Gewürztraminer. It’s a bit of a long name for a grape, unwieldy to pronounce, and granted a little foreign-looking with the dots over the mid vowel, but that is no reason to ignore it. Gewürztraminer makes a lush, aromatic white wine that is a treat to drink. Born of the hills in northern Italy where the grape is simply known as Traminer, it later had the prefix Gewürz (meaning spice) added to its name by the Germans in the middle ages.
Heady aromas of lychee, rose petal, orange peel, and nivea cream (yes, nivea cream) jump out of the glass. Round and full on the palate, and if well made, with a mouthwatering sensation that balances out the silky quality of the wine, Gewürztraminer is no shrinking violet of the wine world.
A grape that needs a cool climate in which to slowly ripen means it grows well in the cooler Canadian climate. This bottle from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is a great example of a well-made, typical Gewürztraminer.
Gewürztraminer pairs well with rich foods, pungent cheese and salty or spicy foods, such as Asian fare. But don’t take my word for it, buy a bottle and try it yourself the next time you have Thai take-out, or some patè and crostini on a plate.
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