Just before I headed to London for my WSET, a friend introduced me to his Alsatian friend Gewurztraminer. He opened it to go with the chocolate death we were scoffing, a fairly self-explanatory pudding. I thought, hang on a second, I would wear this wine it smells so delightful and to taste so refined with the scent on it, what is this witchcraft! I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to try this grape, I’ve never been a big white drinker but it’s safe to say, I’ll never be the same.
While I was in London over the weekend I tried some more, then I somehow managed to get half a bottle home which I prescribed to my parents as soon I was home. They were just as blown away, what a joy it is to share delicious wines with people. Anyway, while I was chatting about food pairing with a friend they mentioned their love for Thai food and a good Alsatian Gewurztraminer. I immediately ordered my favourite Thai cooking sauces from Nonya Secrets and as soon as it arrived, I invited my good friend Edward over to try this pairing of dreams.
“Oh god you’re turning into my Uncle Philip,” Edward said having turned up in a onesie ready for a very chilled evening in front of the tele. “I’m just really excited about this wine!!” Edward’s Uncle Philip owns Amp’s Fine Wines in Oundle and has a similar verve for the vines. I’m afraid despite my best intentions to get stylistic shots of the Nonya Sambal chicken curry I’d cooked, I totally forgot, it was all too exciting and delicious.
Edward’s reaction to the wine was consistent with everyone else’s,
“George! This is amazing, it’s really really yummy,” he exclaimed. The bottle in question is Waitrose’s offering, Domaine Paul Blanck 2017 Gewurztraminer, 13.5%, here’s their in-depth description:
The Blanck family have owned vineyards here for generations but their traditional heritage has not prevented the search for perfection through the adoption of modern winemaking practices. The use of a screw-top closure helps to preserve the floral, rose petal aromas of this wine made from the Gewurztraminer grape variety. This is a fresh, crisp white with rich flavours of rose and lychee and an attractive hint of spice on the palate. This Gewurztraminer is delicious chilled as an aperitif with canapés or tapas and is also a great partner to slightly spicy food. ‘Gewurz’ means ‘spice’ in German, which perfectly describes the exotic flavours within this delicious wine. Floral and off-dry with power and elegance, this wine from Alsace in North-Eastern France goes brilliantly with tapas or sweet and savoury canapés. Also great with slightly spicy, exotic food or with mature soft cheese. The screw cap closure guarantees freshness.
If you scroll down to the reviews on the Waitrose website you can only laugh at Jillyfizz’s bold statement, “It’s addictive”. Too right Jilly, it’s lethal stuff. A golden nectar, on the nose it is floral, lychee rose and honey coming through. Then you taste it and it’s sweet but with such well balanced acidity that it isn’t cloying you could drink it from first thing to late at night day in day out. “This is the sort of wine I’d buy in batch,” said Edward, trying it again. “Actually, that’s a terrible idea because I’d never leave the house!” With the Nonya Secrets Thai, it was a match made in heaven and just as I believe it would go with cheese, it really marries well with Asian food. Nonya Secrets is a little company I discovered at The Game Fair last year, click here to go to their website.
But what really makes a wine good? For me, it’s lots of things from how much I enjoyed it to whether I can afford to drink it again, maybe it’s just a special occasion wine, perhaps I was drinking it with someone interesting. In this instance, we knew it was a good wine when we piled into the car to get to Waitrose just in time for buy a few more bottles to see us through the rest of the evening and…I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy.
To not be too biased to Waitrose I should say, I have also tried Sainsbury’s offering but it was a little lacking. Not pronounced enough on the nose and missing some depth. Then in London I was drinking Domaine Jean-Marie Haag’s Gewurztraminer which was beautiful.
And, did you know…similarly to Pinot Gris, the grapes of this white wine are actually pink and the short contact with the skins means Gewurztraminer is one of the very deepest golden white wines.