- ALREADY SUBSCRIBED?
Fill in your credentials below.
Gewurztraminer, or as my wine friends say “Gewurz,” is one of the more aromatic wines that gives wine drinkers the pleasure of experiencing the bouquet. The grape’s skin color is pink to red, which makes it a “white wine grape” as opposed to the blue to black skinned grapes referred to as “red wine grapes.”
Gewurztraminer is not only the name of a grape but also the name of the wine made from the grape, which makes Gewurz one of the few French wines named directly for the grapes used, rather than for the region of the vineyard. Although high in natural sugar, Gewurz are usually off-dry with a crazy, flamboyant aroma of lychees. But wait, Gewurz can also show aromas of roses and passion fruit, with some saying it is like that first bouquet of flowers you gave to your lover. And to add to the experience, a glass of Gewurztraminer can offer the same type of bubbles (spritz) as a glass of Champagne.
History tells us that the name literally means “Spice Traminer,” or “Perfumed Traminer,” taken from the name of the village Tramin, located in the northeastern region of Alto Adige, a German-speaking area in Northern Italy. The genetics of Gewurz is convoluted, with wars, pestilence, phylloxera and drought making some of the vines misnamed, allowing Gewurztraminer to show different characteristics: German Gewurztraminer can be less aromatic than its Alsatian cousins. Recorded in time from the year 1000, Gewurz (spice) was added to its name, making the official name Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut, or ü) in 1870.
Gewurztraminer, surprisingly, is fussy about the soil it roots in. Although a vigorous, even unruly vine, it hates chalky soils and is extremely susceptible to disease. Since it blossoms early, frost can chill the love out of it. Our Gewurz thrives in dry warm summers, but it is always considered a cold-climate wine. Gewurztraminer is another white wine grape that is particularly susceptible to the noble rot of botrytis, allowing it to be turned into highly desirable late harvest dessert wines with very high sugar content.
Farmers in Alsace have on average only about five acres of land, which makes for a limited production of Gewurztraminer in France, so a consortium of shippers such as Domaine Weinbach and F.E. Trimbach gather the grapes from a number of farmers and create the wine.
Gewurztraminer and food is a match made in heaven. Sautéed or terrine foie gras, smoked oysters, salmon or trout, chicken, duck or goose liver pâtes, prosciutto with fruit, pancetta or bacon, mild blue cheeses like Gorgonzola and Maytag, beef with curry/coconut milk or with hot chilies and basil, chicken or lamb curry, Moo Shoo Pork, Orange Chicken, Sweet and Sour or Twice-Cooked Pork, Seafood with curry/coconut milk, Pan-Blackened Fish (Cajun or Creole), Pad Thai and Moussaka are just some examples of great food that marry well with Gewurztraminer.
Now, if all of this doesn’t inspire time well spent with a chilled bottle of Gewurztraminer and an assortment of gourmet products, then stop reading and go to the back of the class.
PHOTO CREDITS: Wines of Alsace. Photo: budogirl73; Grapes byy Jean Trimbach; Alsatian vineyards by crazysw.
Mo Sussman has written several stories about wine for BonjourParis, which you can read by clicking on his name.
Would you like to propose a story? Submit an article or story idea.
Subscribe for free. NEW: exclusive content for subscribers only. Search our library with 7,200+ stories. BonjourParis has been a leading online France travel and French lifestyle site since 1995.
View our Top 100 Bestselling Amazon.com Items. (Please wait for Amazon.com widget to load)
Want more? View our recommended France-themed books & items. Most recent listings at last pages.
Save an additional 5% on Auto Europe car rentals:
Auto Europe is your best choice for car rentals in France and Europe. Most competitive rates, no drop fees.
Bookmark & use our link for a 5% code discount here: Auto Europe Car Rental
Don’t overlook Auto Europe for international flights, click Auto Europe Flights