Gewürztraminer Champions Launch Re-Education Campaign

Top Food/Wine matcher and owner of Wellington’s The Ambeli Restaurant, Shae Moleta, says Gewürztraminer has fallen on the sword of being popular with Thai food.

“I would love to see people embrace the Gewurz more, as it’s my favourite grape. Now that the fad of Asian fusion is winding down there should be more room for it. Kiwis hate tall poppies and they like to move forward so I just think it’s a matter of people realising what it’s like to drink.”

“Any time you want to avoid the use of acid and bring out the savouriness I look for a Gewurz. There are not many grapes that come with a low acid, and for me, in my forte of food matching to wine, that’s when I instantly go looking for Gewürztraminer.

Where I see the Gewürztraminer coming in is that sweet, slightly salty flavour – the aftertaste of particularly good bacon. Blackenbrook’s Gewürztraminer is so close to the sea it’s easy to imagine a dish that’s resting on a sweet saltiness. The dish we’re using it with is very gently cold smoked cured salmon with an orange and chilli picada and it comes with an avocado mousse.”

Shae Moleta says it’s a food wine that he can’t live without. “You get people who swear till they’re blue in the face that they don’t like Gewurz – but I don’t think they realise that it can be such a savoury wine.

Yvonne Lorkin says the key to changing attitudes and perceptions is to have restaurants offering Gewurz by the glass.

“There just aren’t enough available by the glass and it really annoys me. How do you expect people to try it? It’s not fair to expect them to fork out for a bottle. It’s far more likely they’ll spend $8 or $9 on a glass if they’re unsure. It’s not the cheapest wine to produce but I really think it’s important to encourage availability by the glass.”

Daniel Schwarzenbach says it’s a crime that while they and others are consistently producing world class Gewürztraminers (Blackenbrook Gewürztraminer has been rated – 4.5 stars by Michael Cooper, five stars from Bob Campbell MW for the 2007 Reserve Gewürztraminer and four stars for Blackenbrook Reserve Gewürztraminer 2008 and 2010, Blackenbrook Gewürztraminer 2008 and 2009) many wine lovers are still not sure when to drink it.

”It pairs well with salty, spicy, smoked or fruity foods. In Alsace it is served with Tarte Flambé (or Flammenkuchen), Choucroute with European Sausages and smoked Meats or an Assortment of washed rind and blue vein Cheeses.

But it also harmonises beautifully with a Crab Salad with Ginger and dried Orange Peel, a Dukkah crusted Salmon or an Asian braised Pork Belly.

We hope to arm Chefs and Front of House Staff with valuable information that will lead to opening doors for many more New Zealanders to try and fall in love with this amazing grape variety.”

Blackenbrook is one of less than 5% of wine producers in New Zealand who make vegan wines with accredited sustainable practices and using gentle wine making processes in their gravity-fed winery in Tasman Bay near Nelson.

Daniel and Ursula SchwarzenbachFor More Information:

Blackenbrook Vineyard
Baldwin Rd
RD1 Tasman, Nelson, NZ
Phone 03 526 6888 or email:

Yvonne Lorkin: 021379877 or email

Shae Moleta: or 04 385 7577

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