“Follow your Bliss” is a term I learned in a comparative religion class and was coined by Joseph John Campbell. An author and teacher who taught comparative mythology, Campbell is the inspiration behind Dan Brown’s character Robert Langdon. He was also a huge influence on George Lucas and the Star Wars series being based on Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” Even the Lion King and American Graffiti all have Campbell influences.
“Follow your Bliss” comes from Campbell’s belief that if you follow what makes you happy, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. Later in his life people took the term to adopt a hedonist life style which Campbell didn’t agree with, and amended his quote to, “Follow your Blisters,” because life is work.
I have adopted the “Follow Your Bliss” mantra in my wine drinking adventures, and yes, Bliss and Blisters are both part of my travels. More times than not here lately my bliss and blisters have taken me to Spain. The quality and value of wines being produced in Spain right now cannot be overstated. Case in point, Tarima Hill Old Vine Monastrell 2010.
Monastrell is a verietal we’ve talked about before in France. Called Mourvedre, it is grown from the Catalonia part of Spain, north and around the Mediterranean Sea to Provence France. The grape was brought to the area around 500 B.C.E. by the Phoenicians, and is the “M” in the GSM blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre of the Rhone Valley.
This was the best wine by far enjoyed Christmas Eve. This wine is from Bodega Volver, a joint project between Rafael Canizares and Jorge Ordonez, who produce high quality wines in the La Mancha, Alicante, and Jumilla appellations. The low-yielding, old vine Monastrell vines of Tarima Hill are located at high elevations in the Alicante region, between the mountain ranges of Sierra de Salinas, Sierra de L’Altet and Sierra de la Sima.
Bodegas Volver “Tarima Hill” Monastrell is garnet red in color, with a lively bouquet of ripe cherry, blackberry, raisin and pipe tobacco, accented by a light floral note. The intense, full-bodied palate shows concentrated layers of red berry, dark chocolate, and is complimented by both finely-tuned tannins and balanced acidity. This is a $20 wine that tastes like a $50 wine and the notes say you can drink it for the next 10 years.
I found my bottles at Charles Fine Wines in Glastonbury, CT. I suggest you follow Griffy’s advice and follow your own personal bliss/blisters, get yourself a bottle, and enjoy. May the Monastrell be with you!