Wines... Global Gewürz
Gewürztraminer is one of the quirkiest of wines. A pink-skinned grape that lives up to its German christening of gewurz (spicy) ranging through the spice rack from ginger to cinnamon, clove or nutmeg. Gewürztraminer doesn't do subtlety and contrasts spice with exotic and aromatic ripe lychee fruitiness and a floral rose character.
The drier versions work best with Thai chilli-hot and Chinese sweet and sour dishes. A revelation is pairing it with Milleens, Ardrahan or Gubbeen cheese dipped in cumin seeds that flatters both cheese and wine. Gewürztraminer with a little more sweetness is especially good with paté and meat terrines.
1) Gewürztraminer Vieilles Vignes 2011, Sipp Mack, Alsace, France 13.5pc
Off-dry with golden honeyed fruits, royal jelly and ginger spice all expertly interwoven with a satin smooth texture.
€23.99 in Dublin at Mitchell & Son, CHQ Building, IFSC and Glasthule.
2) Gewürztraminer 2013, Insight, Marlborough, New Zealand 14pc
Pretty and youthful fragrance of roses and lychees. Assertive dry but fruity flavours of Turkish Delight, rosewater and a hint of ginger. Well-balanced.
€16.99 from O'Brien's nationwide.
3) Gewürztraminer 2013, Finca Río Negro, Castilla, Spain 13.5pc
A hint of mint on the aroma. An unusual macho style with freshly grated ginger that persists. An exciting alternative for the non-followers of the floral style.
€18.99 at Wines On The Green, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.
4) Gewürztraminer 2012, Cuvee René Dopff, Dopff & Irion, Alsace, France 13.5pc
Dry and intense luscious lychee, ripe grape and powdered ginger spice and honeyed finish. Floral-free.
€19.99 in Cork at JJ O'Driscoll & Sons; Number 21 Off Licences and O'Donovan's Off-licences. Brown's Vineyard, Portlaoise; Copper & Young and Deveney's, Dublin.
5) Gewürztraminer Réserve 2013, Cave de Turckheim, Alsace, France 13pc
Muted aromas. Ginger and lemon jelly with lychees and nectarines. Silky smooth texture.
€21.99 at Fresh Stores, Dublin City; Conway's Spar, Ratoath.
6) Gewürztraminer Réserve 2014, Cave Hunawihr, Alsace, France 13pc
Fragrant with lychees dominating. Dry but honeyed and a tingle of fresh acidity, finishing with floral rosewater.
€21.99 at Vanilla Grape, Kenmare; The Wine Centre, Kilkenny; Drink Store, Dublin 7; World Wide Wines, Waterford; La Touché Wines, Greystones and wineonline.ie
The pick of Lidl's French wine sale under €30 until mid-October
Whites: Hautes-Cotes de Beaune 2014, Bourgogne 13pc, €14.99
Grand Cru Vorbourg Pfaffenheim 2008, Alsace 14pc, €14.99
Reds: Chateau Grand Abord 2010, Graves 13pc, €12.99
Chateau Haut Carles 2009,
Fronsac 14.5pc, €29.99
Rhone 14pc, €17.99
Sweet: Chateau Mauras 2012, Sauternes 50cl 13pc, €14.99
Whiskey Live at Dublin Castle's Printworks, Saturday 24th October: Meet the producers and sample their international whiskies, cask aged craft beers and cocktails with great food pairings and entertaining whiskey master classes. Two sessions: 1.30-5.00pm and 6.00-9.30pm. Tickets €39.50 plus booking fee: eventbrite.ie or the Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dawson Street Tel: 01-675 9744. The Celtic Whiskey Shop will be donating €10 per ticket to Down Syndrome Dublin.