November 12, 2008

What Food With A Gewürztraminer?

By Andrew Barrow In Food and Wine, Wine Notes

Espiritu de Chile Gewurztraminer

A combination cited as a classic food and wine combination is Munster cheese with Gewürztraminer. But how many people sit down to a meal of just cheese? What I’m after is a main meal dish.

Ruling out Gewurz with Chinese or Thai dishes (a combination I’ve never found remotely enjoyable) a recipe sent with a bottle of Espiritu de Chile Gewürztraminer sounded at once interesting, autumnal and tasty.

The wine itself is not hugely expensive (around a fiver) but works well as a mid-week slurp and did work deliciously well with the food – a Thai-Spiced Chicken Salad.

White Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Espiritu de Chile Gewürztraminer, 2007, Central Valley, Chile.
Price: £4.99 [More: Adegga / Snooth]
A pleasant nose – hints of violets, limes and roses with similar flavours on the palate only more focused and noticeable. Hints of sweetness balance the wine but this is not a full in-yer-face Gewurz some can verge on the soapy, almost violent in intensity and spicy sweetness. This does have a little of the rose and ginger coupled with a suspicion of strawberries but, as expected for a humbly priced wine, is quite gentle and more subtle.

With the food: Despite the generous dollop of Thai Chili Paste the salad is not overly spicy (in the heat-hot spectrum) it still has a decent level of background heat but not enough to dampen the taste buds and, in turn, ruin the wine. Pear and apple flavours appear in the wine leading to the question should the dish have a little sliced pear added for additional autumnal flavours (not terribly Thai I suppose. Mind you is Savoy cabbage?)

Scribblings Rating – 86/100 [3.25 out of 5]

Duck pâté and Foie Gras (although I find this too rich a combination, especially if the wine is of the sweeter style) do work well with Gewurztraminer.

  1. Dylan November 13, 2008

    Thank you for that statement, “but how many people sit to a meal of just cheese?” Too often do I read about wine pairings and I’m left with, although well-advised flavor combination, a very empty stomach. I say brave the pears as an addition to the meal. If you care to make them more thai, you could consider a sauté of the pears in butter, basil, and your choice of thai whiskey–though any cooking may result in a disconnect from the notes experienced in the wine.

  2. Heloisa November 16, 2008

    May I suggest a tomato soup? Warm or cold – for the time being, here in Brazil I’d go for the cold one. So simple it doesn’t even deserve a proper recipe. Just sauté some smashed garlic with ginger in olive oil, add canned tomatoes with juice plus pieces of 1 small carrot; cook, blend, add fresh herbs (I use basil and thyme) plus a bit (or more, it’s all personal)of hot madras curry powder. Finally, yougurt.
    If you want to see a not so bad picture, check
    big hug from Vale dos Vinhedos, land of the best Gewürztraminer in Brazil: Valduga Gewürztraminer Premium.

  3. Kevin November 19, 2008

    I think Gewürztraminer has really gone well with spicy food for me. The oily texture and relatively low acidity seems to compliment oriental dishes. Try it with a Laksa Lemak (a Thai curry with a rich coconut sauce)!!

  4. Wide-Body January 9, 2009

    Might I also suggest spicy Tex-Mex. I’m always surprised how the hot pepper spice can pull out a wonder fruit tone. Sometimes, its almost floral. Who knew that pickled jalapenos, cheap cheese, and shredded meat could make a wine dance.


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