Blind Wine Tasting Notes: Gewurztraminer

I recently began hosting biweekly blind tastings at my home as a series of small-group learning experiences. Five of us got together last Thursday evening to taste Gewurztraminer wines.

Gewurztraminers, with their floral, spicy aromatics and slightly sweet lychee-nut taste, are an excellent match for fresh fruit and cheeses and a good complement to many simple fish and chicken dishes, especially recipes that include pepper spices, oriental five-spice, or even curry. These are especially excellent wines to serve chilled in warm weather, and I complemented them with slices of sourdough bread and Chevre, Gruyere, and Boursin cheeses; one bottle’s label suggests trying Munster or blue-veined cheeses.

Of the five wines we compared, three were produced in Alsace, France; one originates from Alexander Valley in California; and one is from New Zealand. As you’ll see from the results below – and being no great surprise to me – the Alsatian wines tallied well with the group.

The wines listed below are ranked top-down, most favorite to least favorite; each is followed by the wine’s heat (alcohol content). If no link exists for a particular label, that label is quite possibly no longer available.

In the left column is the actual group score for each wine using my 20-point Wine Scoring Sheet.

Group Ranking
+3: 2003 Domaines Schlumberger, Fleur, Alsace, France; 13.5%
+1: 2003 Pierre Sparr, Alsace, France; 13.5%
-1: 2003 Domaines Schlumberger, Fleur, Alsace, France; 13.5%
-1: 2004 Huia, Marlborough Vineyard, New Zealand; 14.5%
-2: 2005 New Gewurz North Coast, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg; 12.8%

Winehiker’s Ranking
2003 Domaines Schlumberger, Fleur, Alsace, France; 13.5%
2003 Pierre Sparr, Alsace, France; 13.5%
2004 Huia, Marlborough Vineyard, New Zealand; 14.5%
2003 Domaines Schlumberger, Fleur, Alsace, France; 13.5%
2005 New Gewurz North Coast, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg; 12.8%

The Alsace appellation was a definite influence on my purchase of the Schlumberger; the interesting aspect being that at this particular tasting, we scored two identical bottles. Why did one win group favor and the other take third place? Probably because I had poured mine right out of the refrigerator; the other, though having been chilled all day, had ample chance to warm up inside an attendee’s car on an evening that was a tad above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The group, on such an evening, easily favored the cooler of the two.

My picks were fairly consistent with the group’s; I definitely like my Gewurz’s chilled. Conclusion: you sure can’t miss with those Alsatian Gewurztraminers!

~winehiker

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2 thoughts on “Blind Wine Tasting Notes: Gewurztraminer

  1. Hi Russ,

    Thanks again for your gracious hosting last night. We’ll talk more about it on Sunday, which is why I didn’t bother to send a thank you note. HOWEVER, I do find myself wanting to send a note about something else. I just went to visit your blog to see our
    correspondence there (a little strange to see up on a website, I must admit) and while looking around, I read your most recent blog post. It inspires me to
    say two things to you: 1) you really write very well (but I’ve said that before.) 2) The opener of this post – especially the second sentence – is not only beautifully composed, it also has so much wisdom, as well as relevance to me, and it really, really touched me.

    Just wanted to say that. I don’t know if you ever read Rumi, but I often do, and have been especially reading him in recent days and weeks. And whenever I read him, I always end up coming across something that jumps out of the page at me because it speaks so directly to feelings, events, issues I am living through at whatever moment I pick up the Rumi writings. I had the exact same experience when I read the opener to your blog. So thank you for that, it was a startling and sweet moment to read something that spoke to me so directly and so personally.

    It’s nice to know there are people like you around – radiant with positive energy and pure kindness.

    R

  2. Rebecca, I must admit that I don’t know much about Rumi, but just maybe I’ll find more ways to communicate my deeper thoughts to you and everyone. Thank you for your extraordinarily kind words! They mean very much to me.

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