Fancy seeing you here.
For my first ever Que Syrah, I am going to pair two of my most favourite things; Wine and Wine. Okay, three, Wine, Wine and Love. Ugh, gross, right? But this girl is moving in with a man THIS WEEKEND and I think that’s a pretty huge friggen deal. So what better to pair with a fine wine than all of my anxieties, excitement, confusion, stress and love?
So here’s the thing. I am super cautious, until I’m not. I am super pragmatic, until I’m not. And, unfortunately, I am super fearful, even when I think I’m not. So making this decision had my brain like “I dunno I dunno I dunno I dunno… HELL YES I think??…” And that was without even thinking about what it’s like to actually pack and move.
Firstly, moving sucks. There is no doubt about that. Everyone’s got that one drawer in their house that is literally FULL of garbage and you wonder why you kept those 6 mini chocolate bar wrappers and 17 Walmart receipts. Or the one foot wide by half a foot deep dresser that defies actual science with the amount of stuff that has been jammed in there.
But before I even remembered how shit moving was, I still wasn’t sold on this whole moving-in-with-another-human-in-such-an-intimate-way thing.
So I freaked out a bit. Not a ton, and probably not out loud, but I definitely went back and forth and then, classic me, I spent too much time trying to convince myself that I was 100%, all in, totally cool and excited about the idea, until it inevitably all came crashing down on me like the pile of boxes stacked in my living room…
Altamente Monastrell , 2015, Jumilla, Spain. avg. $20.00
Altamente means “highly” which is appropriate given the grape is grown at 900m elevation (almost 3,000 feet). Monastrell (the grape in question) thrives in the high elevation and dry desert climate of Jumilla and because the Monastrell is lesser known than Tempranillo (Spain’s golden child), the prices are usually a steal for the quality of wine you are drinking.
Fun fact, in France the grape is known as Mourvèdre. Sound familiar? It’s one of the main grapes used in the classic and well-known blend Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone wine region in the south of France, but it, most likely, originated in Spain. I hope France has said thank you.
It’s a deep garnet red and it’s nose (the way it smells. I’m trying to be a smidge professional so I’m going to use some wine terms.. don’t worry, I’ll still swear, obviously) is spicy, with nice red berries and a touch of lavender and barnyard (or, as the classy AF French like to say, merdé, which literally means shit. It’s a good thing though, I promise, unless the wine tastes like merdé.)
SO ya, (sorry babe) I was kinda freaking out about it. So I wanted to commit; you know, face fear head on kinda thing. I was all like, yeah, totally, let’s do this. Whatever, I’ll break my lease! No worries! When do you wanna move in? Tomorrow? Tomorrow’s totally fine! Look at these 27 properties I found in the last 3 seconds.
It was a lot; I was a lot. But I felt like I was losing control because of my anxiety, so I plunged into the deep end. With my partner being the pragmatic man he is, he swam me back over to the kiddie pool and we agreed to start looking…that’s all. We picked a tentative date and started to find out what each other needed in a home (and from the relationship in its new chapter).
So, like the notion of cohabiting, opening Altamente’s Monastrell was fine, but every sip seemed to make me unsure. I WANTED to like it, so I kept drinking, poured more, smelled more thoroughly, swished an extra few times so my cheeks would water and I aggressively tried to be excited about it. But it just needed time. It needed 15 minutes for it to open up (I wouldn’t even worry about decanting it, if you don’t want to, just uncork it and let oxygen work it’s magic). 15 exposed minutes brought the ripe cherries and full juicy blackberries to the front with some earthy weight on the tongue, spice and crushed pepper on the end that rounded out those lush berries, and mellow tannin with a fresh acidity that complimented it’s richness.
I also needed some time to breath. I needed some time to open up and express the things that make me rich as a human. I needed to understand and trust that this wasn’t going to end up like the others. I needed to remind myself that the base of this was strong and structured and even though I ran away with it, that if I slowed down I would see how intense and wonderful the journey would be and that, with a little patience, a little faith and a lot of love, I would know that this is a wine I want to keep coming back to, over and over again.
Altamente did a great job of an approachable, easy drinking red (after it loosens up), while still being full, dynamic and anything but boring. I hope that even though I started a little tight and a little unsure, that this new chapter and this life that me and Pierre are building together will also be full, dynamic and anything but boring.
In The End:
We don’t always know if the decisions we make are going to endure this ever changing life, but if there is one thing I do know, it’s this:
If your soul is telling you to try, you owe it to yourself to try. You need to know what you are getting into, but don’t let the “what-ifs” speak louder than your heart. Being aware of the worst case and dwelling on it are two very different things. After all, we have no way to know, or control, what is going to play out, all we can do is make decisions and take steps in the direction we think we want to go and then see how it unfolds.
Because at the end of the day, no matter how much we analyze… que serà serà; whatever will be, will be.
Open the bottle, take the next step, and experience all that it as to offer.
Because this was more of a “drink the bottle” kinda sitch, here are some suggestions for food that this wine would love:
Lamb, (maybe with some grilled veggies with Herbes de Provence and some roasted rosemary potatoes) beef ribs (bbq’d would be awesome) or veggie friendly, shiitake/Portobello mushrooms in a soya sauce base. Or a straw, tbh. 😉