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“Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Recommendation” Press Democrat - November 23, 2011
Our Wine of the Week, Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Columbia Valley Gewurztraminer ($9), is the sort of wine that can bring harmony to your holiday table. It's off-dry, with a forward sweetness that engages beautifully with the flavors of Thanksgiving, especially pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cornbread and such. Yet it is not so sweet as to be cloying and has a clean brightness on the palate. Both wine novices and all but the most pretentious wine geeks will enjoy this wine. This varietal is accessible, light on the palate, pretty and refreshing, qualities that engage even individuals who are new to the pleasures of wine. When it comes to pairing this wine with foods other than those on a traditional holiday table, think spice, especially the spices in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian foods. Its floral qualities will flatter and be flattered by the aromatic notes of Indian curries. It can stand up to the heat of Thai, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian dishes, as well, without turning bitter. Vietnamese noodle salads and Thai curries are great matches. If you like Dungeness crab with sweet accompaniments -- mango, for example -- this wine is a great accompaniment. For today's recipe, I'm putting sweet potatoes, part of many Thanksgiving meals, into a different context, a rich and aromatic soup scented with nutmeg, chipotle and both white and black pepper.
“Recommended Holiday Entertaining Wine ” 77 Square (Madison, WI Community Newspaper) - November 22, 2011
Here I’ll share some of the successes and failures, in hopes you can use them for your own holiday shopping. Many of the whites we tried were winners...the ’09 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer from Washington. It was gently sweet, with a minerality in the finish. If I bought this again, I would save it for dessert.
“Wine-of-the-Week Winner ” Press Democrat - November 22, 2011
A spicy gewürztraminer is a great Thanksgiving pick because it pairs well with an eclectic feast. “The spiciness goes really well with all the fall flavors at the Thanksgiving table, especially the sage-laced stuffing,” said Bob Bertheau of Chateau Ste. Michelle. Bertheau is the winemaker behind our wine-of-the-week winner — the Chateau Ste. Michelle, 2010 Columbia Valley Gewurztraminer. “It has a great appeal to almost everybody in the crowd with it’s easy-to-drink style yet very exuberant ’climb out of the glass’ fruit,” Bertheau said. And when it comes to pumpkin pie, the gewürztraminer is a natural. “The wine is not too sweet, so it can go with a little more creamy, spicy texture of the pumpkin pie,” Bertheau said. “The nutmeg characters are obvious in both and should work perfectly together. If you asked me right out of the box what wine would go with the pumpkin pie dessert (or the pecan pie as well) it would be our gewurztraminer, hands down.” At $9 the Chateau Ste. Michelle is one most households can afford, which also makes it a smart Thanksgiving pick. “We make about 80,000 cases (960,000 bottles) a year,” Bertheau said. “ ... We get really good fruit at a relatively reasonable price.” After earning a master’s degree in enology from U.C. Davis, Bertheau worked for 16 years at a range of Sonoma County wineries including Chalk Hill, Hanzell Vineyards and Gallo of Sonoma. He’s now senior director of winemaking at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington. Bertheau said the trick in making a great gewürztraminer is timing. “Getting enough hang time to get slightly more intense varietal characters, while not waiting too long where you lose your acidity,” Bertheau said. “Too much crop really can turn a decent gewurztraminer into a boring table wine.” For the uninitiated, gewürztraminer may seem peculiar. “It’s like riesling’s racy, edgy, Bohemian cousin from a foreign country with a name you can’t pronounce,” Bertheau joked. “Few go there, but those who do are pleasantly surprised.”
“Wines to try the week of Nov. 20” Press Democrat - November 21, 2011
A lovely gewürztraminer, with a lush texture. Aromas and flavors of pear, honey, apricot, nectarine, mineral and clove. Lively fruit. Crisp finish.
“A Wine Tonight Recommendation” Wine Peeps - November 17, 2011
This Gewurztraminer would be a great, economical choice to pair with your Thanksgiving turkey and dressing next week. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with melon, caramel, and floral notes on the nose. More melon, caramel, and floral notes as well as lychee nut and tangerine come through on the palate. Slightly off-dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish. Quality: 4 stars (out of 5) QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)