“Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great a wine can be? A true wine story that is older than the sea. About a wine and the joy it brings to me. It fills my heart!” I hope you’ll excuse the liberties I took with an old romantic standard from the Great American Songbook, but somehow, it just seemed right! This is the kind of wine that can put a song in your heart, some pep in your step and some pride in your stride. Yes, it’s true, all of this from one wine: Gewürztraminer. Oh yeah, this grape and its wines are all about romance. But this ain’t no girl next door kinda wine. Nah! But if you want to take a walk on the wild side, this is your wine. If you been thinkin’ ‘bout steppin’ out on your old wine flame, this is the wine to do it with. (Let your conscience be your guide, I’m just an enabler!) If you’re looking for a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin’ exotic, look no further. This is the wine for you. Make no mistake about it!

Gewürztraminer can please you body and soul. This wine’s gonna love you, like no wine has loved you, come rain or come shine. It has so much going for it, its hard not to fall hard. I’ll describe her figure, but the stats don’t tell the whole story. She’s built low to the ground and low in acidity with all the right curves on her round thick-skinned grapes. Oh, yeah, she’s a brick house. But ooh, ooh, that smell! It’s her perfume that will have you dancing on the ceiling. A heady scent of rose petals, hyacinth, honeysuckle, orange blossom, lilac and citrus zest hooks ya. It’s a love TKO! And the more you breathe her in the more you find out about her. She gives herself to you slowly, revealing her exotic side with hints of ginger, black pepper, clove and lychee. A big wet kiss sip puts you in sensory overload with lush layers of tropical fruit, orchard fruit and more spice. How can you say no when everything about her says: “I wanna be your lover!” But it’s a thin line between love and hate. For some people she’s a super freak who’s just got too much goin’ on!

Personally, I don’t see how you can ignore her charms. Call me irresponsible, but I think a wine having a brassy, sassy personality is a good thing. Don’t let me be misunderstood, I like some wines more than others, but when you find a hot-blooded wine like this, put aside your differences and let love rule. I mean, what’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding, I ask you? Once you taste it you can’t deny she’s giving you good vibrations. Being a grape of many moods, she’s produced in a range of styles. She shows her playful, mysterious side when she gives you sweet aromatics in the nose, but finishes dry. She holds nothing back when, with a little help from Botrytis cinerea, she radiates golden waves of lush, super-ripe fruit in dessert wines called late-harvest, vendange tardive or sélection des grain nobles. As dessert wines go, she’s no cheap date, but she’ll leave you so giddy with desire that you’ll forget all about the cost with your first smell and sip.

A true woman of mystery, she has never talked about her past. The paparazzi (read: wine historians) proudly cite records dating from 1000AD in the northern Italian village of Termeno (Tramin) in Alto Adige. I say a lady’s secrets are her own and she’d be a fool to cry about what other people think. Born to run, Gewürztraminer puts a song in the hearts of wine lovers around the world. Arguably, the best examples come from her old haunts in Alsace and Germany. Despite the many rivers to cross, she gets around in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Canada and New Zealand. Winemakers in northern Italy prefer to downplay the expressive aromatic component by limiting skin to juice contact. Winning versions have been produced in climatically hospitable regions of California, New York, Washington and Oregon in the United States, too.

The grape prefers a long growing season in a moderately cool continental climate (like that found in Alsace or Germany). Treat her kind, ‘cause she’s a lady. Over-cropping reduces and diminishes its already low acidity. New oak overpowers her perfume with its own. To get a whole lotta love you’ve got to give a whole lotta love. Trust me, it is worth it. For a wine that most people can’t pronounce and fewer people can spell correctly it sure does pair well with an international menu of tasty treats. Take a chance on me is what she seems to be saying. Risk notwithstanding, one thing you know for sure, when she gets to the table there’s gonna be a heartache tonight! Come on, everybody sing it with me: “Where do I begin?…”



Scents and Flavors

Apricot     Golden Apple     Green Apple     Pear     Peach     White Peach      Mango     Grapefruit     Quince     Nectarine     Tangerine     Orange     Pineapple     Passion Fruit     Guava     Papaya     Citrus Peel     Carnation     Jasmine     Gardenia     Roses     Lilac     Honeysuckle     Lychee Nut     Honey     Marzipan     Mineral     Cinnamon     Nutmeg     Clove     Ginger     Petroleum     Rubber Band     Smoke     Oily

Food Affinities

Meat & Seafood

Pork     Smoked Pork     Ham     Prosciutto     Pancetta     Bacon     Goose     Duck     Chicken     Squab     Veal     Sweetbreads     Turkey     Foie Gras     Pâté     Chicken Liver Pâté     Smoked Fish Pâté     Mussels    Scallops     Shrimp     Prawns     Sea Bass     Smoked Salmon     Smoked Trout     Trout     Snapper     Oysters     Lobster     Crab

Vegetables, Fruits & Funghi

Chutney     Tangerine     Orange Peel     Citrus Zest     Mango     Papaya     Apple     Pear     Apricot     Guava     Shallots     Caramelized Onions     Vidalia Onions     Sauerkraut     Sorrell     Spinach     Arugula     Oyster Mushrooms     Morel Mushrooms     Tofu

Herbs, Spices & Nuts

Tarragon     Cilantro     Lemongrass     Coriander     Clove     Fennel Seed     Black Pepper     Salt     Saffron     Curry     Ginger     Nutmeg     Macadamia Nuts     Lychee Nuts     Coconut

Cheeses, Dairy & Oils

Smoked Gouda     Smoked Mozzarella     Trami d’Alsace     Jalapeño Jack     Muenster     Livarot     Pont L’Eveque     Tête de Moine     Gorgonazola     Gruyère     Hoisin Sauce     Soy Sauce     Pumpkin Seed Oil     Sesame Oil     Honey


Food & Wine Pairings

The trick here, as with Riesling, is to appropriately match the wine’s varying dryness and intensity levels with like-minded food. Asian/Indian: Chicken Satay, Muligatawny Soup, Masala Dosa (Chickpea-flour pancakes filled with coriander-spiced potatoes), Thai Coconut Milk Curry, Shrimp Teriyaki, Hummus, Falafel. Mediterranean/Arabic: Pumpkin Risotto, Bollito Misto (Italian boiled meat and vegetable stew), Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Bisteeya (A sweet-spicy Moroccan meat pie in phyllo), Minestrone. French: Pâté de Gibier (Pâté made from game meats), Lobster Bisque, Rillette de Lapin (Rabbit that is diced, spiced, pounded and fried in lard), Pâté en Croûte (Pâté baked in pastry; an Alsatian art form!), Tarte à l’Oignon (caramelized leeks, onions and custard in a flaky, buttery crust) and Madeleines, American: Turkey!!!


This hedonistic grape produces wines that range from quite dry to unctuously sweet. No matter what the residual sugar, the wine should always seduce you with its “come hither” scent! The spice component can be as subtle as a Siren beckoning you to the rocks or as overt as an outrageous sailor on shore leave. Either way the spice is there to stay! Remember that country, region, producer & production dictate price.