March is Gewürztraminer time

Nowg Art March 2021
Gewürztraminer is one of the first wines released each year.

By Mary Malik

March is an important month in the wine world. One of the first wines to be released each year, usually in March, is Gewürztraminer, a fruity, floral white wine made from pinkish colored grapes. But what about the taste?

“The name gives us a hint,” says Jim Sperk of the Northern Ohio Wine Guild. “Gewürz is a German word for spice. It is a highly aromatic wine, similar to Moscato but with a slightly higher alcohol content and less acidity, which lends to a sweeter taste than they actually are.”

While grapefruit, pineapple, orange and ginger can be discerned in the aroma of Gewürztraminer wines, the most intense aroma is lychee.

“I always thought that the other half of the Gewürztraminer name was related to another grape called ‘Traminer’,” says Jim. “However, DNA testing proved that this is not the case. The grape is actually named for the city of Tramin in the Italian alpine valley.”

Jim says the foothills of the Alps—Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Croatia—produce some of the best examples of the wine.

“In this country, some Gewürztraminer grapes can be found in California, but the weather and soil right here in Northern Ohio is another prime site,” says Jim. “In fact, in a recent national wine competition, a local winery won a ‘Best Gewürztraminer’ award.”

If you’d like to experience a sample, try a local winery. And, by the way, when you’re asking for it, it’s Guh-voorts-truh-meener.

For information on the Northern Ohio Wine Guild, contact Jim Sperk at