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April 8, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

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CSM CV Gewurztraminer Picmonkey



2014 Gewürztraminer


Chateau Ste Michelle

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Alcohol: 12.5%

Suggested Retail: $10


“For most American consumers, Gewürztraminer is a relatively obscure wine. That’s unfortunate because it could broaden horizons, especially when quality such as this week’s Pick is available—and at such a modest price. Chardonnay is the biggest selling white wine in the U.S., but you wouldn’t find equivalent quality in that grape variety at this price. (The Chateau Ste Michelle website indicates full retail for their 2014 Gewürz is $10, but makes the wine available to their club members at $8. We bought our sample for review at a supermarket for even less.)

“The Gewürztraminer grape is native to Germany and the Alsace region of northeastern France, but Chateau Ste Michelle and other Washington wineries produce particularly good inexpensive examples of this variety, as does Fetzer in California. The more austere Alsatian renditions can be bone dry, but this week’s ‘Pick’ would fit the description of off-dry. A touch of sweetness isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, especially when there is also good acidity to balance it as in today’s wine.

“Chateau Ste Michelle’s 2014 Gewürztraminer is floral and the aromatics seem like peaches and apricots to us. A spice aspect mirrors ground clove or maybe a bit of nutmeg. There’s a perception of slight sweetness in the mouth, but it's balanced by the acidity.”

Food Affinity: ”For years Americans have been advised to pair Gewürztraminers and Rieslings with Chinese and Thai food and, actually, that’s not bad advice. However, there aren’t many Chinese restaurants in France and Germany and people there have been drinking these varieties with foods they’re familiar with for generations. We like this wine with grilled sausages, veal and many pork recipes, especially those prepared with fruit.”

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