The best food pairings for Gewurztraminer
Often compared to rose petals, lychees and Turkish delight, gewurztraminer is the wine world’s most exotic grape variety so what on earth do you pair with it?
Drier wines, which are the most common, are frequently matched with Asian - particularly Chinese, Indian and Thai - food but can sometimes be overwhelming with lighter dishes. Gewürztraminer generally benefits from dishes with more than a touch of sweetness and heat.
The gewürztraminers you find in Alsace, particularly the grand crus, also tend to be more intense than the wines you find in countries such as Chile and New Zealand. They also have sweeter wines there, labelled vendange tardive which are best served with a dessert.
Here are my favourite pairings for gewurztraminer:
Thai red duck curry
Not all Thai food works with gewürztraminer but it’s ace with a red duck curry or a yellow curry (better than with a green curry with which I’d rather have a lighter wine like a pinot gris but curries with coconut milk generally work)
Of all the styles of Chinese food I think Sichuan pairs best with gewürz, as it’s known for short. It also works really well with dishes that include ginger (including lobster with ginger as I once discovered). It can be a bit overwhelming with dim sum and lighter seafood dishes though
Other hot and spicy dishes like Singapore noodles work well and, although I haven’t tried it myself, I’m betting it would be a good match for many Korean dishes too.
Again, there are exceptions, but gewürztraminer generally works well with an Indian meal where - as is common - several dishes are served at the same time. I like it best myself with meaty curries and biryanis but if it works for you with seafood or veggie curries go for it! (Basically if you love gewürztraminer you’ll love it with anything. It's a bit of a Marmite wine!)
There’s a classic local pairing in Alsace with Munster cheese - often with a sprinkling of cumin seeds - but gewürztraminer (particularly from Alsace) goes with most stinky cheeses including Epoisses, Maroilles and Stinking Bishop: cheeses that are a challenge to most reds.
Another popular pairing in Alsace. Or, if you don’t eat foie gras, with a rich duck liver paté
A special occasion meal that would work really well with a grand cru gewürztraminer, particularly one with a bit of bottle age.
Sweet-tasting vegetables like pumpkin and squash
A relatively recent discovery after finding how well a Tasmanian gewürztraminer went with pumpkin gnocchi. That would obviously apply to ravioli too and - I don’t see why not - sweet potatoes.
Sweeter gewürztraminers pair surprisingly well with apple-based desserts such as apple crumble or streusel cakes with cinnamon (they even match with off-dry gewürz. They don’t necessarily have to be late-harvest)
Also try mango-based desserts especially if they include ginger.
image ©HLPhoto at fotolia.com
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