White Wines from Alsace
I fell in love with white wine when I visited Alsace two summers ago. I stayed with my host mother and roommate in Strasbourg, but on the weekends we would explore other areas of the region. One particular weekend I was lucky enough to take a tour along the french countryside, where I was introduced to Gewurztraminer. It's a mouthful to say (geh-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner), but this wine was the most delicious I have ever tasted. Perhaps it's because I'm still somewhat of a novice, but if you are going to be drinking Gewurztraminer I would argue this is the best place in the world to drink it, considering the wine was born in the Alsace region in 1870. While a similar variant of Traminer or Savagnin was floating around during this time period, the Alsacienne people were the first to come up with Gewurztraminer, where Gewurz functions as preface for "spiced" or "perfumed" Traminer.
Sadly, like most nice things, I have struggled to find a bottle of the stuff "in the states" that compares to what I had over there. Just like a Chardonnay or a Riesling, Gewurztraminer is a complex wine that can come in many varieties from dry to sweet. While it is supposedly mostly a dry (at the most an off-dry) wine, the bottle I picked up at the nearest Whole Foods was sickly sweet and gave me a headache the next morning. I have searched for Rieslings instead that can match a similar flavor profile.
Gewurztraminer is often said to have notes of lychee, rose petal, and even apricot. It's a bright wine and is known for its fragrant quality, but what I like most about the wine, thought, is that is works great as an aperitif. You are likely to find small trails of bubbles clinging to the sides of your glass when drinking a bottle of Gewurz. Riesling, while much more accessible in the U.S. than its European counterpart, is also severely underrated in today's wine scene. While most white wines are enjoyed young, having only aged about two years, Riesling can take on a myriad of flavors when aged properly. While the wine is still iconically crisp and acidic, undertones can vary from lemon blossom to honey. As much as I love red wine, which is what I have grown up trying from being around my family (who all swear by merlot, except for my grandmother who is more of a cab girl), white wine can be a refreshing change, And sometimes its badly needed. My family has a long history with rich foods. On special occasions, we'll eat carne asada, and this quite often means a night of grilled steak, riblets and bone marrow, accompanied by warm tortillas and queso fundido. A glass of buttery merlot only seems to add to the richness, so its no wonder I've been looking for a plate cleanser all these years.
Thanks for reading!
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I'm Lisa Cecilia Garcia. I'm a freelance writer specializing in food and lifestyle but have experience in poetry, creative writing, and everything in between. I'm a recent college graduate residing in Valdosta, GA. I love sketching, running, and obviously cooking and eating. When I'm older, I plan to run away to the mountains.