Witness Pearl Jam's benefit show last night in Missoula, Montana. PJ's lead singer, Ed Vedder, is known to be a wine fan (he usually takes a sip of red wine, straight from the bottle, between songs). I was curious to see A) what wines would be available in Montana and B) what wines the band (or their handlers) would select to serve in beer & wine garden.
I arrived early at the arena in order to do some vino sleuthing and sampling.
Of course, there was a "lower end" Chardonnay & Merlot available. Yet, to my surprise, an Italian Vernaccia (a Tuscan white), Spanish Garnacha & Monastrell, and French Coteaux du Languedoc were also available.
The Vernaccia was forgettable (listless, fairly generic white). I had already sampled the much-ballyhooed Las Rocas Garnacha. And the Coteaux du Languedoc was fine. However, the next best thing to jumping up and down at the concert was Castano's Monastrell (Monastrell is the Spaniard name for Mourvèdre - the Rhone grape)
- From the Spanish D.O. Yecla (in Spain's southeast)
- Inky, deep purple and opaque
- Fresh, fairly pungent red- & black-berry scents
- A young, medium-bodied wine that is simple in every respect. Slight tannins, tasty fruity flavors, and a smooth finish
**** (4 stars out of 5)
Nope, it isn't complex. This wine is made for simple enjoyment; and it hits the spot for both flavor and value. Try it in a plastic cup while listening to a live album by your favorite band. Better yet, head to Canada, buy a bottle, and catch a live Pearl Jam show.