Gnarly Gnarly Head

For some reason, it was a slow wine drinking week for me last week. I’m sure it had to do with my working late and my going out to celebrate the new job, but it just seemed like I didn’t get to taste as much as I had hoped. As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, I bought two wines to get me in the mood for Halloween—a 2006 Cardinal Zin and a 2008 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio. While I was able to open the Zin early last week, the Pinot Grigio had to wait until Friday. The wine was definitely worth the wait, though.

The 2008 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio (winery, snooth) had a nice, medium lemon color. On the nose there were pineapple, granny smith, pear, and honeydew aromas mixed with something floral and sweet. In the mouth, there were tart granny smith apple flavors mixed with the taste of ripe, juicy, sweet honeydew. There were also some nice stone fruit flavors—apricots and nectarines—with the slightest touch of ginger. The wine had great acidity, which gave it a clean, crisp, fresh feeling.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one! What are you waiting for? At $9, this wine is bright, fruity, and food-friendly. It’s easy to see this being good addition to a summer BBQ, although I enjoyed it with a grilled lemon-herb flounder and steamed broccoli on a perfect Fall day. The Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio also stands well on its own, so don’t wait until the summer to grab a bottle. The only thing that the wine didn’t work with was the Reese’s peanut butter cups that were left over from Halloween, but I wouldn’t have expected that to be a praiseworthy pairing.

Overall: 4.5 Corks


  1. Alleigh says

    Thanks, Mark! I must admit that I expected it to be average, particularly because of the price range, but it was surprisingly good. That said, it definitely was the best on the night I opened it. After that, it lost some of the brightness.

  2. Marcus Aurelius says

    LOL! Reeses Peanut Butter cups! Those and a hot cup of coffee are dreamy but yeah I would imagine even desert wines would not go very well with RPBCs!

  3. convincemedc says

    I've seen this wine in many shops but was hesitant to pick it up because I assumed average price = average taste. I'll have to try it soon! And let us know if you do find a wine that pairs well with PB cups – that would be ideal!

  4. Marcus Aurelius says


    Don't let price scare you from a bottle of wine. The Wall Street Journal just ran a story about how even the wine tasting experts who rate wines are unable to repeat ratings. One predominant theme is that in wine contests Wine X can win a top prize at one contest and then be poured into the toilet at the next competition.

  5. Alleigh says

    MA is completely right about not letting price scare you, ConvinceMeDC. You'd be surprised about the great values that are out there, especially now.

    And trust me, I'm on the search for the perfect Reeses/Wine pairing 🙂

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