Gewurztraminer: the grape of love

Painting by Branislav Aleksic

Gewurztraminer is a grape variety that makes white wines, but the grapes are actually different shades of pink. Although planted all around vine growing world, one place stands above all; Alsace, and that is where you should start.

Pouring this light gold colored liquid from a long and elegant Alsace flute is sometimes already enough to get you slightly aroused.

You bring the glass closer to your nose and – this is got to be the smell of happiness. Before you know it, you are transported to a different place, overlooking meadows full of flowers, blossoming trees and orchards heavy with ripe fruit. Your nostrils are filled with a scented air so rich and refreshing, instantly awaking your enthusiasm.

You stare at your glass in disbelief. This surely must be the purest nectar, the food reserved only for angels and other celestial beings. Don’t worry if you are feeling slightly embarrassed at this point for losing the plot. These are perfectly appropriate thoughts and yes, that’s exactly what it feels like.

It starts with the seductive fragrance of honeysuckle and rose petals, followed by the comforting flavors of ripe, sweet fruit. Then, hitting you like a splash of spring water comes that exotic, mysterious smell of lychees.

As you let this noble liquid glide down your throat, you become somewhat relieved. Although it will take some time to process all these sensations, your more familiar senses are now waking up. The taste can vary from dry to sweet with intensity of flavor reflecting the level of sweetness. There is not too much acidity here, but there is usually a bit more alcohol than you will notice. So, it’s important to have the right food to meet this steady stream of pleasure.

Now, please don’t expect me to tell you to ‘snap up this amazing deal’, and ‘stock up on this’ Tesco or Sainsbury rubbish. I just want to inspire the search, but the search is yours. So please get up and start looking for it. And please, don’t do that under-a-tenner nonsense. No, there are no amazing wines for six pounds. There are decent and sometime good wines under £10, but for exciting wines you have to be looking more towards £15.

The author is a local independent wine merchant.