Wines that Rock: Mourvedre/Monastrell - Heavy AF

I have been listening to a lot of Mastodon recently. In anticipation of the new album, Emperor of Sand, my Spotify has been blasting their tunes for weeks. When the album was released on Friday it hit me hard. Taking me on a deep trip to something I have seldom talked about to friends or to family. For those not in the know, the album deals with the battle loved ones of the band faced against cancer. Some winning, some losing. Though its been years since my mother fought, and triumphed, against cancer a lot of the fear still remains. That it may come back, and I am powerless to fight it.

Ok, so what does Mastodon and fighting cancer have to do with wine?

By no means would I ever condone drinking alcohol to face your demons, your fears, or battles. That is a slippery slope to disaster. However, I have often found that in moderation, wine has a tremendous power to open you up to yourself. One of those wines that shows such a tremendous power to open up one's soul is Mouvedre, or Monastrell as the Spanish call it. 

Mourvedre's combination of big dark fruits, pepper, and sharp tannins adds a bit of culture to something so primal as eating fire cooked game


Much like Mastodon, Mourvedre (Monastrell) is heavy as fuck. And though heavy, it is actually beautiful and poetic. With both the music of Mastodon and the wine of Mourvedre you get taken on a journey that sheds light on great emotions. Both are complex, bitter and acidic at first taste, but opens up beautifully. You could even say that Mourvedre's combination of big dark fruits, pepper, heavy body, and sharp tannins adds a bit of culture to something so primal, making it the perfect pairing for eating flame cooked game or blasting Emperor of Sand at full volume.

Wine has a tremendous power to open you up to yourself. One of those wines that shows such a tremendous power to open up one's soul is Mouvedre, or Monastrell as the Spanish call it. 

From Show Yourself
You're not as safe as far as I can tell
And I can tell
Only you can save yourself
Soon this will all be a distant memory
Or could this dream
Be real at all?

Heavy, complex, soul baring music like Mastodon's Emperor of Sand demands heavy, complex, soul baring wine like Mourvedre.

Watching someone battle cancer does seem surreal, it does seem like a strange dream. You do not feel safe at all, and you can tell the other person is not safe either. You are powerless as your realize the fight is their and theirs alone, but they need you close by to lift them. It was only after sitting in silence with a complex glass of Monastrell (it was from Spain so lets call it by its Spanish name right now) and listening to Sultan's Curse that I was reminded about how powerless we can be at times. It filled me with both hope and fear at the same time. If the music opened opened me to the emotions and memories, the complexity of the wine forced me to face it. It was hard to think of where I would be without my mother, but also come to a stark realization of what her spirit has already instilled in me. After all it was over breakfast and numerous wine tastings with her that I realized my love of wine, and desire to share this awesome nectar with the world. She has always been the first to share these posts, share my work, and take pride in what I do.

I can see my mom all smiles devouring this rich wine, sharing it with her loved ones, taking them with her on her combative journey, and celebrating in her triumph as she becomes a conqueror


Emperor of Sand deals with a lot of pain, but there are moments that lift you up, give you hope and power. Something that one can only be found by being honest about the situation that you face, staring it down, and laughing in its face. I can see my mom all smiles devouring this rich wine, sharing it with her loved ones, taking them with her on her combative journey, and celebrating in her triumph as she becomes a conqueror. There are few wines out there that are as powerful, as complex, and as rewarding as Mourvedre. Its a heart lifting, complex, heavy, spicy, fruity, progressive metal wine and that is why it rocks so hard.