Friday Night Wine Down : Gewürztraminer

Featured wine: Gewürztraminer

Nickname: Gewürz

Wikipedia description:
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut). Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same odorant compounds. Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. It is not uncommon to notice some spritz (fine bubbles on the inside of the glass).

Its aromatic flavours make Gewürztraminer one of the few wines that are suitable for drinking with Asian cuisine. It goes well with Hirtenkäse, Münster cheese, and fleshy, fatty (oily) wild game. Smoked salmon is a particularly good match.

I've tasted:
Hogue (United States, Washington) $9.99
Trimbach (France, Alsace) $18.99
Covey Run (United States, Washington) $8.95

Food pairings:
asian food (spicy)
cheese (strong and/or soft)
chinese food
tropical fruit
indian food
sweet onions
smoked food

Gewürztraminer holds a special place in my heart, being the very first wine I ever bought for the purpose of pairing with food. I was spurred on by David Rosengarten, the self-taught chef, author, restaurant critic, and host of one of the very earliest Food TV cooking shows Taste. I watched, spellbound, as he assembled a lovely choucroute garnie, an insanely delicious Alsatian dish made with sauerkraut, potatatoes, and pork in every imaginable form, which he paired with an Alsatian Gewürztraminer. Not yet being confident enough to undertake a choucroute, I decided to pair this wine with a shrimp curry, which Mr. Rosesengarten also recommended as an accompaniment to Gewürz. I was quite impressed with myself, and Mr. Rosengarten, to say the least!

Since then, I've managed to produce many plates of choucroute, curry (both Caribbean and Asian), and lots of other tasty treats to go with my Gewürz. I hope you enjoy this wonderfully aromatic and food-friendly wine with as many great meals as I have.

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