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Gewürztraminer intrigues me. The cinnamon-spiced, lychee and honeysuckle laden wine, full-bodied and most often touched by a level of sweetness is just so distinctive and individualistic. Reaching its quality zenith from tiny vineyard plots in Alsace, Gewürztraminer is usually sited as being an excellent match for Oriental cuisine. Such a vague catch-all in my book. Are those heavily spiced Sichuan dishes or Malaysian Satay really the right match for a wine that often has great finesse and subtly of flavour? The flavours will get swamped, surely, by hotly spiced food.

So the search is on for recipes to accompany decent Alsatian Gewürz.

I discovered a rather complicated French recipe involving far too many ingredients, reductions and faffing about for my liking but, if simplified, looked promising for a first attempt. The combination of spices plus grapefruit and pineapple juices not only mirrors the flavours in the wine but implies an Oriental influence.

Duck Breasts in the frying pan
Spiced Duck Breasts with Pineapple and Grapefruit Juice.

Ingredients to serve 2

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • mixed spice
  • ground cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • clear, strained chicken stock
  • Combine the two juices, stock and spices and boil until reduced to a thick sauce. A little sugar may be added to adjust the sweetness to the level of the wine perhaps. A knob of butter should give a shine to the sauce too. Pan fry the duck breasts and serve with the strained sauce. Accompany with new potatoes and watercress.
    Another recipe that you might like to try with Gewürztraminer has just been posted over on Thorngrove Table. This dish, Stir-fried Chicken with Chinese Chives, involves ginger and sesame oil, a combination that should bring out different flavours in a wine than the sweeter sauce detailed above. The Thorngrove recipe would need a drier version of Gewürztraminer.

    Hugel Gewurztraminer label and bottleWine Tasting Note: Hugel Gewürztraminer, 2002, Alsace, France.
    Listed by Oddbins at £10.79.
    The nose didn’t really excite. Pleasantly limey with some nutty ginger spice, but little in the way of roses, lychees or exotic fruits. Soft palate initially then a dry sharpness, ginger again, on the mid-palate which I didn’t care much for. The finish is gentle and verging on rose flavours coupled with an orange twist, long and full of ginger and cinnamon. With food, however, it was greatly improved. That middle ‘hole’ proving to have an affinity with food.
    Scribblings Rating – 84/100

    I was expecting this wine to be too dry to accompany the richness of the sauce. Tasted by itself it gave the impression of being too light and insubstantial. But the wines softness and full-bodied nature worked well with the heavily reduced sauce. I was surprised.

    2 Comments »

    1. jZepp says:

      What Food with Tokay Pinot Gris?

      Beu put out a request on his Basic Juice blog for food suggestions. The wine was to be a Toaky Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive. Now not being familar with the producer or the specific wine I assumed being a VT

    2. Ben says:

      Tried this recipe with a Sobels Gerwurztraminer. Went really lovely together

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