Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner: Gewurztraminer

Thanksgiving dinner is usually traditional with turkey and/or ham so why not swing out a little with the wine that accompanies it? (See Wine Pairing) For a special treat try a dry Gewürztraminer known for its intense bouquet and full body. Although the wine is difficult to pronounce and spell, it is easy to enjoy at the Thanksgiving table and will help make the meal memorable.

One sniff of this white wine and you will know that it is unique. With its intense floral aroma, Gewurztraminer delights the nose as it prepares the palate for the flavorful, full bodied experience that follows. The acidity is low and the alcohol content high. Depending on where the wine was made it may be dry, semi-sweet , or sweet. Gewurztraminers from Alsace (France) are usually dry, crisp, and fruity, while those from California and Washington State are semi-dry to sweet, and feature ripened fruit flavors. The dry Gewurztraminers from Alsace are the best with turkey and also enhance ham, sweet potatoes, and sausage dressing.

Gewurztraminer, pronounced ga-VERTA-tramee-ner, literally means “spice Traminer”. Traminer is a grape variety originally from the the Tryrolean village of Tramin in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. It has green skin and less sugar that the Gewurztraminer grape that is noted for its pink skin and very high sugar content. Gewurztraminer may be a mutation of Traminer but the exact genetic link is not known for certain. Gewurztraminer is best grown in cool climates and is usually consumed when young because of its low acidity.