Week 19 – Gewurztraminer

Tasting Notes

We tasted: Alsace Gewurztraminer £10 Marks and Spencer

Emma says: “The experience of tasting Gewürztraminer this week was a nice moment for me. It made me realise the value of the 52 Grapes experience for a so called “expert” like myself. I fell out of love with Gewurz a while ago, I’m not a fan of overtly floral styles of wine or off dry wines; so I had put this one to the back of my grape closet.

But on being forced to taste it again I was surprised to find myself enjoying it. Perhaps it was the rare, balmy, bank holiday weekend that we had in London this week. The pretty floral profile of this Alsace Gewürztraminer seemed to perfectly suit my mood. I also really liked this particular style I tried, it had a fresh rose aroma and crisp lychee fruit flavour that lingered nicely with a ginger root twist that brightened it up. It wasn’t fat and oily or too confected as many styles I’ve tried in the past. Not amazingly complex but I I found further dimension in its fruit flavours with a creamy peach interior and candy floss sweet twists from its off dry style.

I then tried a further glass with my lazy dinner of a feta cheese, avocado and grain salad. Andy was out obviously, he wouldn’t put up with that sort of dinner. But I found that it worked fantastically with salty cheese and the richness of avocado. Its sweetness and vivid fruit offered a fantastic contrast. And for that reason it would be a great one to try with Thai or other spicy dishes too.

A final note is that another type of Gewürztraminer I have recently tried and enjoyed for its similar restrained character was one from Northern Italy in Trento where it can be called Traminer. Therefore if you are a fan of this style look out for that too. Plus we will be tasting other floral styles of grapes later in our journey; look out for Torrontes and Muscat if you are a fan of this grape.”

Andy says: “I’ve now had time to taste this wine. Who’d have though that drinking a different wine each week would be this hard to keep up with?

Well, I think the only word I can use here is ‘floral’. If you’re in the UK and of a certain age, you might remember sweets (aka candy for our American friends) called Cherry Lips, that taste eff-all like cherry, but do taste like soap, and this wine reminds me very strongly of them. And that ladies and gents, is pretty much all I have to say about this wine. Those sweets were ok in small doses, and I guess this wine is too. This is not on my ‘must buy again’ list, more likely the next time I try this will be in a year or two when I read back on the notes and wonder if it really did taste like cherry lips. Note for future me: Yes it did.

I also spent most of this review resisting wondering if I could say ‘…one of the wurzt wines I’ve had’. ”

Buying Guide

Gewurztraminer is a classic grape variety of the region Alsace in France. Happily Alsace normally puts this grape variety boldly on the front label so it should be easy to identify. So we will be trying a version from there. Good alternatives regions if you find this hard to find would be Germany, New Zealand or Chile.

5 thoughts to “Week 19 – Gewurztraminer”

  1. I’ve had Gewurztraminer before, but only rarely, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Overall I think I liked it, in moderation.

    I tried a Waitrose Alsace Gewurztraminer 2016 from Cave de Turckheim (£10.99, 13%). When you take a sniff it’s immediately clear how different it is. Massively aromatic – lychees, solvents, sweet floral peach, honeysuckle, melon, baking spices, a slight nuttiness in the background and the kitchen sink.

    The palate was also pretty intense, bursting with rich exotic tastes similar to the nose. It had a full body with a slightly syrupy feel that coated the mouth. The finish had slightly soapy touch. Puzzlingly, it was almost a sweet wine, but also dry. Rather cloying. I can’t decide whether I liked it or not. I think I liked it for being so different, but not for everyday.

    1. Interesting, so the one I tried was from Cave de Blebenheim and yours is Turkheim. They are the biggest guys in Alsace – so between us we’ve covered those bases! I also completely get how you feel about tasting it. It is such a complex style but maybe not one that you’d reach for every day!

  2. Wine – Cave Vinicole De Hunawihr Gewurztraminer Reserve Blanc D’Alsace 2016 (Starmoreboss £15)
    Bottle says – nothing

    I got buttery lychees, flower petals and melon on the nose; floral, yet creamy and smooth – the flavour was really smooth and well balanced, with melon and stone fruits as well as a touch of grass and rose petals. I get Gewurztraminer occasionally, but this was one of the better examples I have tried. Excellent wine, would buy again.

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