In deference to those of you up North I will refrain from saying cold, but at the moment Southwest Florida is in the grip of our first winter cool spell and with that thoughts drift to the warm breezes of spring. Searching to cross that divide in the old wine rack I came across a 2014 bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer, perfect for either cool or warm weather.
A light yellow color in the glass, the bouquet is peach with a hint of lychee fruit. Given the long glycerin legs on the wall of the glass the body is what you might expect, a solid weight and little delicate styling in the mouth. Peach flavor carries over from the aroma and the supporting base comes from lemon-lime, think 7-UP flavor before finishing with a touch of stone and the typical Gewürztraminer spice that presents itself as a sparkly effervescence, not the zingy feel on the palate often associated with a spicy wine. Those rounded flavors flow evenly from open to finish leaving a long lasting persistent essence on the tongue. Don’t be fooled by the “Reisling” style bottle, this is not a sugary sweet wine, but one that is off dry on the sweetness scale and is full of flavor. While the fresh and spring breeze character will not disappoint on its own I would suggest pairing with a meal would provide a more fulfilling experience when all is said and done.
Thai food is a classic pairing for Gewurztraminer, though most Asian inspired cuisine would match well too. The weight will hold its own against dumplings or meat, the sweetness will play well with salt and the spicy fruit flavor will complement the herb and vegetable components of your dish. If you want to go beyond the “classic” pairing I have found a lot of pleasure drinking this wine with many of the Latin food flavors found in our local eateries as a great option to consider if you are dining in or dining out.
Widely available on local store shelves the 2014 Chateau Ste Michelle Gewurztraminer, like many of the Columbia Valley label can often be found below suggested retail pricing in this area. Total Wine and More has a regular price of $8.99 and if you want to pick up a bottle without making a “special” stop Publix is a great place to lay your hands on a bottle around the $9 point during one of their frequent Chateau Ste Michelle sale programs. Bottom line this wine is a great introduction to the grape and while it may lack some delicacy found in other Gewürztraminer wines this one does fit the ideal profile of a “value wine” one that will pack a lot of bang for the buck into your wine budget.