Archive for ‘Gewurztraminer’

September 18, 2020

Culmina Skin Contact Gewurztraminer No 008

Despite the literal and slightly ludicrous name and number (not a bad thing I guess, Mutiny on the Bunny was, obviously, the Bugs Bunny take on Mutiny on the Bounty) an unusual and striking wine.  As per a few Culmina bottlings it comes with the glass stopper.  The first place I saw this was Alsace, over 10 years ago, but I do think it’s a brilliant idea on light whites where, generally, they get drunk in one go like Kool-Aid.

We opened this to to drink with a poached halibut in light curry; cumin, ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, and basil.  It was magnificent.  Often wine works with food, sometimes it clashes (peanuts anyone?) but once in a while you get that marriage, that yin and yang of a wine up to the task but not overpowering the food.  Everything just tastes better together.  It was this stellar complement, this quirky Gewurtz, that made the dinner so much better. If this had occurred in a restaurant the post would end here; five stars.

Of course we didn’t finish the bottle at dinner and later, having another glass just as a sipper, it fell apart. And then another glass, and more disappointment. I don’t know what petroleum tastes like but my guess is something like Vaseline, or this wine, and as a sipper this was harsh and pungent with a fruity attack that cloyed and ridiculously unpleasant on the palate.

So there you go, we loved it and we lost it.

Price: $24 direct from vineyard.

Market Liquidity: More fair weather friend than BFF.

August 7, 2019

Intrigue Social, 2018

Intrigue Social 2018

A mostly Pinot Gris with a Jamie Oliver sized dab of Gewürztraminer, this is astonishingly good value.  In BC, the sparklers generally go, in this order, bats piss to Prosecco to Australian and European bubbles to OVERPRICED BC faux-champers then onto the real McCoy.  And here, in a lovely pocket to compete with Cava, is a drinkable and exceptionally food friendly bubbly.


There are flaws, I mean let’s be clear.  The bubbles are madcap; they are Seth Rogen laughing at a Between Two Ferns episode with Whoopi Goldberg storming off The View: they fly in all directions, too many, too fast, and explode on the palate like Pop Rocks.  The finish is not long enough and attractive with no staying power.  But then let’s take a breath and review: Two bottles of this or one of Stellar’s Jay?  I mean let’s be social, go two.  A sort of minor revelation and a great way to liven up some tapas.


Price: $20 at the vineyard, hard to find in general.


Market Liquidity: Day drinking anyone?

June 10, 2017

Pfaffenheim Pfaff Gewürztraminer, 2014

Gold the label proclaims.  And it is a golden pour, a lush and covertly leaden golden nectar.  There is more than a hint of rosewater, which is less cultivated garden and more Indian lassi.  The sweet, like an overripe lychee, is juicy but ever so slightly tips towards cloying, and gives it a headiness reminiscent of a perfume counter.


As a food wine, in Vancouver, with all the West Coast has to offer, it’s stellar.  Cheese, fish, shellfish, Vegan.  But as a sipper it was patently less than refreshing.  All that said, as I’ve said many times, Alsace can do no wrong; it’s just we hold the Alsatian bar a little higher and expect a little more.  (Compliments on the screw top.)


Price: $19.49 before tax.


Market Liquidity: Supremely affordable and at the price point, yes, golden.

November 28, 2015

Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer, 2014

Much loved. You may be hard pressed to find it. For us, sweet to the point of cloying without a lightness the varietal demands and without the balance the reviewers claim. Ever eaten a series of lychees then hit upon one overripe, sweet to the point of annoying, cloying? That is sort of this fragrant and otherwise lovely wine. It just goes too far in one direction. But one the nose, striking, and although too heavy it cuts through Indian with aplomb. Still, not a keeper. But don’t take it from us. Gismondi gave it 90, Aspler and Schreiner gave it 91, Maclean 92.


Beppi in the Globe was perhaps the most honest, writing if a good Alsatian gewurz hit the gym and lost ten pounds it might be this.

Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer

Price: A spectacular value at $16.99 before tax. At this price, take the dip.


Market Liquidity: Beppi rules.

July 30, 2012

Thornhaven Gewurztraminer, 2010

This wine has won numerous plaudits including the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award.  It hardly needs a thrift-minded anti-wine-snob to weigh in with adjectives.  It is good, very good for what it is, and deserves every ounce of praise.  It was spectacular with a pan fried fresh trout but equally good as an aperitif with some local cheese and dried fruit (although not heady enough to do justice with homemade gazpacho).  If you surfed here from page 10 of a Google search looking for flavour notes you are either bored or made a mistake.  Quick: Click back and search for a retailer.


So, superfluous adjectives aside, I will however editorialize: Light, elegant, nuanced whites should be the backbone of the Okanagan.  The simple fact that Thornhaven can produce this much quality, and bring it in under $20, should set the stage for more and better vintages from Naramata to Cawston.  Cripes, BC could give Germany, Switzerland and Alsace a run for their money with nectar like this; but you know that’s a pipe dream.  We will continue the endless pursuit of better reds, priced at twice what you can already get from other New World vineyards, in a largely mistaken quest to be something we can never be: Internationally price competitive with robust reds.  Praise to those who break the trend.


Price: A superb value at $19.90 at your friendly VQA stores.


Market Liquidity: What price glory?  Under $20 at Thornheaven, er Thornhaven.