Review Of Toasted Head Chardonnay With Pesto Linguine

Made in California Toasted Head Chardonnay

Here is a unique California wine that is made by aging in specially treated barrels. The barrel heads ( the flat round ends of the barrel are flame toasted with fire to create a distinct aroma and taste. The wine is aptly named as Toasted Head Chardonnay.

Let’s see if it is worth this extra work as we review Toasted Head Chardonnay just by itself and with some Pesto pasta.

So, my wife and I both agreed ( often we do not on the subject of wine), that on the initial tasting with no food, this wine has a distinct smoky aroma that was quite pleasant. We were eager to continue to the tasting part but worried that it would taste like a glass of wood smoke.

Tasting Barrel Head Chardonnay. What did we think?

For tasting without food, we both were pleasantly surprised, as there was no real taste of smoke except at the end of the taste as you exhale through your nose. In fact we both found it to be a pleasant taste experience with no acidic aftertaste. We moved on to try the Toasted Head Chardonnay with pasta. 

A very simple dish to match with the Toasted Head Chardonnay

Making Pesto Linguine.


  • Linguine ( Trader Joe’s, but you can use any linguine)
  • Trader Giotto’s ( Trader Joe’s) Genova Pesto sauce
  • Fine grated parmesan and romano cheese ( we used Trader Joe’s)
  • fresh or powdered garlic
  • fresh or flakes of basil

If you are thinking that this is a commercial for Trader Joe’s, sorry for that it is only that we do a lot of our shopping there. I believe I bought the Toasted Head Chardonnay in Dierbergs grocery store. ( we do not get paid in any way by Trader Joe’s or any other grocery chain)

This is a very easy dish to make as the Pesto is already finished. Just cook the pasta in a pot and when it is almost ready, move it to a large pan on medium heat and add some of the water from the boiling pasta pot for liquid. 

Now add in the Pesto sauce and mix with the liquid. If you add too much water you will need to wait for it to evaporate which will overcook the linguine so be careful adding the pasta water.

Once the linguine and Pesto are mixed to your liking, add in a little garlic and basil ( just a little to your taste) and half a cup of the grated cheese. Be sure to mix it quickly once the cheese it added, turn off the heat and serve.

So now we had our pasta to go with our Toasted Head Chardonnay and were ready to try them together. Yes we left some wine for eating.

Final review of the Toasted Head Chardonnay from California

Our final thoughts on Toasted Head Chardonnay after eating? 

This is a wine we will buy again! Very tasty alone and with food.