It seems like we’ve been recommending this wine a lot lately. That’s because it’s versatile — it goes with everything from a Thanksgiving turkey to citrus fruits like lime, a primary component in both of Ann Vogel’s recipes.
The grape Gewürztraminer shares similar qualities as limes, including acidity and floral aromas. In fact, Gewürztraminer is a very aromatic wine, and the name literally translates to “Spice Traminer”.
It’s similarity to limes, as well as its aromatics and ability to stand up to spicy food are why we think this wine is a perfect pairing for the Ceviche and the Key lime pie.
It might be hard to pronounce, but it’s easy to drink. Referred to it as “Gewürz” by those in the know, the grape’s skin color can vary from pink to red but its finished wine is definitely white.
Naturally high in sugars and, here in Washington acidity, Gewürz is white and ranges from dry, off-dry, sweet, and our favorite, ice wine. All Gewürz have a heady bouquet that may remind you of lychee nuts. And interestingly enough, Gewürztraminer and lychee share the same aroma compounds in addition to aromas of passion fruit and sweet rose.
Gewürztraminer’s sweetness is highly recommended for spicy Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese cuisine.
Mary remembers one of the most memorable matches she’s had in Kitsap County: A Ceviche with a Washington Gewürztraminer. The juicy sweetness and high acidity were perfect with the seafood, green peppers, onions and jalapeños. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.
Even though the following companies are big, make no mistake, Gewürztraminer is not widely grown and is tough to find. But once found, it’s worth the search.
We recommend Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Gewürztraminer 2011, which retails for just under $10. Also consider the Columbia Crest Two Vines Gewürztraminer 2011, which has lots of acidity, is juicy and has just the right amount of sweetness. It also retails for just under $10.
Another favorite would be the Bonair Gewürztraminer, but you may have to wait for spring for that one.