Twenty-Wine Days of February: Day 11, Family-Style

I selected a special wine for today’s feature.  I know, you can buy this at the grocery for under $10; it’s mass-produced; it’s not the best example of the varietal.  So why did I pick it?  The reasons are two-fold.

First, I’m spending the weekend with family and I knew that this particular bottle would appeal to everyone.  Second—and a bit more important for our purpose here—this is the first wine (of some vintage a way back) that The Rib and I sought out a second time after tasting for the first time.

We were relatively young and had wine only on special occasions.  I don’t even quite remember what the occasion was when we first tasted this wine.  I do remember getting to the store to buy a few bottles pretty quickly after tasting this one, though.  And we kept a few bottles on hand at the house (long before the Garage Bar at CorkEnvy was in operation).  And we felt super-awesome when we would peruse the wine list at restaurant and know that we liked this wine and could order it confidently.  That might have been the beginning of our full-time fanciness.

That first real(ish) wine experience didn’t exactly start our love affair with wine, but it was definitely the beginning of it.  Truly enjoying that wine led us to believe that there was wine out there that we could love.  So, albeit slowly, we began to sample more (and more) wines and became more open to trying new varietals and styles (any time, any place…).

Several years later, as we (and our friends) came more into our own as ‘responsible,’ ‘real’ adults, we began to go to fancier places and try fancier wines.  Wine became an adventure.  Since this blossoming of sorts, I (and by extension, The Rib) have sought out new wines to try and strived to increase my knowledge, and even learn to enjoy the wines I don’t enjoy (’cause hey, every experience—good or bad—informs future decisions and increases knowledge, right?).

With that, here’s the Day 11 selection:

2010 Fetzer Gewürztraminer, California

2010 Fetzer Gewürztraminer

On the nose, the Fetzer Gewürztraminer gave a ton of Granny Smith apple, a little lemongrass, and perhaps a slight almond.

On the palate, the apple came across like a sour apple Jolly Rancher.  There was a hint of almond and candied pear notes, as well.  The wine itself was a touch syrupy and had a very slight alcohol burn on the medium-long finish.  A few minutes in (I say minutes, ’cause the two bottles I opened went quickly with the whole family bellying up to the bar), I got a little burnt sugar.

Overall, the Fetzer Gewürztraminer is a wine—nothing more or less.  I wouldn’t put this up as the perfect example of the varietal, but it’ll do the trick.  We enjoyed it with conversation and laughter around the fire.  I’m sure the fact that we were having a nice family moment and that everyone seemed to like the wine made it better than it should have been.  I’m not trying to get all sappy here, but sometimes wine is as much about the occasion as it is the juice itself.

For about $7 (pretty much anywhere that sells wine), can you really go wrong? I say no.  If you like it, drink it.  This is super-accessible for even the most novice of wine drinkers but won’t offend those that prefer a more traditional representation of the Gewürztraminer varietal.

Cheers from the Corkpit,


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