Until recently - to over 3 billion people across more than 212 countries, GSM meant - (Global System for Mobile communications) - the mobile standard for mobile phones.
But thanks to South Australia - GSM now means an exciting glass of red wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with food, in its youth and after time in the bottle.
Too many wine enthusiasts, GSM's are described as a combination of all the best things in red wine, all mixed into one bottle in small approachable portions. GSM wines are firm, well flavoured, coloured and with soft tannins on the finish. They go well with a variety of cuisine; tapas, antipasto platters, pizza, pasta, barbeques, but are certainly not out of place with the best cuts of meat.
While the predominant grape Grenache has a long history, it is only over the past decade or so that the variety has received the recognition that it deserves. While it is regarded as a classic variety by many, it is an 'alternative varietal' in places like Australia; not least because few wine drinkers know much about it.
This grape variety is widely planted in South Australia, particularly in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions. It is a versatile variety which can be used as a straight varietal wine, it makes very good Rose and is used as blending material, particularly with Shiraz and Mourvèdre (also known as Mataro). In fact the so called GSM blends are becoming a signature Barossa/ McLaren Vale style, challenging the dominance of straight Shiraz wines.
In Spain it is known as Garnacha, and is grown extensively throughout the North and East of the country as dry grown bush vines. In France this variety is grown in the Southern Rhone region as well as in Roussillon. In the Rhone it is a key ingredient of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. In fact Grenache is a principal variety in all of the major Appellations in the Southern Rhone. Grenache is also the major varietal in Tavel Rosé. Keep a look out for GSM blends - and enjoy them with diverse cuisine all year round.