Chateau Ste Michelle Gewurztraminer–Easy for You to Say!

“I want that wine… you know, the one that starts with a G.  It’s a really long name.”

“Ah yes, Gewürztraminer!”, I say, and they gasp at my effortless pronunciation.

This is how it often happens at my store.
So intimidating to say, but who cares? It’s so lovely to sip!

Gewurztraminer (geh-VERTZ-trah-meen-er) originates in Germany and France.  “Gewurz” is the German word for “spice” and it describes the nature of this grape. It was in France’s Alsace that I first found this grape with its intense texture and flavors of grapefruit, lychee and honey with that signature tongue prickle of spiciness.

The Chateau Ste Michelle version that I opened with dinner lacked the intensity of the Alsatian version, but the flavors were pure and true, reflecting its French roots.

It is made with 100% Gewurztraminer grapes from the Columbia Valley, the majority coming from the cooler Yakima Valley. The cooler climate accentuates the crispness and acidity of the wine, Gewurztraminer being a grape that is not typically high in acid.

This Gewürztraminer has some residual sugar, allowing it to pair well with spicier cuisine.  So I poured it with my dinner on Saturday, a Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl.  The squash was roasted and scooped out of its shell.

Then it was topped with mounds of black beans, salsa, corn kernels, sweet and hot peppers and spices.


Juicy grapefruit aromas intertwine with sweet honey and flowers. The palate is crisp and clean offering ripe grapefruit and apricot. Drizzles of honey balance the bright crispness and fold into a finish of zesty lime and bits of clove spice on the tongue.  Aromas and flavors are light and fresh making this a perfect wine for food or just for easy slurping.

The Burrito Bowls had a good amount of heat from the salsa and spicy peppers.  The residual sugar in this wine was a good cooling factor on the palate.  The lighter character of the Gewurztraminer allowed it to be sipped alongside this spicy dish without competing or overshadowing in any way.

Gewurztraminer… so easy to say.  So easy to drink!

Pairing with spicy dishes;
Impressing friends with your ability to easily say the grape;
A wine drinker who likes a bit of sweetness with a spicy twist!

About the author: Sue Navratil

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