Gewurztraminer is a unique wine that traditionally has an unusually sweet, intense taste. It’s known for its tropical fruit flavours and high levels of alcohol. Unfortunately, it also has a bit of a bad reputation due to its sweetness and smell.
This article is a complete guide to this highly aromatic and full-bodied wine. Find out what makes it so sweet, how to drink it and so much more.
What is Gewürztraminer Wine?
Gewürztraminer is made from the Gewürztraminer grape, an old species of grape that originate from Alsace in France. These grapes can grow anywhere in the world and are quite versatile in terms of climate.
Gewürztraminer white wines are known by a few different names, depending on where you are in the world. Some of the other names it goes by are Traminer, Aromatic, Gentil Aromatique, Savagnin Rose Aromatique or Traminer Musque.
Traditionally, this sweet-smelling wine is not very versatile due to its taste. However, in more recent years, there are now different kinds of this white wine being made that range from dry to sweet. Due to its traditional sweetness, some people end up drinking a glass of Gewürztraminer on its own as their dessert, instead of pairing it with a dessert or food.
How to Pronounce Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer is pronounced: ger-verts-trah-miner.
Where is Gewürztraminer Wine From?
The Gewurztraminer grape hails from Alsace in France. Alsace is world-famous for its beautiful vineyards and the legendary wines it produces. It is on the border of France and Germany, hence the German-sounding name.
The area isn’t very warm and has a cool climate. This is one of the main and obvious differences between Gewurztraminer wine grown in France versus Gewurztraminer wine grown in warmer climates such as Australia or California.
Some other places in the world that make this fragrant sweet wine are Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, Hungary, America and New Zealand.
How Gewürztraminer is Wine Made
Gewürztraminer wine isn’t the easiest grape to grow and requires skill and experience to have a successful harvest. The most important points to consider when growing this naturally sweet grape is the climate (temperature) and soil.
Getting the soil perfect is of utmost importance when growing such a temperamental grape. They are best grown in cool (but not too cold) and dry climates, they can get diseased very easily if the weather is too warm or wet.
Once the grapes are harvested, they go through a crushing and fermentation process. The wine is fermented in stainless steel drums and left to mature to taste. It is then filtered to remove any yeast and unwanted goodies, and will then be ready for bottling.
What does Gewürztraminer Wine Taste Like?
As we saw above, Gewürztraminer is generally known as a sweet wine. But this unique white wine can come in a few different forms. It comes in off-dry, dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and super sweet.
The grape is super fragrant and maintains so much of its original taste and smell, this often leads to the drier Gewürztraminer wines tasting sweeter than they actually are.
Is Gewürztraminer Wine Always Sweet?
What determines the sweetness of Gewürztraminer wine lies in what bottle you buy, where the grapes were grown, where the wine was made and how early the grapes were harvested.
All these factors are what determine the eventual outcome of taste and sweetness in the bottle.
What is the alcohol Content of Gewürztraminer Wine?
The alcohol content of Gewürztraminer wine is usually quite high, sitting at around 14%.
How to Drink Gewürztraminer Wine?
Gewürztraminer wine is best served and enjoyed chilled. The ideal temperature to serve it at is around 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. Ensure the wine is chilled to the exact temperature using a wine cooler, bar fridge or if all else fails, your refrigerator.
The best way to check that the temperature is right is to use a wine bottle thermometer. However, if you don’t have access to a wine bottle thermometer, then leaving the bottle in the fridge overnight will ensure it reaches roughly the right temperature, give or take a few degrees.
The more acidic the bottle of Gewürztraminer white wine, the longer it should be chilled. If your bottle is not very acidic then you can chill it to around 17 or 18 degrees instead.
What Food Does Gewürztraminer Wine Pair With?
The food and dessert to pair Gewürztraminer with, all depends on the sweetness of the bottle you are drinking. The dryer versions of this wine go really beautifully with spicy foods as the underlying sweetness brings the heat of spicy foods down slightly.
Try out some spicy curries, tagine and ceviche to really bring the flavours out in your bottle of Gewürztraminer wine. It also pairs really well with cinnamon, honey, dried nuts or dried fruit. These flavours are present in the wine, making any desserts with the tastes listed above, a perfect pair!
How Much Is Gewürztraminer Wine?
On average, a bottle of Gewürztraminer white wine ranges between £8 – £28. The prices are all dependent on the quality of the wine, where it comes from and the process that went into that specific bottle – from grape seed to bottling.
Is Riesling or Gewürztraminer Sweeter?
This all depends on the winemaker and all the other factors we have listed above. Both Riesling wine and Gewürztraminer can either be sweet or on the drier side. They can both be super sweet wines if all the conditions for sweet wine are met.
Is Gewürztraminer a Good Wine?
Gewürztraminer is often not considered to be a good wine. This is due to the super sweet smell that most traditional bottles give off. Most incredibly sweet wines don’t often find themselves on the top of the “most popular wine” list. But if you are looking for the best white wine with tropical and fruity undertones, then this is the one for you!