Gewurtztraminer is a rare noble wine in hiding, waiting to be discovered
Gewurtztraminer may be a victim of its own beauty, or perhaps its name. Shakespeare famously wrote in Romeo and Juliet that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and maybe this gorgeous aromatic white wine is another example of just that. Maybe it is a victim of an unfortunate, difficult to pronounce name. But would you really care? However hiding behind that Teutonic name is a beautiful, aromatic white wine waiting to be discovered.
A noble grape that is not as recognized as its aristocratic brethren, Gewurtztraminer is no less elegant. Gewurtztraminer is a delightful aromatic white wine that carries a delicious bouquet reminiscent of lychees, and sweet apple juice. You will find that Gewurtztraminer is more often made in an off-dry style, so its got a little sweetness to it but nothing that is going to shake your teeth. The wines are also a bit more subdued in the alcohol department, so they are easy to drink and enjoy. One is always guaranteed a smile when sipping a tantalizing Gewurtz.
I think what I have enjoyed most about Gewurtztraminer is its sincere drinkability. I have often said that this wine or that wine is approachable, or super easy to drink, but I cannot think of another wine that is as easy going as Gewurtztraminer. The delightful bouquet that pulls you in, the light alcohol, and the off-dry taste that rings in your mouth with a little bit of honey will make you wanting more, and more, and more. Gewurtztraminer, as every wine geek worth a cent will tell you, pairs well with spicy asian cuisine. Think spicy Thai, or a General Gaos, both will be well matched by Gewurtztraminer.
More long lost Russian noble, less Russian oligarch...
Awesome! You have my attention! Gewurtztraminer seems like a delicious, wonderful, aromatic white wine! Now where do I find it?
Ah, you see there lies the problem.
Though Gewurtztraminer is considered on of the noble, international varieties of wine, only 20,000 acres of it are planted globally. That may seem like a lot, but when you consider that Riesling covers just shy of 90,000 acres globally, you start to see that Gewurtztraminer is not as common as some of the other noble grapes. But does that mean we love it any less? Its as if Gewurtztraminer is a long lost Russian noble living in an age of Russian oligarchs.
Sweet wines lost their allure in the cultural zeitgeist of the nineties. But then again that same cultural zeitgeist though Pogs were cool. We all but forgot about it, then we started not caring about what others thought of us, and hey presto we started discovering amazing wines again! Gewurztraminer has been waiting for us to rediscover its grace and beauty yet again.
When seeking out Gewurtztraminer you have to look in the parts of your local wine store where you find high, dry, cool climates. Alsace is known for Gewurtztraminer, but it has also done really well along the foothills of the alps. Stateside you should look for cool climate regions like Sonoma, Monterey, or Washington. Our friends over at the Teutonic Wine Company make a fantastic Gewurtzraminer that is balanced, poised, and yet exciting.
Gewurtztraminer is there, hiding in plain sight. All you have to do is look, and you will find a real treat. Few other wines are as delicately poised, or as finely balanced as a good Gewurtztraminer. They are nobility without pretense, they are finesse without expense. You'll love the bouquet and you will certainly love drinking them.