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Sensory Fireworks and Kinetic Vibration

By Karen MacNeil
February 28, 2015

What’s luscious, big, fleshy, mouthfilling—and not very popular in the U.S.? Gewurztraminer. I don’t get why it hasn’t clicked. What’s the hang-up exactly? It can’t be the idea of sweetness because gewurz isn’t sweet. Can it be the name? Since the greatest gewurzs come from France (Alsace), maybe the French should create a French-sounding slang term for it….(petite epice?)

Anyway, the best gewurzs all have amazing kinetic vibration– that’s what I think the spice is…a kind of tactile buzz on the palate. And the see-saw of flavor between bitterness and fruitiness in gewurz is mesmerizing. I suppose I love gewurz most of all because it is distinctive. It is not anything; it is something. Writing the new second edition of THE WINE BIBLE, I was in delirium as we hit the Alsace tastings. Day after day of sensory fireworks. The absolutely most mind-blowing ones were the gewurzs from: Kuentz-Bas, Zind-Humbrecht, Ostertag, and Domaine Weinbach.