COUNOISE [ku-nwaz ]
Counoise is a unique menu item from the Southern Rhône, not typically served à la carte but as a spicy ingredient added to blends. It is one of the 13 grapes allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it makes up barely a fraction of its vines. There are only a handful of plantings in California, but as it is vigorous and loves the warm and semi-arid Rhône valley, it may be catching on. It is sort of a goldilocks grape, not too dark in color, not too high in acid, tannin or alcohol, and that hint of cracked pepper is juuuust right.