Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel

Here’s to firing up the flavor…and the grill this summer. Go for Bold with our award-winning Gnarly Head Wines—full of rich, full-bodied character—paired with Project Fire author and TV host Steven Raichlen’s smoky and spicy Gnarly Grilled Jerky.


2 pounds beef sirloin or other lean cut of beef
1/4 cup Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel
1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon Tennessee whiskey

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 -1/2 teaspoons curry powder
Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke Fennel Pepper Rub or ground red pepper for sprinkling


Freeze the beef for 1 hour or until firm but not frozen solid. This facilitates slicing. Meanwhile, make the marinade: In a large mixing bowl, combine the Zinfandel, hot sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, cilantro, and cumin and whisk to mix. Using sharp chef’s knife, slice the beef across the grain into very thin slices, trimming off any visible fat or sinews. Add the beef strips to the marinade, stirring to coat well on all sides, and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Drain the beef strips and pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile. Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 180 degrees. Add wood chips or chunks as specified by the manufacturer. Place the rack in the smoker (or arrange the beef strips on the smoker racks) and smoke until dried and cooked through, about 3 hours. Transfer the warm jerky to a large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. (The resulting steam relaxes the meat.) Let cool to room temperature.

Cilantro Garlic Glaze:
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cilantro, garlic, whiskey and sizzle over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 minutes. Set aside.

Curry Sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and curry powder in a mixing bottle and whisk to mix. Place the sauce in squirt bowl. The recipe can be prepared ahead and refrigerated to this stage. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. Brush and oil the grill grate. Grill the jerky until sizzling on both sides, 1 minute per side, basting with the Cilantro Garlic Glaze. Transfer to a platter or plates. Squirt each strip with a zigzag of Curry Sauce. Sprinkle with Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke Fennel Pepper Rub or red pepper and serve.

* Note: keep the jerky refrigerated until serving. It will keep for at least a week. Recipe created by Steven Raichlen for Gnarly Head. For more recipes, visit