One Bottle in One Soak: Gnarly Head’s Old Vine Zin

Drinking a bottle during one uninterrupted soak has three clear advantages:

  •  The sweat running down your body is actively preventing tomorrow’s hangover
  • The heat creates a natural urge to clutch and guzzle any liquid within reach
  • The small rivers of sweat running down your body purges toxins and regulates alcohol leading to the elusive “clean drunk” or perpetual buzz

Drinking a bottle during one uninterrupted soak also has one clear disadvantage:

  • Both hot water and alcohol expand your blood vessels and raise body temperature. This can lead to heat exhaustion, dizziness, fainting, etc….

But, no worries, I have Fern to watch over me, and who claimed that anything I do is a good idea?
And dizziness?? Who cares!?! That would only be a problem if Tokatee hot springs, for example, happened to be perched on the edge of a steep ravine…


For this challenge I will drink an entire bottle of Old Vine Zin during the course of a single soak.

Seriously though, this is kind of a ridiculous and stupid idea so even though we aren’t endorsing your participation in this action, if you choose, please have lots of water within reach. Hydration is key, maybe a sandwich or salad second. Please keep in mind, all previous claims are unfounded and unsubstantiated generalizations.

Fern and I set up shop in the third pool down the mineral formation. The water flows from one pool to the next in naturally carved channels that allow the water temperature to gradually decrease from the springs which gurgles at about 110.

This is definitely a potent, heady and gnarly place so Old Vine Zin from Gnarly Head provided not only a cheap play on words but also an unexpected pairing with a premo winter soak sesh.

First taste, 2:00
Forward, dark, sour and sweet with no grip. Reminiscent of an old spinster surrounded by vanilla scented candles gumming a red delicious apple while slouched behind her hickory dining table. Aroma of current, spice, red delicious apple with a slight hint of sulphur.

  • Fern’s note “Because we’re in a hot springs ya dingus”

Half way, 2:30
I need to pee. I’ve been really sweaty and the wine is really good and cold because it’s winter so I’ve really been enjoying it but I didn’t really think this part through.
I need to pee but I think I can hold it.
The sweet and sour thing the wine has going is making my mouth salivate a lot, it’s like how green and moist and mossy the valley is right here. There’s a lot of steam rising off the springs.

Three-Quarters, 2:55
I feel really good and the wine is really good and well everything is really good but I also need to pee so fucking bad I’m confused like if we brought that old spinster to soak with us in her Costco bikini, or like we’re in a puffy jacket commercial for Colombia but the jackets are unnecessary because we’re already warm and in a pool.

I went pee, don’t worry, not in the tub so technically this has no longer been an uninterrupted soak but hey, if you’ve read this far you deserve honesty.
This wine is so drinkable I think you could eat it with french fries or better yet with pineapple juice and vodka like sorority sangria.

  • Fern’s note “He’s definitely drunk and kind of off balance. He almost fell as he was getting back in the pool, I was trying to figure out how I was going to catch him. He keeps talking about food”

Finish, 3:20
This shit is Bear Grylls extreme, I feel like wwwooooaahhhh. The hick grower scene has just rolled in with their national guard backpacks and a Boxer that keeps trying to eat our tortillas. I like dogs.
Final and sober notes
Gnarly Head’s Zinfandel is surprisingly drinkable and at a great price point. It’s sweet and sourness was a godsend for the hotsprings challenge because it didn’t dry out my mouth at all. A great buy for someone who doesn’t want tannins or a quick and easy glass or five that even Auntie Margaret would like.

Affordability 9/10

Dopeness 7/10


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