This mouthful of a grape (pronounced geh-VERTS-trah-mee-ner) doesn’t get much play in the U.S. Wine geeks gravitate towards it for myriad reasons –soft n’ fruity, pairs with food, pretty affordable — but the average consumer reads that multi-syllabic name on a wine list or shelf and says, “Huh?” The situation is exacerbated with the tragic, syrupy reputation of German wines.
But here’s the sad rub: This wine hails from France’s Alsace region, home of the dry, proud and flinty. (Read more about wines from Alsace here). The area used to be controlled by Germany, thus why grapes of their ancestry are planted there. Alsacian gewürztraminers are fresh, fruity, and faintly sweet. To aid in your selection, find reliable shippers/wineries – companies who buy grapes from local growers, produce the wine, then market under their own name (growers from this region rarely market and export their own wine). Other good ones besides Hugel: Trimbach, Zind Humbrecht, Helfrich.
This one is produced by Hugel et Fils, a family-owned winery dating back to 1639. So they’ve had some time to perfect their winemaking chops, right? This gewürztraminer from Alsace is soft, elegant and perfumey. Wafts of ripe fruit lull you into submission… mango, honied peach, lychee then refresh with a tart, clean citrusy finish. It’s slightly sweet, making it a fantastic pairing with salty Asian cuisine and anything spicy (Pairing it with a spicy chili made me swoon). The Euro/dollar conversion makes it on the pricey side but it’s worth it. Sw=3. $25. 4 stars.
A nice piece from the Washington post on wines from Alsace
The 2006 is available at Vintage Wine Cellars in South Tampa