Gewurztraminer is a well-known grape variety that has a high potential for aromatic intensity, diversities of style, different expressions of terroir and a good potential for aging. Often described as being too powerful, too rich or too sweet, consumers and sommeliers need to challenge themselves, get out of their comfort zone and embrace the uniqueness of Gewurztraminer. Eric will take us on an exploration of this grape variety and where it is found around the world and also describe which types of foods best pair with this distinct varietal.
Eric Zwiebel MS is Cellar Master at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Dorset. Born in Alsace, he began his wine career early on by helping his parents in their restaurant, before working as Sommelier in Paris for 5 Years
Following his experience in Paris, he decided to move to London to broaden his knowledge of the many different wine regions and take courses offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Two years later, in 2001, Eric achieved his MS qualification.
In 2004, he was named Best Sommelier of the UK, which he followed up with 3rd place at the Best Sommelier of Europe competitions in 2006 and 2008. He reached the finals in the Best Sommelier of the World competition in 2007 and placed 4th at the 2013 competition in Tokyo.
There’s no wine region I enjoy visiting more than Alsace.
It’s beautiful, of course – and not just the half-timbered houses around which a profusion of flowers seem to float, or the grand hillside vineyards romping up to the forested Vosges mountains, always somehow bigger and more imposing in scale than those of Burgundy. The growers are fascinating characters, too, as if their historical and geographical position, wedged between (and much fought-over by) France and Germany, has given them an independence of thought which eludes those with a more settled position in each wine culture.
Then there’s the wines. It’s commonplace to say that Alsace wines are underappreciated -- but it’s true. For me, no white wine region can offer more diversity and intrigue than Alsace, nor does any single regional range of white wines appeal more to my palate...