Gewürztraminer Champions Launch Re-Education Campaign

A producer, a wine commentator and a top restaurateur have combined to champion New Zealand’s top Gewürztraminer wines saying wait staff and customers need more education about the variety.

Blackenbrook Vineyard’s Daniel Schwarzenbach says the wine has suffered from misconceptions that need to be challenged.

“The typical comments we hear is that it only works with spicy foods, that it’s really floral and something only women would drink – all these stereotypes are incorrect and it’s time we gave Gewürztraminer its true place on the New Zealand wine menu.”

Gewürztraminer (pronounced Gi-vurz-tra-meaner) is an aromatic variety that grows superbly in New Zealand’s temperate climate. Commentators agree that New Zealand is one of the world’s best producers of this variety after Alsace.“We find many restaurants simply don’t know enough about the wine and hesitate adding it to their wine lists. They don’t feel confident and put it into the ‘too hard’ basket, when in fact it’s a classic variety and a wonderful match to a wide range of food.”

To counter some of the myths and prejudices against Gewürztraminer, Blackenbrook Vineyard has prepared a Gewürztraminer basic information sheet titled “Gewürztraminer – the fresh Dimension to New Zealand Fine Dining”. They will send it to restaurants around New Zealand and will also have it available for download from their website.

Wine Commentator Yvonne Lorkin says customers are often afraid to order a Gewurz, for reasons as basic as that they’re not sure of how to pronounce it.

“It’s an education thing. If people are taught that it’s okay to ask for a ‘Gewurz’ – and perhaps even showing in brackets on wine lists how to pronounce it – this would help people feel freer to experiment.

Yvonne says she’s happy to join the crusade to get Gewürztraminer back in the spotlight.

“I talk to many people who are convinced they won’t like it. When I insist they try it, I see their eyes light up, they go ‘wow!’ So when you get a good Gewürztraminer down the throat you can instantly convert someone who used to avoid it.

Goat Cheese Bavarois partnered with Blackenbrook Reserve Gewürztraminer. Dish by Grant Dicker, Mint Dining Room, Nelson, Photo David Letsche

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