Summer is drawing to a close (insert pouty face) and we haven’t talked about one of my favorite summery wines yet.
Like Riesling, Gewürztraminer is fruity, bright, fragrant, often floral, and delicious for both sipping and for food and wine pairing. And like Riesling, Gewürztraminer comes in all styles, from dry to very sweet, although a garden-variety bottle will likely only have a touch of sweetness.
Both, too, are somewhat underappreciated in the United States. In the case of Gewürztraminer, it could be because it’s hard to pronounce (gah-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner).
But it could also be that, like Riesling, Gewürztraminer can be hard to find. My guess is that newer, trendier slightly sweet wines, like Moscato, and even downright super-sweet ones, like the new sweet reds (crazy—and a topic for another post) are stealing some of Gewürztraminer’s shelf space.
Which is too bad. Because Gewürz is great.
Typically lush and full-bodied, often with riper fruit flavors, Gewürztraminer can be like a rich, ripe peach—summer in a glass.
It’s also known for tantalizing sometimes-notes of cinnamon, anise, allspice, and nutmeg. (Gewürz is german for “spice.”)
All of which makes Gewürz a good complement to foods that are a little sweet, like honey-baked ham, as well as food that’s a little spicy. I especially like it with richer Asian dishes—coconut curry, for example, or my Yogurt Chicken with Chutney Yogurt Sauce (pictured).
Gewürz is also classic with strong and even stinky cheeses (hello Red Hawk!), sausages and smoked meats, pork and ham, gamier poultry like duck and goose, and egg dishes like quiche.
And it’s great choice for Thanksgiving, especially if you have a lot of sweeter dishes on the table, like candied yams and stuffing with dried fruits.
But don’t wait until then. Like I said, Gewürz can be summer in a glass.
And summer is waning.
A few more from my books to pair with Gewürztraminer, on others’ sites:
Cold Peach and Mango Soup Shooters on The Messy Baker
Onion and Apple Tart on Project Foodie
Sticky Asian Barbecued Baby Back Ribs on In Good Taste