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  • Maureen Little

Ge- what?

I’m currently teaching a Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Course in Wines. For those who haven’t come across WSET before, it’s the world’s leading provider of qualifications in wines and spirits and I’m lucky enough to be the WSET Educator for The Wine Shed School of Wine in my home village of Ribchester. I love teaching (always have done) and I love wine - so I’m like a dog with two tails now that I’m combining the two.

As well as lots of information about grape growing, labelling, storage of wine, pairing food and wine, the main thrust of the course is learning about grape varieties - about 30 in total - and the sort of wines that they end up as. This, of course, means tasting a fair few as the course progresses. So, what I’d like to do is put together a series of blogs about wine that I (and my students) encounter on the course. They will by no means be full-blown tasting notes, rather some observations and possible recommendations.

So, let’s kick off with the first – a Gewurztraminer. A Ge-what? Gewurztraminer - a particular grape variety grown extensively in Alsace and Germany. Most people abbreviate it to Gewurz - a lot easier!


This is Kientzler Gewurztraminer from Alsace. 2016 with 13.5% abv.

It’s everything you would expect from this aromatic grape: lots of stone, and tropical fruit with a touch of floral, and a hint of spiciness. It’s just shy of being bone-dry and has a soft elegance about it.

Received wisdom has it that Gewurztraminer is the wine to drink with Asian food because it’s robust enough to stand up to the, often spicy, flavours, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree. I can just imagine pairing it with a mild Thai red curry or anything with a just a hint of ginger. Or if Asian food isn’t your favourite, how about a liver paté or even roast duck or goose?

Gewurztraminer (or Gewürztraminer with an umlaut on the u if it’s from Germany) is probably one of those wines you either love or hate – a bit like Marmite. I love it.

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