September while those of Tempranillo will do it November 14 this year. Etc.

Given this, it might be fun for those of us in China to celebrate a grape commonly associated with this nation — Cabernet Gernischt. And given the grape’s name, one option would be to do so right after Cabernet Day, usually held in late August or early September. Three reasons why:

  1. Etymologically, Cabernet Gernischt fits neatly under the Cabernet umbrella.
  2. Gernischt is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc.
  3. We could drink all kinds of Cabernet on Cabernet Day and then — at midnight — switch to a lineup dedicated to Gernischt and thus prolong the party.

I realize there might be objections.

There are some people who worry about Cabernet G — as Cabernet Gernischt is informally known — being positioned as “China’s grape“. They cite wines that are too green and suggest Gernischt be used for blending at most. Thus, they would rather downplay than celebrate this grape.

Also, some state that Cabernet Gernischt is actually Carmenere –  I didn’t find a Carmenere Day so we could have a dual day of celebration. Or that it is actually Cabernet Franc — this would fit nicely under Cabernet Day. Or that is is actually a kind of Syrah — there is a Syrah Day in February, thus another opportunity to celebrate Gernischt.

Finally, some might feel we should focus on grapes native to China such as Long Yan (Dragon’s Eye). Hey, I’d be happy to celebrate those, too!

Anyway, it’s just an idea. Any thoughts? Anyone up for ‘Cabernet G Day’? Should we discuss it over a few bottles?

* The book “Wine Grapes” lists 1368 varieties. If each gets its own day, we’re talking about an average of 26 celebrations per week!

cabernet gernischt label photo china

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