For many, making, drinking, and possessing good wine is a passion and art that provides an immense sense of creativity and sophistication. There are many different types of wine which belong to different cultures and regions, and are made using different types of grapes. One such popular and historical wine is the Gewurztraminer, which is prepared using Gewurztraminer grapes. It is a sweet German white wine with a subtle, rosy smell and noble taste.
Actual pronunciation of the word Gewurztraminer is 'ga-VERTZ-trah-MEE-ner'. It is a German word which can be split in half as Gewürz, which means 'spice', and traminer, which means 'coming from Tramin', which is a small city in Germany. It is one of the most popular Alsatian wines since its first production in the Alsace region of Germany in the 19th century.
Today, more than 20% of the vineyards of Alsace region grow the grapes for making this wine. These grapes have a light-pink to red skin, which makes them apt for preparing white wine. Their high sugar content makes this wine an off-dry variety of white wine. The original Traminer wine was different in color and taste from the Gewurztraminer, and it was mutated for centuries in various regions. For instance, in Germany, it was known as roter traminer, in Italy, it was known as traminer rosé or termener aromatico, while in France, it was known as raminer musqué.
This wine is typically spicy and very aromatic. It varies greatly on accounts of aroma, sweetness, and dryness. Along with these traits, it also differs in flavor, taste, and color. Unlike other white wines, the Gewurztraminer is a heavy-bodied German wine. Characteristics of both, the grapes as well as the wine, are also dependent on the region in which the grapes are grown. The main wine producing regions are Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Ukraine. The thin skin and unique taste of these grapes, make this wine distinctly sweet and high in alcohol levels. It also has low acidity and high pH levels. As a result, pairing this wine with other types of wine sometimes becomes problematic.
Although pairing the Gewurztraminer with other beverages is a bit problematic, it is a popular choice as a pairing with various types of cuisines. When it comes to cheese, several types like Boursin, Pont l'Eveque, Langres, Roquefort, Munster Chevre and Maroilles (French cheese), Garrotxa (Spanish cheese), Wensleydale (English cheese), Swiss cheese (US), and many types of German cheese are some popular pairings. This wine is often served as an aperitif, which means an alcoholic beverage which is served as an appetizer before the meal. However, it is also consumed as a dessert wine. As far as food pairing is concerned, this wine is paired with spicy dishes, especially Asian cuisine, as it is spicy itself.
Similar to Pinot Noir food pairing, the Gewurztraminer can be paired with terrine foie gras, duck or goose liver pates, smoked oysters, smoked salmon recipes, smoked trout, smoked chicken, oyster stew, various fish recipes like mahi mahi, grilled halibut, monkfish, sole, red snapper, swordfish, baked sturgeon, grilled shrimp, grilled scallops, seafood brochette, and other seafoods.
It can also be paired with prosciutto with fruits, pancetta, bacon, chicken soup, turkey soup, French onion soup, Vichyssoise, leek and onion quiche, chef's salad, Waldorf salad, teriyaki chicken, barbecued chicken, baked ham, pork chops, and other dishes. It is also paired with Chinese food recipes, rice recipes, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, squash recipes, beef with coconut milk curry, chicken curry, lamb curry, Moo Shoo pork, pad Thai, moussaka, Thai food, and Japanese food.
Robert Louis Stevenson calls the Gewurztraminer as bottled poetry. It is a delightful beverage with many interesting characteristics.