Savor the best of harvest season with the perfectly timed, limited release of Gnarly Head’s Authentic Black. Crafted to be bold, full-bodied and juicy, this "Darker Side of Gnarly" pairs excellently with fall comfort classics.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015
Photo Courtesy of the Gnarly Head


Produced from grapes from select vineyards throughout Lodi, California, Gnarly Head’s Authentic Black was aged on oak for 12 months to craft a smooth and opulent red wine. In this region, where long summer days and cool nights provide the ideal climate for growing full-flavored grapes in well-draining sandy soil, you’ll also find local farms harvesting some of the autumn’s most cherished winter squashes; California also happens to be among the top states for growing pumpkins. With their rich texture, winter squash produce some of the most cherished soups of the season, from velvety butternut to curried pumpkin. Served with some rustic, old-world bread and the robust flavor of Authentic Black, these easy-to-make, one-pot recipes provide a hearty dinner that stands up to any cold night.


A traditional braise is a cooking technique that requires little effort, yet produces amazing results. Once mastered, it can turn even the most unseasoned cook into a master chef. The secret to its flavor is combining the fast sear with the slow simmer. The basic method is to sear the meat, such as a lamb shank, pork shoulder, or short ribs, and remove it from the pot before sautéing the vegetables. Next deglaze the pot with the braising liquid—which might even be a bottle of Authentic Black. When the browned bits from the bottom of the pot have dissolved, add the seared meat and cook at a low simmer until fork tender. This satisfying dish is prime pairing for the powerful, concentrated flavors of Authentic Black’s Petite Sirah-based blend.


Authentic Black was crafted for fall; true to its name, it opens with brooding aromas of black cherry and black licorice, making it an ideal pick for sparking some dinner conversation or simply cuddling up with a good book by the fireplace. Dark and inky in the glass, the juicy flavors of blackberry and plum are framed by hints of dark chocolate on the finish making it an excellent complement to a decadent dessert. Bring out Authentic Black’s lush tannins and dark fruit flavors with autumn-inspired desserts, such as a rich dark chocolate tart with a spicy gingersnap crust or an indulgent, layered Black Forest cake. Or, keep it simple with a bar of dark chocolate or a box of fine truffles.

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