2005 Gnarlier Head Old Vine Zin: Better on the second night
may 4, 2011: greg liked this dry creek valley, sommer's vineyard, californian, as it was when we opened it. this means, to my eyes, that he didn't mind the initial acidity, or how light it was. he even went so far as to say he'd get it again. i was coming off a comparison to the better versions of rosenblum cellars red zins, so this gnarlier head was disappointing ... until i had another glass the next night. this time, i paired it with venison stew leftovers, and it was much, much better. somehow, being corked overnight had made the nose fruitier, and the thin texture was a plus against the hefty meatiness of the venison and its accompanying noodles and carrots. so i think this is a better food wine. greg, of course, disagrees, since he liked it by itself, too. this also has a good amount of sediment. 14.5 percent alcohol. $19 at kwiq liquor.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.