Gewürtztraminer

 (guh-VURRS-trah-mee-ner)
Synonyms: Gewürtz, Traminer, Rotclevner, Clevner, Klavner, Heiden, Heida, Tramini, Traminac, Rusa, Mala Dinka

Wine Name: Gewürtztraminer, Traminer, Traminette (in the U.S., actually a hybrid but essentially similar)

Background: The Gewürztraminer grape produces a flowery, perfume laden wine with spice. Some describe a good Gewürztraminer as smelling like face cream, cinnamon, lilac, orange blossom and citrus peel, bergamot and honeysuckle. The grape is grown mostly in the Alsace region of eastern France and in Germany. Sometimes it is called Traminer especially in Austria and northern Italy but it is the same grape as Gewürztraminer. French or German vintners may even call their less aromatic grapes Traminer but it is still the same grape. While most white wine grapes are generally high in acidity, Gewürztraminer tends to be low in acidity and thus have a shorter shelf life. It can be made quite dry, semi-sweet or dessert sweet and each style can have its own cheering section.

Traminette is a North American hybrid grape which is a cross between Gewürztraminer and Joannes Seyve 23.416. It tastes similar to Gewürztraminer although perhaps just slightly less flowery and spicey.

Classic Brands and Sources: Many Alsace producers; New Zealand – Dry River; USA – Amity, Eola Hills, Chateau St Michelle, Pacific Rim; Italy – Hofstätter, Elena Walch; Chile – Concha y Toro, Viña Casablanca

Characteristics:

Style #1 – dry

Body – medium

Acidity – medium (-)

Sweetness – dry with floral fruitiness

Tannins – low

Style #2 – off-dry

Body – medium to medium (+)

Acidity – low

Sweetness – off dry to semi-sweet

Tannins – low

Style #3 – sweet

Body – full

Acidity – low

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Gewürtz dry and off-dry pairs well with medium-bodied dishes especially those that are spicy, savory or slightly sweet. Sweet versions are usually consumed without food or with a sweet dessert.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pairs with heavier fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and veal with that have spicy or sweet and sour sauces. Pacific rim foods from China, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as Mexican foods.

Cheese Pairings:
Dry – sheep’s milk cheeses, Cheddar, Fontina, Gruyere, Livarot, Muenster, Raclette