I finally had my Gewürztraminer moment—you know, when you finally connect with a particular varietal, making sense of its taste, and finding a slot for it in your general picture of wine. It’s not that I hadn’t consumed plenty of Gewürztraminer in the past, nor that I hadn’t heard descriptions of it: a floral, heady nose, with tropical fruit and especially this distinctive litchi-nut quality, full body, etc. … but my actual tasting of the wine had come largely from a case of Covey Run I got at a low price. (Though not low enough: After a buddy turned me on to the deal, and I bought three cases of Covey Run’s nice, straightforward whites, I found them all at my neighborhood grocery for the exact same price by the bottle.)
The Covey Run version was a nice enough drink, but I never got the sense I was tasting a representative Gewürztraminer. I still wouldn’t say I have any experience with the world’s definitive versions, but I know I’ve found a go-to Gewürztraminer I’ll be drinking for years to come, and gladly buying in wine shops, whenever I see it on the shelf: the Trimbach Alsace Gewürztraminer. This is by no means a new wine: Trimbach has been around for about 400 years, and it’s one of the mainstays of Alsace winemaking. But if you’re as fuzzy on Gewürz as I am, give this one a try. There’s a pure, balanced, clean quality to the wine, with a soft, floral nose and a light fruitiness and good, silky body, and nothing out of place. On a hot night, I could drink a bottle in a sitting—though I suppose that’s a complicated thing to say, given that it bears also on my ability (and compulsion) to drink entire bottles of wine at a sitting. But perhaps I’ll address that another day.