A Wine Lover’s Weekly Review Of $10 Wines – Revisiting A Gewurtztraminer From Baden, Germany

We launched this column many years ago and one of the very first $10 wines we reviewed was a Gewurztraminer from the Baden region of southwestern Germany, across the Rhine from France. About five years later we return. The Badischerwinzerkeller winery claims to be the largest wine producer in Europe. It is a cooperative englobing almost 6000 growers whose average holding is about one half a hectare (under an acre). You might want to visit their interesting web site for offerings such as a 1971 Gewurz for 28 Euros, which works out to even less than a dollar a year. The local museum of municipal history has stuff going back to the Stone Age. The companion wine is another German Gewurztraminer costing almost twice as much.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review were purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Baden Gewurztraminer 2011 12 % alcohol about $10.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials “Tasting Note : Pale yellow colour; floral/spicy aromas; soft semi-sweet fruit flavour; persistent finish. Serving Suggestion : Oriental buffet; smoked salmon; mildly spiced foods.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine offered delicious sweetness; it provided me with quite pleasant citrus acidity. When paired with a barbecued chicken breast the libation’s citrus strengthened. And did it have balance. Steamed quinoa with turmeric increased the liquid’s acidity. A salad containing tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, and red onion brought acidity to the fore of my glass and I also noted some metal and a bit of burnt taste in the Gewurz. Fruit juice candy for dessert muted the wine and yet even muted it remained pleasant.

The second meal focused on a baked Atlantic salmon filet marinated in chili pepper, sliced garlic, lemon, and Agave. In response our German friend was sweetly acidic with a good touch of oak and caramel. And now for a negative note; zucchinis cooked with onions and mushrooms rendered its acidity rather unpleasant, and darkened the wine. Stewed pears with cinnamon and allspice muted the contents of my glass but it kept the acidity.

My final meal began with fairly tasteless Japanese rice crackers. Now the liquid offered light citrus, a weak appetizer led to a weak wine. The centerpiece was an omelet perked up with basil, crushed red pepper, and a touch of cumin. In response the drink replied with some sweetness and increased citrus. Zesty guacamole rounded our libation.

Final verdict. Even though some of the pairings were disappointing, I will buy this wine again, and I don’t think I’ll wait five years to do so. I bought their Pinot Noir that I plan to review in the next round.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines and a whole lot more. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com.

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