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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gewurztraminer - My First Love in the Wine World

Some years back, when I wasn’t a wine drinker, I heard a word that caught my attention – Gewurztraminer.  It was hard to say and even harder to spell, but I was curious about it.  Little did I know that I was about to find my first love among wines.

When I first got to try a Gewurztraminer, I was immediately taken by the aromas of flowers, spice, and exotic fruits (I would later learn that this was in fact lychee, a fruit I’ve grown particularly fond of).  And then the light golden wine reached my taste buds, and I knew at once that the somewhat dry sweetness of this Gewurztraminer was a perfect match for my very young palate.

Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France

About a decade later, I’m still very much in love with Gewurztraminer.  The wine, aside from being beautiful in the glass and having a lovely flavor, is unique in that it’s a white wine made from pink grapes, and it is known mainly for its extraordinary and showy aroma.  I’ve paired Gewurztraminer with light dishes, cheeses, and have grown to love it with Thai food, as the spicy cuisine pairs very nicely with the off-dry yet partly sweet taste of the wine.

Lucky for me, the wine region closest to me (North Fork of Long Island) has been experimenting with Gewurztraminer as it grows well in our fairly cool climate, most notably at Bedell (as a single varietal as well as in blends), Duck Walk (as a late harvest sweet wine produced in the ice wine style), and Lenz (dry style single varietal).

After trying the Long Island Gewurztraminers as well as some Californian Gewurztraminers (most recently Fetzer, a good white wine for an even better price), I still come back to my favorite, the Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer from the Alsace region of France.  This wine is a beautiful light golden color with the typical Gewurztraminer aromas of fruit (of course including lychee), caramelized sugar, a bit of citrus, and spice, and flavors of lighter fruits and spiciness with the perfect balance between acidity and sweetness.  The finish is long and memorable.  To this day, the Pierre Sparr Aslace Gewurztraminer remains one of my all-time favorite white wines.

2005 Pierre Sparr Alsace Gewurztraminer

And I dare anyone to try and resist the beckoning aromas of a beautiful Gewurztraminer.

1 comment:

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