Mourvedre/Monastrell

Mourvedre, as a cultivated wine varietal, originated in Spain, where it is also called Monastrell or Mataro. It is the principal black grape of the five appellations that cluster on Spain's southeastern Mediterranean Coast. 

Winemakers frequently use Mourvedre's dark, thick-skinned berries in blends to boost color and tannin. Beginning in the early 1980s, several Australian wineries popularized various blends of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre as "GSM" wines, a combination that has also become popular in California. 

Unblended, Mourvedre wines tend to be deep-colored, quite tannic, somewhat alcoholic and have spicy and sometimes gamey aromas. Spice aromas often associated with Mourvedre include thyme, clove, cinnamon, black pepper; floral aromas of violet and fruit aromas of blackberry. 

Mourvedre pairs well with meats that are roasted or smoked and dishes with hearty sauces such as beef, lamb and game; grilled, roasted or smoked veal or pork; and barbecue, chili, cold cuts, hamburgers, meatloaf, sausages, mushrooms, risotto and cheese-based pastas. 

Cheeses that go well with Mourvedre include mild, medium or smoked Cheddar, Edam, smoked Gouda, Manchego, Muenster, aged Provolone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Roncal and Pecorino cheeses.