Cheap Wine Friday: Cupcake Shiraz & Gnarley Head Zinfandel Review

July 13, 2012 | Posted By: Troy Redington | Categorized in: Food & Dining Out
Last Friday was hectic, probably too hectic to break away from the grind and sample wine. However, our social media intern, Ann McKenna, brought in a bottle of Cupcake Shiraz for everyone to sample.

Once we confirmed that she's really 21, we found some cups and had a speed tasting.

Cupcake - Shiraz

Cupcake wines are marketed to women and fat guys like me. I expected more sweetness from this one. Simply mentioning the word 'cupcake' ignites my craving for a tub of frosting.

This wine was certainly not bad. It had a little bit of sourness to it - the kind that causes that weird feeling at the base of your jawbone under your ears. The flavor wasn't overly complex, but it was nice. I've had a few other Cupcake wines, and compared to their Red Velvet and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Shiraz isn't as awesome. I expected more from the name and the $10 price tag.

Melissa: This one was a bit sour for me. it wasn't so bad I couldn't drink it, but will certainly not buy it ever.
Ann: It had some tang to it. it hits your tongue right away. the bitterness wore off after a few seconds. after one or two more sips, i actually started to enjoy it. i like reds. i'd probably buy this brand again, but not the shiraz...maybe a merlot or cab. oh yeah, and a big 'ol cupcake to go with the whole name theme.
Kelly: Don't know that I would want more than one glass. Although I liked the flavor, It was the type of wine that you had to keep drinking to keep your tongue from drying out.
Heather: I like dry wines, so this one being a little on the drier side didn't bother me at all! It wasn't a very complex tasting wine and I don't think it was worth $9.99, but I wouldn't turn it down if it was being served to me!


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Gnarly Head - Old Vine Zin

This is one of Ryan's favorites. We didn't plan on opening it, but he was excited to have us try it after the less-than-exciting Cupcake tasting. I'm glad we opened it. This wine was bold and rich. It had a really nice, dark berry flavor. It was really smooth and complex. It was slightly dry and oaky, but the dry-wine haters in the room voiced no complaints. This wine is great, and at $10 it will go great with BBQ at my next dinner party!

Melissa: I like this one better than the other, it was smoother and I would drink it again. Still not my have since it isn't a sweet side one.
Ann: i have to say that i liked this one better too. it didn't have that zing like the other one did...it certainly went down smoother. cool label too. makes me think its a fall wine with the leaves and colors on the packaging.
Kelly: Very smooth without the dry finish like the Cupcake wine.
Heather: I loved this wine. I agree with Kelly that it was smoother than the Shiraz, and I felt it had more flavor. I'm not educated in wines enough to really know the difference between a shiraz and a zinfandel and I'm not sure what lodi zinfandel is, but if I were in a blind test between the two we sampled, this one would win with flying colors!
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