Summers in Texas are long and hot. Temperatures reach 100°+ F in late July, early August and there is typically no break until mid-September. Air-condition is a blessing. However, this does not mean all outdoor cooking comes to a halt. No way. No matter the weather it is always the right time for grilling, smoking, BBQ and bold red wine.
My friends at Gnarly Head surprised me with a summer treat. Not only did they send me some good wine, they also sent me two delicious recipe cards and an awesome autographed copy of Steven Raichlen’s new book Project Smoke. This book is a smokers dream! It opens with practical and easy to follow “how-to” information, followed by 7 steps to smoking nirvana! If that is not enough, it contains 100 recipes. I cannot wait to make more goodies out of this book.
The Gnarly Story:
Gnarly Head all started with a vine. In 2004, when our winemakers began their quest to make America’s favorite Zinfandel, they sought out vineyards in the Zinfandel capital of the world: Lodi, California. The Zinfandel vines planted in these older vineyards are some of the oldest in California and are grown in the traditional freestanding “head-trained” way. These gnarled vines provide the inspiration for Gnarly Head as the wines these older vines create are bold, full-bodied, juicy and in other words, gnarly.
But Zinfandel is not the only grape that can be Gnarly. Our winemakers select grapes from some of the best vineyards in Northern California to produce wines in our Gnarly House Style. Gnarly Head wines are easy to drink and pair well with food. They are Bold. Sophisticated. With a Hint of Gnarly.
2015 Gnarly Head Wines ‘Old Vine Zin’ Zinfandel Lodi USA ($10): Deep ruby; pronounced aromas of black cherry, blackberry, black raspberry jam, sweet baking spice, dark chocolate, tobacco, dusty earth, vanilla; red fruit is more prominent on the palate in this opulent, full body wine, rich and robust with medium acidity and youthful tannins, this zin leaves nothing on the table in a long, sultry finish. Click here to find this wine near you.
2014 Gnarly Head Wines Limited Release Authentic Black Lodi USA ($10): Petite Sirah based blend, deep ruby with inky hues; medium+ aromas of black fruit, plums, sweet baking spice, dried tobacco and rose petals, minerality, dark chocolate cocoa, vanilla; layers of rich flavors in an opulent, lush, and rich full-body wine, medium acidity and medium tannins, youthful and showy, long spicy finish. Click here to find this wine near you.
The Food: So many great choices to pair with these two wines. Anything grilled, smoked, BBQ, works, plus pizza and as football season is looming in the future these are great wines for football watching foods.
My Choice: I selected one of the recipes Steven Raichlen created for Gnarly Head. I selected it because it is a mouthwatering looking burger and I simply cannot resist burgers. Gnarly Head Gorgonzola Cheeseburgers with Zin-Onion Jam were epic. What else can I say? Big juicy burger (I used ground Texas wagyu) with Italian sausage (I omitted for calories but serious, this would be awesome), gorgonzola, and pepper, topped with a homemade jam of sautéed red onions with balsamic vinegar, honey, and Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel. Holla! I threw in some onion rings to round out the dinner.
The Results: Did I say epic already? Delicious burgers topped with gorgonzola and Zin-Onion jam is now my jam! The wines, of course, paired great. It was a fun dinner. My teenage son and husband didn’t leave a crumb, and our wine glasses were empty. If you are looking for a delicious weeknight or weekend meal idea I suggest kicking your burgers up a notch with these Grnaly Head Gorgonzola Burgers and a bottle of Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel or Authentic Black wines. The price points of these wines are very consumer friendly and they are widely available.
*Disclosure: The wines & book were sent as Bota Box media samples, all thoughts and opinions are my own
My Song Choice:
Get your own bottle of Gnarly Head wine and pair it with one of their recipes and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!