I promise to get back to normal next week but there is one more novel white wine that you must try before the summer disappears. It’s even got an unusual name.
Gewurztraminer is a love it or hate it grape variety. The bold, spicy, Muscat-style flavours will either turn you on or not. Often there is some sweetness which again appeals to some and not others. My take on Gewurz is that it’s good in small doses. I find it to be too flavourful and show-offish for food, but fun to sip between meals and late evening. Think of Gewurz as one of the fringe players in the wine world. A diversion from our usual favourites.
When I sip Gewurz I see a peacock. This pretty, but sort of unreal image, mirrors similar feelings in the wine.
I was prompted to do a Gewurz review after tasting Pelee Island 2004 Gewurztraminer Reserve. Wonderful stuff, with tons of citrusy zest to drive the gorgeous flavours. Charming too. The zest gives the wine a clean, refreshing finish. Are you up for some afternoon delight?
Alsace is the home of the grape but I think that Ontario produces the most charming and moderate edition of Gewurz. But Fetzer from California is worth checking out. It’s like a happy child — playful, joyful and sweet. It’s not yukky or cute, but a really pretty wine to partner with a lazy Sunday brunch. It will even delight a non-drinker.
Q: What’s with the funny long name, Gewwrrrzzztraaaminner!!!
A: Gewurz means spicy. Traminer is an Alpine town in the north of Italy. Spicy wine from Traminer — get it?
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Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2005.
• PELEE ISLAND 2004 RESERVE GEWURZTRAMINER, Ontario
• FETZER 05 GEWURZTRAMINER California