Alsace, a region in north-eastern France that borders Switzerland and Germany, is the home of Gewürztraminer. The region has been passed between French and German control several times since the early 1680s. As a result, Alsatian culture is a unique mix of French and German influences.
Today the varietal is grown in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic grape variety that grows well in cooler climates. It has a high level of natural sugar and the wine is white and usually off dry. Gewürztraminer generally contains a gram or two of residual sugar but because of the heightened aromatics, higher alcohol and lower acidity, many of these wines will taste sweeter than they actually are.
The aroma or “nose” will be that of lychee or ‘sweet rose’. However, it may also have hints of red grapefruit, allspice, cinnamon or ginger. The flavour will consist of hints of grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, orange or cantaloupe.
When serving with food, Gewürztraminer is a great compliment to duck, chicken, pork, bacon, shrimp and crab. Highly spiced and aromatic herbs such as cayenne pepper, ginger, clove, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, madras curry, sichuan pepper, shallots, soy sauce, sesame, almond, rose water, lime leaf, bay leaf, coriander and cumin are a great match.
Gewürztraminer goes well with less stinky and delicately flavored soft cow’s milk cheese and dried fruit, as well as roasted vegetables and veggies with natural sweetness including red onion, bell pepper, eggplant, tempeh, squash and carrots.