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Recently I sent my husband out to buy a bottle of Gewürztraminer. He went to the wine section of a well-known supermarket and was pleased to discover a wine supervisor on hand to assist him.

“I am looking for a bottle of Gewürztraminer” he said.

“Gavver-who?” she shrilled.

“Gewürztraminer” he repeated slowly and clearly.

“Oh no, we don’t do their wines” she answered.

He explained that Gewürztraminer was in fact a grape variety and not a wine producer. She looked doubtful, so he wrote the name down on a scrap of paper for her and instructed her to do some research.

Gewürztraminer is a special wine and is made in dry, off-dry and sweet styles. It is aromatic and sensual, and partners well with curries and smoked salmon. Common terms used when describing a Gewürztraminer are rose petals, lychees, passion fruit, Turkish delight, floral, honeysuckle, jasmine, tropical fruit salad, raisins, spice, opulent, exotic, sunshine, spring, summer and oriental. What’s not to love?

I wondered why the wine assistant had never heard of Gewürztraminer, and thought that perhaps not many South African wine makers produced it. It is a notoriously difficult fussy grape to grow. I did some research and discovered that the following wine producers make Gewürztraminer in a variety of styles, and possibly many more do too:

Altydgedacht, Bergsig, Bon Courage, Bovlei, De Krans, Delheim, Groot Constantia, Meerendal, Nederburg, Neethlingshof, Paul Cluver, Rietvallei, Robertson Winery, Simonsig, Theuniskraal, Van Loveren

So, I may know very little about wine, but at least I know more than the wine advisor at the local supermarket. It’s a start.

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