Shop for Sweet Gewurztraminer
Gewurztraminer is a highly aromatic, perfumed white (gewürz means “spiced” in German) that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Gewurz (most often referred to by its shortened name) is the most widely planted variety in the Alsace region of France, where it reaches the height of its expression. While Gewurz can be a sweet wine (in late-harvest wines labeled Vendange Tardive), the bulk of it is fermented dry. In its pedestrian form, Gewürz is meant to be drunk young when the exotic fruit flavors are at their peak; not so in Alsace where these heady wines possess a concentrated structure capable of long aging.
One of the most distinctive white wine varieties, Gewürz is so heavily scented that it smells deceivingly sweet, even though it tastes dry. Deeply colored, low in acidity, but high in alcohol, this full-bodied white is well-endowed with explosive flavors of litchis, roses, Asian pears and the telltale pie “spice” duo of cloves and nutmeg.
The Anderson Valley of California, parts of Oregon and Washington, and New York’s Finger Lakes are regions producing excellent domestic versions.