GEWÜRZTRAMINER – just a mysterious grape you can’t pronounce?

What a shame as it should be family friendly & fun!! 

Do you like Thai food? Do you like Lychees? What about walking through a kitchen garden and enjoying the aromas and sensations as you run your hands through the herbs? If so then you are almost certainly going to love GEWÜRZTRAMINER!

Often simply called ‘Squirtz’, this delightful aromatic grape was developed from Traminer and literally the translation of its name means ‘spiced’- Traminer or even ‘perfumed’ -Traminer. The origins of Traminer are from The Italian Tyrol and so you will understand that it is best grown in a cooler climate. The white grapes have a slight pinkish / red hue and if fermented to dryness may also have aromas of roses and passion fruit alongside delicate floral notes. Mmmmm, a ‘nosers’ delight. 

Developed originally in the Alsace region of France the variety is often thought of as German due to its very Germanic name. The wines are white and due to their high natural sugars are usually made off-dry with great structure and finesse. They can be quite ‘full-on’ in flavour too as the flamboyant bouquet of lychees and rich spiciness can fill your head with excitement but then there are others that are so delicate you almost reach out to enjoy them. 

The grapes have a translucent quality on the vine alongside the touch of colour that can be present in some fruit. It seems this variety also responds well to different geography and terrains with steep-sided valleys growing the best fruit. The wines from Alsace can be big and bold whilst those from the broader valleys of Chile are easier to drink but then the delicacy from Germany and the fuller flavours from Australia show how all regions and countries can have their influence. 

Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds and like the fruits give that sweet yet sour, ‘Ying & Yang’ flavours so boy, are you in for an interesting taste experience. If you know the east of France and in particular Alsace then a classic is their Tarte L’ Onion but Guwurtraminer [French spelling!] accompanies rich blue cheeses too, along with spicy, chilli and ginger filled Asian foods and lots, lots more. 

All in all a very accommodating grape variety that deserves more attention that it gets. Even if you still find the pronunciation difficult do have a go and ask your wine merchant for advice so you will see what you have been missing all this time. 

I wish you lots of fun and times with lovers, families and friends. 

Do remember I am only an e-mail away if you have a question to ask. 

Best wishes

Andrew [andrewh@georgehill.co.uk

Remember, Wine Drinking should be FUN. [Do always remember to drink responsibly]  

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