(Gewürztraminer pronunciation: "Ga-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner)
One of the 4 Grand Cru grapes of Alsace, and one of the 18 classic noble grapes is the surprisingly rare white wine grape, Gewürztraminer. Although it originated in Germany several hundred years ago, Gewürztraminer has since become familiar in the Alsace region of France. The pink grape grows well in cool climates, and has found a home in the Alps of Italy, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, France, and Slovenia. Though it can be found in various places, this aromatic wine grape only grows across around 20,000 acres worldwide.
This wines tell tale, especially in blind taste tests, is its lychee aroma. Other complex aromas include ruby red grapefruit, ginger, rose petals, and burnt incense. The inherently sweet flavor of the wine is largely due to the smell that emanates from it. The flavor is fruit forward with accents of lychee, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, and citrus. A common interpretation of Gewürztraminer is being a grown up version of Moscato. The characteristics of a higher alcohol content, more striking aromatics, and a lower acidity make the wine harder to suck down, giving it the more grown-up feel.
Some of the best kinds of Gewürztraminer wine are called Vendage Tardive, which means they are harvested late and are age-worthy dessert wines with a slight mineral spice and smoky notes. This German Gewürztraminer wine is extremely under valued especially since it is often seen and sold as a low quality grocery store wine. When looking at Gewürztraminer wine brands, the best are made by small producers in specialty wine stores or online.
When pairing Gewürztraminer vino with food, the more exotic it is the better it will pair. Some of the best food pairings are Indian, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisines, as well as any dish utilizing nuts, dried fruits, and roasted meats. When serving Gewürztraminer wine, the serving temperature should be ‘fridge cold’, which is around 43 degrees Fahrenheit.
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