Gewurtztraminer

Although Gewürztraminer finds its best expression in the French region of Alsace, the name comes from the German word for spiced "gewürz." [The traminer part of the name refers to a village named Tramin in northern Italy, which is where it is thought that it originated.] However, Gewürztraminer is spicy in the sense that its aromas are perfumed and its flavors are saucy and bold. 

Gewürztraminer is a varietal with a pink to red color, which makes it a white-wine grape, though its skin is more deeply colored than many other white grapes. Gewürztraminer has high natural sugar, and its wines are usually off-dry with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes and it is not uncommon to notice some spritz, fine bubbles on the inside of the glass. 

The world's most complex and breathtaking dry Gewüztraminers are made in Alsace, though Germany, with a cold climate like Alsace, also makes delicious Gewürztraminers, as does California and New York state. 

Dry and off-dry Gewürtztraminer pairs well with medium-bodied dishes, especially those that are spicy, savory or slightly sweet, such as heavier fish, shellfish and chicken; pork and veal that have spicy or sweet-and-sour sauces; and Pacific rim foods from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Sweet versions of Gewürtztraminer are usually consumed without food or with a sweet dessert. 

Many cheeses go well with Gewüurztraminer, including Asiago, blue cheeses, Cheddars, Dry Jack, Emmental, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Limburger, Monterey Jack, Munster-Gerome, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone, sheep-milk cheeses and such washed-rind cheeses as Taleggio from Italy, Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk, and Reblochon, Pont-l'Eveque and Livarot from France.