Weekly Wine Quiz #70: Grape Trivia – Gewurztraminer
Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!
We are continuing our grape trivia series, still focusing on the white grapes, and today’s subject is Gewurztraminer.
Gewurztraminer, which often spelled with umlaut, Gewürztraminer, is a very interesting white grape for variety of reasons. Even starting with the appearance – take a look at the picture – does it look white to you? Nevertheless, similar to Pinot Gris, it is considered to be the white grape, as its skin color ranges from pinkish to the reddish. Gewurztraminer has about 1000 years of history, and it is growing pretty much all over the world in literally each and every wine producing country – yet it is very seldom that any of the oenophiles would rave about their Gewurztraminer experiences.
It is difficult to grow, as it tends to have high sugar content and low acidity, which doesn’t bode well for the well balanced wines – and for that reason, it also performs better in the cooler climates. Its characteristic trait is extreme aromatics – on the nose, Gewurztraminer wine usually exhumes with aromas of white flowers, lychees, peaches and tropical fruits. Gewurztraminer wines can be made in the range of styles, from very dry to the full power dessert wine. For the well made Gewurztraminer wines, the combination of extreme aromatics and balanced body, whether dry or sweet, creates very memorable experience – yes, this would hold true from absolute majority of the wines, of course – but I would say that Gewurztraminer wines very seldom have middle ground in their showing – they are either great, or they are really bad, with the very few which you will place into “well, it’s okay” category.
Most of the best in the world Gewurztraminers come from Alsace in France, but you can also find very good wines in Germany, Austria, Italy, California and probably some other places (in a lot of cases the wines will be made only for the local consumption and you would never hear about them). One more curious fact I want to point to before we get to the quiz is that Gewurztraminer is probably one of the most promiscuous grapes, having been used more often than most of other grapes in creation of different crosses – Flora, Traminette, Ortega, Irsai Oliver and many others are not clones, but actual purposeful crosses of Gewurztraminer with the other grapes.
Now, to the quiz!
Q1: Where Gewurztraminer was supposedly originated? Name the grape which was a precursor of Gewurztraminer
Q2: Explain the meaning of the name Gewurztraminer
Q3: Unlike many other grapes, if the French wine is made out of Gewurztraminer, you can easily know that just by looking at the bottle. Why is that?
Q4: Which area in California produces best Gewurztraminer wines:
a. Monterey County
b. Alexander Valley
c. Russian River Valley
d. Anderson Valley
Q5: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Gewurztraminer wines with Classic rating
Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!