Gewürztraminer: The Unruly

Learn About Gewürztraminer

You are not an easy to love grape, Gewürztraminer. Because your wines tend to run hot and heavy with high alcohol and extract, you need taming with a little spice to counterbalance these extremes. The meek are ill-advised to tread your grounds. Quantify that with a love of anchovies and you’ll get my drift.

While I don’t mean to bash you, Gewürztraminer, your charisma is dampened by your nutty bitterness. This is ever so slight, however, and is transformed by a little residual sugar.

You do have big Technicolor fruitiness and will run the gamut of a dry wine to very sweet; but in an ideal situation you will be floral and spicy. One thing to take note of is that your extroverted spice is as powerful on the nose as it is on the palate.

Your name may be German, Gewürztraminer, but you originate from the northern Alps of Italy near a village called Tramin, hence your name. You ripen in mid-season quickly and are low yielding, making the task of amassing flavor difficult. You also have the tendency to mutate, like Pinot Noir.

Where you excel, though, Gewürztraminer, is in your enormous body. You are notorious for low acidity and high alcohol and need temperature-controlled fermentation to preserve your natural wine aromas. Without this guidance you will become flabby. Some skin contact, while typically detrimental to a grape’s longevity, benefits you as you are seldom aged longer than a couple years.

Largely found in Alsace, the cooler climate there imbues you with gripping flavors and a wine complexity seldom found elsewhere. You just do not develop mature flavors enough to amount to anything in warm climates, Gewürztraminer. Still, with all your varied temperaments, you still produce excellent fruitiness in your wines.

Varietal Styles

  • Full-Bodied
  • Dry to Sweet
  • Bitter Finish
  • Spicy
  • Fruity, not Sweet
  • Mouth-filling
  • Short-lived
  • Grape Styles
    Nutmeg | Gingerbread | Vanilla | Cardamom | Mace | Allspice | Sandalwood | Bayberry | Rose | Lychee Nut | Citrus Peel | Grapefruit

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    1. Joanne says:

      I really like your take on the lovely Gewurztraminer. This is a terrific wine especially when paired with the right foods. Those who want to try Gewurztraminer and give it a chance can pair it with spicy Thai or Indian cuisines.

      You mentioned the strong floral aromas and flavors. Because of Gewurztraminer’s distinct aromas you can identify this wine in a blind tasting even if you are just learning about wine.

      Give it a try. The best way to learn about wine is to “try it”.

    2. Phil says:

      Hey, thanks for the compliment, Joanne. I hope I kept the right post. And you’re right, the best way to learn about wine is to just try it. I like your website, by the way. Very informative. Cheers!

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