Pair Gewürztraminer with rich-fowl dishes like turkey, duck, or Foie Gras, along with egg dishes like quiche and omelets. You’ll also find that Gewurztraminer goes well with German dishes like pork chops, roasted ham, sausages loaded with sauerkraut, and wiener schnitzel.
Gewürztraminer is unmistakable from other white wines as it will instantly strike you with its aromas of lychee, rose petals, apricot, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger. The sweet spice notes of cinnamon and ginger make Gewürztraminer a wonderful pairing with vegetarian stir fry tossed in a soy sauce and ginger-based sauce, or not-so-spicy curries.
Because of its spicy nature, you might be tempted to pair up Gewürztraminer with a spicy chicken burrito or a Thai dish with some kick to it. This is a bad idea as Gewürztraminer is high in alcohol, and mixing alcohol with hot spices will make your mouth burn even more. For mild dishes like a not-so-spicy butter chicken, pad thai, or anything containing coconut milk, Gewürztraminer makes for a fantastic pairing.
Finally, Gewürztraminer is not a acidic white wine, instead, it is considered ’round’, and you’ll marvel at its oily texture. This oily texture lingers in your mouth after each swallow, making it more difficult to pair with food as Gewürztraminer does not work as a palate cleanser. Its strength lies in its contrasting or complementing flavours.
Alsace Gewürztraminer can either be dry or off-dry but will always taste sweet due to its lush flavours of lychee, peach and pear. The aromatic fruit flavours of Gewürztraminer tone down the richness of Foie Gras, while the round body of Gewürztraminer blends in with the velvety texture of the liver. While any bottle of Gewürztraminer will pair with Foie Gras, I would select a Vendange Tardives (sweet – dessert style wine) from Alsace France, where the wine has evolved with the food over dozens of generations.
Gewürztraminer & Roast Pork Pairing
Roast pork is another neutral-style meat, which we often doll up so we can add more flavour. For example, ham is often glazed, pork cutlets are often breaded and fried (pork schnitzel), and pork tenderloin is often stuffed. The fruity Gewürztraminer of apricot, lychee, mango and pineapple ensure you have plenty of flavour at hand to create a delicious springboard for those sweet pork flavours of Roast Pork.
Gewürztraminer & Turkey Pairing
An off-dry Gewürztraminer is an excellent wine to pair with Turkey as it tastes slightly like Thanksgiving in a bottle An off-dry Gewürztraminer is going to be slightly sweet, spicy and aromatic, making it a wonderful pairing with Turkey, stuffing and many of the fixings. Turkey is a neutral meat and often overcooked and dry. Gewürztraminer, with its juicy flavours of lychee, mango, passion fruit and peach, injects some fun into the turkey meat without overwhelming any of the turkey flavours you love.
I wouldn’t suggest bringing Gewürztraminer to a Thanksgiving buffet style banquet as the wine isn’t acidic enough to pair up with the wide variety of foods at hand. However, for a plated dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and perhaps some glazed carrots, Gewürztraminer will work just wonderful.
Off-Dry Gewürztraminer & Sausage Pairing
Alsace, which shares a border with Germany, is adored for their off-dry Gewürztraminer. Thus, it’s no surprise that Gewürztraminer is a fantastic wine pairing with Oktoberfest sausages loaded up with sauerkraut, ketchup and mustard. The hint of sweetness in an off-dry Gewürztraminer frolics with the sugar content found in the ketchup, while floral and fruity nose tones down the belligerent attitude of the mustard.
Off-Dry Gewürztraminer & Shrimp
Shrimp has a subtle sweet component to it and the slightly sweet nature of an off-dry Gewürztraminer complements this aspect. Shrimp is also neutral in flavour, thus, the peach, lychee, and pear aromatics of Gewürztraminer add more flair to this pairing without overwhelming the shrimp.
Sweet Gewürztraminer & Food Pairings
For sweet Gewürztraminer, like a late harvest Gewürztraminer or a Vendange Tardive, you’ll find that they are a lovely pair with fruity desserts, such as a peach, pear, apple, or lychee dessert. With its aromas of sweet spices, Gewürztraminer is also exceptional with desserts containing cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Thus, gingerbread, churros and Pumpkin Pie pair well with a sweet wine like Gewürztraminer, provided the wine is sweeter than the dessert.
What Not to Pair Gewürztraminer With
Other than hot and spicy dishes, keep Gewürztraminer away from acidic foods, like tomatoes, and tossed green salads with sharp vinaigrettes. The lack of acidity in Gewürztraminer clashes with foods that are acidic and gives the wine a metallic taste.
Remember too that Gewürztraminer is a bold wine and will overpower simple and delicate dishes, like light fish dishes. For the best results, stick to lighter-fare dishes (like chicken, veal, and pork) packing plenty of flavour.
Gewürztraminer and Riesling share similar qualities in that they are produced in dry, off-dry and sweet forms of wine. Riesling is much more acidic than Gewürztraminer and features crisp flavours of lemon, lime, peach and minerals. Gewürztraminer on the other hand is low in acidity and has an oily texture. Gewürztraminer is much more spicy and aromatic on the nose with flavours of lychee, apricot, rose petals, and black pepper.