I am always on the hunt for new and tasty wines. In the last few years I’ve tried more blends and which has resulted in more new interesting wines. My latest find is a very nice red blend from California. I must admit I bought the wine because of the label. In honor of the season, I ran across a bottle of Gnarly Head Authentic Black from Lodi, California. A Red Blend, vintage 2014, had an alcohol content of 14.5%. The blend is based on Petit Sirah and more undisclosed grapes.
The wine was a dark reddish purple color in the glass and translucent. I smelled black cherry and a hint of vanilla. The wine was dry and smooth, with no bite or high alcohol taste that some have. I could taste boysenberry, dark chocolate and a vanilla taste at the end. The wine had a nice full finish, and went down very smoothly and dry without any burn.
I was very pleasantly surprised by how well this wine tasted. I will definitely put this on my “to buy” wine list and pick up another bottle or three. The price was also a nice surprise under $15 a bottle. You can find Gnarly Head online at http://www.gnarlyhead.com.
I’m squeezing out every opportunity to grill outside before it gets too cold. Yes, I know you can grill outside year round, but when it gets too cold and rainy, it takes longer to warm up the grill and longer to cook the food on the grill. And since I am a rare steak girl, longer on the grill means not as rare, at least in my experience. That usually means I move my cooking inside and make more one pot meals.
Last night for dinner I fired up the grill to cook a steak, a nice big two-inch-thick strip steak. I made roasted Brussel sprouts and a salad to go with the steak. For dessert I made baked apples with strawberry white balsamic vinegar.
The wine was a Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from Isenhower Cellars. The wine from Horse Heaven Hills, vintage 2013 had an alcohol content of 14.5%. This was a limited production wine, only 72 cases were produced and one that we had tasted at their tasting room on a recent weekend trip to Woodinville, Washington. The wine was a dark red color in the glass and I smelled cherry and wood when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine had a dark fruit taste with a dry medium finish. There was a tart bite at the end with a bit of a smoky flavor. The steaks went well with the wine both enhancing the taste of each one.
The nice thing was that the wine still tasted as good this time when I was sober as it did after many tastings on our tasting trip. You can find them at http://www.isenhowercellars.com.
Fall has come to the northwest with temperatures in the fifties along with clouds and rain. I had set out a steak to grill hoping for better weather, oh well. For the wine I opened a bottle of Apothic Inferno, a limited release of wine aged 60 days in whiskey barrels.
The wine, a California Red Blend, vintage 2014, had an alcohol content of 15.9%. The wine was a dark red color in the glass and had a light smoky smell with a hint of a sweet maple smell. I could smell the alcohol when I stuck my nose in the glass.
The wine had a dark cherry taste with a sweet maple note, not overpowering at all, just kind of a tease. I could taste the wood, but it was a soft wood and smoky flavor and a touch warming, almost like a cognac or brandy, but not heavy and strong, just hints and subtleties.
The wine was a nice surprise and went well with the steak. It was also a great companion to the chilly weather, like a glass of cognac, warm and inviting. You can find Apothic online at http://www.apothic.com. The wine was reasonably priced at under $15. I’m pretty sure it will go fast, since it is a limited release.