We started this column many years ago and one of the first $10 wines we reviewed was a Gewurztraminer from the Baden region of southwestern Germany, across the Rhine from France. About five years later we return. The Badischerwinzerkeller winery claims to be the largest wine producer in Europe. It is a cooperative englobing almost 6000 growers whose average holding is about one half a hectare (under an acre). You might want to visit their web site for offerings such as a 1971 Gewurz for 28 Euros, which works out to less than a dollar a year. The local museum of municipal history has stuff going back to the Stone Age. The companion wine is another German Gewurztraminer costing almost twice as much.
Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials “Tasting Note : Pale yellow colour; floral/spicy aromas; soft semi-sweet fruit flavour; persistent finish. Serving Suggestion : Oriental buffet; smoked salmon; mildly spiced foods.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine offered delicious sweetness; it provided me with very pleasant citrus acidity. When paired with a barbecued chicken breast the libation’s citrus intensified. And did it have balance. Steamed quinoa with turmeric increased the liquid’s acidity. A salad composed of tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, and red onion brought acidity to the fore of my glass and I also noted some metal and a bit of burnt taste in the Gewurz. Fruit juice candy for dessert muted the wine and yet even muted it was pleasant.
The second meal focused on a baked Atlantic salmon filet that had been marinated in chili pepper, sliced garlic, lemon, and Agave. In response our German friend was sweetly acidic with a good touch of oak and caramel. And now for a negative note; zucchinis cooked with onions and mushrooms rendered the drink’s acidity rather unpleasant, and darkened the wine. Stewed pears with cinnamon and allspice muted the contents of my glass but it remained acidic.
The final meal began with fairly tasteless Japanese rice crackers. Now the liquid offered light citrus, a weak appetizer led to a weak wine. The centerpiece was an omelet perked up with basil, crushed red pepper, and a touch of cumin. In response the drink replied with some sweetness and increased citrus. Zesty guacamole rounded the libation.
Final verdict. Even though some of the pairings were disappointing, I will buy this wine again, and I don’t think I’ll wait five years to do so. I have their Pinot Noir that I plan to review in the next round.Access the companion wine A Sweet German Gewurztraminer.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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