It’s Springtime, which means floral aromas are everywhere! It’s also BC Wine Month, so now is the perfect time to get to know one of the more aromatic white wines grown in British Columbia.
Gewürztraminer is a perfect fit for the season and it pairs well with so many of the light foods you start to crave when the days get longer and warmer.
Gewürztraminer (pronounced guh-voorts-truh-mee-ner) is a white wine grape variety that is not appreciated enough. It is very fragrant, with flavours of ginger, rose, lychee, and grapefruit. It has a unique flavour profile, and is versatile when it comes to food pairings.
As you might guess from the name, this is a grape that originated in Germany. This means it is a grape that performs well in cooler environments. As a result, it's an ideal grape for several British Columbia wine-growing regions, where many local winemakers have done exceptionally well with this variety.
What Does Gewürztraminer Taste Like?
Gewürztraminer is an incredibly aromatic German white wine. There is so much fragrant complexity in this wine that it is enjoyable even just to smell it. Wines made with this grape variety are so powerfully fragrant that you can get lost in the intricate mix of tropical fruits and flowers. It can be compared to Moscato, though it has a higher alcohol level and more striking aromatic qualities.
If there is one distinctive aroma that makes Gewürztraminer distinguishable from all others, it is lychee fruit. This unique aroma can be found in other white wines, but it is so distinct here that it is one of the things that make Gewürztraminer wines so special.
The lychee fruit aroma is complemented by other aromas of rose, ginger, cinnamon, and grapefruit. These complex aromas make Gewürztraminer some of the most interesting and unique white wines available. It is this flavour profile that makes these wines so versatile when it comes to pairing with food.
The boldness of the flavours can make these wines seem heavier than they actually are. In reality, however, Gewürztraminer wines are typically fairly light-bodied. It tends to have relatively low levels of sugar, but because it has low acidity and bold aromas, many Gewürztraminer wines can come across as a little sweet.
Notes of floral, citrus, green fruit, stone fruit, tropical fruit, red fruit, herbal, and spice are most noticeable.
Floral - Gewürztraminer is known for its distinct rose aroma on the nose.
Lychee - One of the really interesting flavours that come out in this wine is lychee. It is characterised by a strong fruity and floral taste.
Ginger - Ginger brings in a warm and spicy note, pairing well with foods of the same flavour profile.
Acidity: Lower acidity
Tannin: No tannins
Body: Medium body
Suggested Gewürztraminer Food Pairings
Try Gewürztraminer with Korean Fried Chicken. The spiciness of the chicken is a great match for Gewürztraminer. It also pairs well with many of the sides that come with this dish. Chicken 649 is a great choice for take-out Korean Fried Chicken and is local to Victoria!
Bao, Bahn mi, and dumplings all go well with the ginger, lychee, and rose flavours of Gewürztraminer. Think pork belly, chicken, lemongrass, and other good things. Order some delicious, hand-made dumplings from Dumpling Drop in Downtown Victoria to pair with your Gewürztraminer.
As an extension of this theme of flavours, Gewürztraminer would be great paired with poke bowls and noodle bowls. They share a lot of the same flavours and will work really well for a lot of the same reasons. Poké Page is the perfect spot for fresh bowls in Nanaimo, Parksville, and Courtenay.
Gewürztraminer can also be paired with Indian and Thai curries. The bold spices in the curry will be offset by the wine's sweetness.
Don't forget about Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods when you are pairing these wines! If you’re in Victoria, you’ll have to visit Fig Deli to pick up some amazing Middle Eastern morsels. In addition to balancing spice, the grapefruit and rose aromas harmonize well with saffron and rose water.
Here are some of our favourite BC Gewürztraminer wines:
Baillie-Grohman - Gewürztraminer
This wine is perfect for a beautiful spring day. You can taste all the fresh, intricate flavours in this bottle, from its elegant apricot and melon aromas to distinct lychee and a touch of Turkish delight. This wine stays bright and light, balancing Gewürztraminer's inherent lushness.
Tinhorn Creek - Gewürztraminer
Tinhorn Creek is known for producing wonderfully approachable Gewürztraminers. This selection is light-bodied but well-rounded with an off-dry palate. Ginger, rose water, pear, and a hint of spicy cinnamon make for an opulent, tasty wine.
Hillside - Gewürztraminer
Hillside is another BC winery that does a great job with aromatic Gewürztraminer. This wine features the expected lychee and floral notes along with exotic tropical fruit flavours all set against a lovely floral background.