Is Gnarly a positive or a strange name for wine?

Every time I used to visit my friends in Sacramento, California, I used to pass a big billboard for Gnarly Wines. Then I always forgot to ask him what he thought of that name. Would he construe it as negative, as I did, or was I missing something? Either way it attracted my attention, which is the sign of a good name regardless.

naming wines and wineriesAnyway, I finally found a bottle of Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio on sale at my local supermarket and thought if I took home a bottle it would (a) help me remember the name, and (b) let me find out personally how it tasted. Haven’t you discovered that it is a lot easier to remember the name of something if you like the taste? That gives you the complete personification of the brand experience promise.

If the wine looks a light green in the photo here, that is not my photography. It really is a light green in color though it is very subtle. I guess it still qualifies as a white wine. And very interestingly Gnarly Head also offers an Authentic White wine. Wow, that is one way to emphasize its clarity – right in the name.

Wine Enthusiast rates this wine a 88. So not bad for the under $10 (sale price). As for my personal opinion, that will have to wait until I have some hot spicy Asian food to pair with it, as the Wine Enthusiast recommends. In the meantime, every time I read the word Gnarly I still hear it with an Australian accent.. usually some surfer dude saying how tough the waves or the projects were. Yes, I know they claim it is from the old gnarled stalks in their vineyards. Gnarly Head also reminds me of some old curmudgeon though I am now getting much more comfortable with it and compliment them on standing out from the herd.

 

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Posted in Consumer Goods, Name Origins, Naming News, Wine Names

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See his industry naming commentary (where he takes a critical look at names) via the blog on this site