in California, a slightly sweet white wine with a unique spicy,
musk-oil scent that is assertive. From Alsace, the Rheinhessen and
the upper regions of Italy near Tyrol, it can take on more powerful
components, age for many years and is normally very dry. The original
name of the grape was Traminer.
Growers in Alsace (which was part
of Germany at the time) found that some vines made a spicier version
than others. Liking this version, they slowly converted the vineyard
over to the spicy version and renamed the grape Gewurztraminer,
"gewurz" meaning "spicy" in German.
A few producers still produce
both, and to make it even more confusing, some still call their
spicy version Traminer. Should be served slightly chilled.
few exceptions, this grape makes a simple, fruity wine with the
telltale musky, floral component it shows elsewhere, but not much
else. While there are a few standouts, it is not considered an economically
is little argument that his grape reaches its pinnacle in Alsace.
The heady, musky and floral aromas can be sensed a few feet away
as opposed to inches. Many feel that these wines are actually "too
big to eat" as they don't marry with much but them most imposing
of dishes. Styles run the gamut here from steely (though almost
never dull) to opulent to dessert and almost anything in between.
and imposing offerings from particularly the Rheinhessen, though
some charming examples also hail from the Nahe and Pfalz.
the Swiss border in the upper reaches of Friuli, this grape can
show some major stuffing and concentration approaching the Alsace
offerings at about half the price. Not widely known or seen, but
worth seeking out. Often called Traminer and at times is that different
grape. Only your purveyor (hopefully) knows for sure.
few good examples in Catalonia, though often blended with local