Tag Archives: Columbia Valley

What we’re drinking: Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer

Brynn writes:

How this wine found its way into our wine rack has me baffled. Every time I perused the small white collection in the rack I’d look at this wine and wonder: Did we buy it? Was it a gift? How the heck did it get here?

I once had a great memory for this sort of thing. Then I had a baby. Now I’m stumped.

Where the wine came from is irrelevant — except that it really is bugging me because Gewurztraminer isn’t usually on my “go to” list when buying white wine. But after drinking this wine, I might just have to change my buying practices.

I know we’ve recommended a few Gewurztraminers (or Gewurzt) recently, so it’s fitting that I decided to follow our recommendation and drink one.

Even though it was a 2009, I might have let this wine sit even longer, since as I said Gewurtz doesn’t usually make my “must drink” list, but last night we were looking for a quick and easy way to cook chicken for dinner. My husband suggested we cook it in a white wine and garlic sauce. I made a quick mental inventory of our dwindling white wine selection, thinking all that’s left are wines that I would never let touch the inside of a pan. Then I happened upon the Chateau Ste. Michelle from Columbia Valley.

Since I wasn’t sure how long we’d had the wine, and considering I had no plans of coming home one night and popping the cork to drink it alone, I decided the best way to use it would be to cook with it. Typically with chicken I prefer a dry wine (think alcohol percentage in the 13.5 percent to 14 percent range), but surprisingly the 12 percent Gewurzt was fabulous.

I dredged the chicken in flour, browned it on both sides in a large pan, then added four cloves of garlic and about half the bottle of wine. I then let the wine and chicken simmer for roughly 25 to 30 minutes on medium to low heat. The end result? Delicious, moist chicken breasts with great flavor.

We then drank the wine with dinner and shockingly I quite enjoyed it. The wine was light, with the slightest hint of sweetness, but not to the point where it’d turn you away (trust me, “sweet” wines don’t fly in our house unless its a dessert wine). The fruit flavors definitely shined in this one, but the crispness balanced the sweetness from the fruit, making the wine refreshing. There was also just the slightest hint of bubbles, giving a tickle to the tongue. I also greatly enjoyed its floral character, which was noticeable on the nose and in the finish.

My final determination? I’ll buy this wine again. And at $8 or less, it’s a great value.