A guide Capital Vintners to the Gewürztraminer grape
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Gewürztraminer is a classic white grape from the French region of Alsace; however, according to Capital Vintners is it now also being grown in regions around Eastern Europe, Northern Italy and Germany. As one of the most pungent wine varieties, Gewürztraminer is easily recognisable by its aromatic, heady scent. This is a distinctly full bodied wine, with an incredible nose; a combination of lychee fruit and roses, sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, along with ripe pears.
As Gewürztraminer has notably high levels of sugar, there is always the risk of the acidity levels being too low; grapes of this variety which are harvested after they have over-ripened can be unappealingly low in this component. To avoid this, experts from Capital Vintners say that most Gewürztraminer winemakers avoid the use of malolactic fermentation.
As the homeland of this grape, the eastern French region of Alsace is where the best Gewürztraminer wine is produced. According to Capital Vintners http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/capital-vintners-london, the heavy clay soils found in the Haut-Rhin area of this region allow the grape to easily attain the ripeness needed for late harvest bottling. Gewürztraminer grapes ripen very quickly in the right conditions and as such, need to be planted in a relatively cool area, in order to give them time to develop their perfume. Because of this, most New World wine regions cannot grow this grape, although there are a handful of winemakers on the east coast of New Zealand who have been moderately successful in doing so.
Due to its spicy, pungent flavours, with fruit notes of grapefruit and lychee, Gewürztraminer, Capital Vintners say, is somewhat difficult to pair with food. However, dry versions of this wine work well with ethnic, spicy dishes, particularly those that include capsaicin or curry. Dry Gewürztraminer also complements rich fish or poultry dishes. Sweeter varieties are better served with cheeses, and desserts which are not too sweet. In Alsace, both sweet and dry Gewürztraminer is traditionally matched with ham and sausage. However, because of its bold flavours and low acidity levels, this is a wine which can easily be enjoyed on its own, as it does not need food to enhance its bouquet and taste.