What Does Gewürztraminer Taste Like?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Gewürztraminer is a white grape variety that is known for producing medium-bodied off-dry wines with low acidity that taste of: 

  • A distinctive lychee flavor (or sweet rose to those who haven’t tried lychees)
  • Ruby red grapefruit 
  • Passionfruit 
  • A hint of smokiness 

The grape variety has been grown in the Alsace region of France, which borders Germany, for hundreds of years. However, it thrives in cooler climates and today can be found in winemaking regions such as New Zealand, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Some Gewürztraminer is even being grown in Oregon and Washington in the USA.

Woman in black dress drinking from a glass of wine - What Does Gewürztraminer Taste Like?

Does Gewürztraminer taste good? 

Yes, Gewürztraminer tastes good, which is why it is recognized as one of the ‘Grand Cru’ grapes of the Alsace region (along with Riesling, Muscat, and Pinot Blanc). It is famous for being beautifully aromatic with a distinctive taste of lychees. However, because of its intense aromas, it is not a very versatile wine and can be difficult to pair with food. 

How would you describe the taste of Gewürztraminer?

Gewürztraminer is famous for its lychee flavor that you can both taste and smell. The aroma can be best described as a ‘sweet rose for those who have never eaten lychees.’ The wine can also taste of other flavors such as: 

  • Grapefruit 
  • Passionfruit 
  • Tangerine 
  • Ginger 
  • Pineapple 
  • Peach
  • A hint of smokiness or incense 

Because of these intense aromatics and the high alcohol content of Gewürztraminer (13.5-15%), the wine can often taste sweeter than it is. 

How will I know if I like the taste of Gewürztraminer or not?

You’ll like the taste of Gewürztraminer if you are looking for a slightly sweet wine with strong aromatic tropical fruit flavors. It is suited for those looking for an unusual wine with a very distinctive flavor profile.

Is Gewürztraminer sweet, bitter, or dry?

Gewürztraminer is considered an off-dry wine which means that it is semi-sweet. The grapes are naturally very high in sugar, so some remain even once the fermentation is complete. However, the high alcohol content (13.5-15%) in Gewürztraminer combined with a strong sweet smell can often taste sweeter than it is. 

Is the taste of Gewürztraminer a nice wine for beginners? 

Unfortunately, Gewürztraminer is not an easy wine for beginners. Its intense aromas can be too powerful for a beginner’s palate. However, it is good for those looking to experiment with unusual wines with intense aromas. 

Because of Gewürztraminer’s strong aromatic profile, it is not a versatile wine and cannot be easily paired with food. Its full-bodied and sweet flavor profile needs to be matched with equally as sharp and powerful food. It does, however, pair well with:

  • Spicy Asian foods: Thai green curry, Vietnamese Pho
  • Rich meats: duck, chicken, pork, bacon, foie gras
  • German and Austrian foods like schnitzel and sausage 
  • Dessert: tropical fruits like passionfruit, apple strudel 

Final Thoughts on Gewürztraminer’s Taste

Gewürztraminer is a full-bodied aromatic white wine with a distinctive taste and smell of lychees. It also has tastes of tropical fruits with a hint of smokiness. Although it is an off-dry wine (semi-sweet), it often tastes even sweeter than it is. This is because of its high alcohol content (13.5-15%), low acidity, and intense aromas. 

The strong fragrances of lychees and tropical fruits make it a difficult wine for beginners as it can be too overpowering for the palate. However, it is a good choice for those looking for a wine that can balance out the strong flavors of foods like spicy Asian dishes, rich meats, and traditional German and Austrian dishes.