Gewurz is German for spice, and this is a French wine that pairs perfectly with slightly spicy Asian cuisine such as Chinese or Thai food. I put it to the test with Scottish dance friends, Karyn and Craig, while we stayed in Hackney for a recent event. Both of them tend to drink more red than white wine, so I wasn't sure how it would go down. I described it as aromatic, perfumed and with a flavour reminiscent of lychees. From this description, they were both happy to give it a go. Lucky for me that Craig loves lychees! I'm pleased to say, we all loved it. So much so that we nipped out to buy another bottle, only to find the local Sainsbury's mini store didn't stock it. "The best laid plans..." to quote our national bard (yes, the Scottish one). We plumped for the Taste the Difference Albariño which went down well, but left us wanting as the spice level grew in our food.
There are flavours of rose petal and a hint of spice in the Gewurztraminer and although it's probably not the most complex Alsace Gewurztraminer you'll ever taste, at £7.99 it's a good way to try the grape for the first time.
And, if you're looking for something simple to pair with a take-out, what could be better? Waitrose sell an Alsace Gewurztraminer for £9.99 also made by Cave de Turckheim which I've previously really enjoyed when I've sampled it. I would like to taste them side by side to find out if the extra £2 brings a higher quality of grape and a more complex favour, or whether we are simply being offered more of a bargain at one supermarket. It appears that there are a number of different versions avaiable directly at the Cave de Turckheim vineyard including single vineyard and old vines versions, so I'd like to think we literally could "Taste the Difference".
The over-riding flavour is of lychee, and it's been scientifically proven that the Gewurztraminer grape carries many of the same flavour compounds as the lychee. Fortunately this comes without the squidgy eyeball connotations of the fruit!
Another Purple Teeth reader from Scotland, Sheena, is a big fan of Gewurztraminer and so she was happy to try this Wine of the Week on for size. She enjoyed the "syrupy texture" - this wine has a bit more body and can sleep slightly viscous, though it's still refreshing. "At more than £10 less than my bottle of choice I'd definitely buy it again."
So, in Scotland at least, the Sainsbury's stores better stock up as it's a universal hit. I'd love to hear what some more of tyou thought of this one.
Ideally, I'd like to organise a trip to Alsace with a few Purple Teeth readers some time in mid-September. If you're interested, let me know.
I'm off to France for a week of West Coast Swing dancing on Sunday, so I'm going to have to pick another French wine for the next Wine of the Week. Watch the Facebook page for details.