Gewürztraminer, like Riesling it is a wine varietal that winemakers love to make and love to drink....so why does no else like to drink it? Seriously, this gorgeous aromatic wine makes up less than 1% of the New Zealand wine market, so you can be pretty sure that winemakers are not making it for the money, they are definitely making it for the love of it.
The Gewürztraminer grape is pink and it loves a cold climate like we have here in NZ. It is a highly aromatic wine with telltale scents of Lychee, Turkish Delight or Rose Water. Imagine all of the exotic scents of a Moroccan bazaar. The texture is usually quite rich & mouth-filling (a bad one will feel soapy in the mouth) and while the driest you will get a Gewürzt is off-dry it never seems that sweet because of its tendency to have high acidity
Gewürztraminer goes exceptionally well with spicy or intensely flavoured food, think Thai, Indian even Mexican and of course with Moroccan food given the synergy between the flavours, just remember to serve it really cold.
My favourites right now are Matawhero Gewürzt 2016 from Gisborne, it is clean and fruit driven with smells of rose petal, clove, lychee and star anise 2016, as Matawhero is a boutique winery this is a wine that you can mostly get in liquor stores and should cost you as little as $22. This wine is vegan with residual sugar of 7 grams, so off dry, and will also go beautifully with a strong tasting cheese like a Blue.
From my old friends in Marlborough, Allan Scott comes the Generations G:Wizz. The Generations range is a single vineyard range which is a tribute to family, something that is extremely important to the Scott family and just another reason to love this awesome winemaking team. This crispy wine is medium sweet with residual sugar of 15 grams but very well balanced with delicious lychee flavours and goes perfectly with Asian food like dumplings. A wonderful wine available widely for only $26.
Misha’s Vineyard “The Gallery” Gewürzt from Central Otago is a wonderful wine with flavours of Turkish Delight, peach and orange zest. The word I use to describe this wine is a word I find I use frequently when I describe the Misha's vineyard wines - elegant. It's gorgeous and the 13 grams of residual sugar make it to my palate medium in sweetness. Pick this up from liquor stores for about $32 and serve with Thai or Indian food.
Gewürztraminer has come a long way since the bad old days of dodgy overly sweet wine, so I gotta ask yet again, at least once, give Gewürztraminer a go!
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