Pacific Rim
October 16, 2023 | wine | Pacific Rim

Gewurztraminer vs. Gruner Veltliner: Comparing Tasting Notes Between the German Wines

In the world of wine, every varietal is a unique expression, a story told through the senses, and an invitation to embark on a flavorful voyage. Enter Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner—two captivating white wines that embody the artistry of winemaking and the diverse spaces from which they hail. Gewürztraminer, with its opulent aromas and layers of floral and exotic fruit notes, beckons one to explore its enigmatic charms. On the other hand, Grüner Veltliner, celebrated for its vibrant acidity and dynamic flavor spectrum, invites one to savor its zesty personality. Understanding the tasting notes of the Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner is one of the best ways to examine these Austrian and German white wine choices.

Gewurztraminer vs. Gruner Veltliner

Gewürztraminer vs. Grüner Veltliner - A Quick Background on Both

To begin to compare the tasting notes of these two wines, it may help to better understand the background of the two. Gewürztraminer is made from a white grape that has pink skin. It’s typically grown in colder climates, and while the Alsace region primarily claims it, it is also grown in the Rhine Valley. Over the last several decades, it’s spread throughout the world. Today, the United States is one of the largest producers. Grüner Veltliner is made from a white wine grape that grows primarily in Austria. In fact, it’s one of the most popular wines produced there, representing almost 30% of their wine products. This has not always been as popular as it is today. While many Europeans have enjoyed it for hundreds of years, in 2002, the English Master of Wine Jancis Robinson tasted one alongside many of the other most popular white wines in the world, and named it one of the best choices worldwide, propelling it to fame. 

Understanding the Unique Flavor of These Two Wines

For many people, background is helpful, but the true selling point for a wine is the flavor the moment it hits your tongue. Gewürztraminer offers a fresh, light flavor. You’ll immediately taste fruit and flowers in one.  Grüner Veltliner, however, is a bit tangier. It tends to have a more savory flavor profile, and you’ll find notes of gooseberry, asparagus, and even ground peppers when you taste this option. 

A Deeper Look At These Two Varieties

Besides the flavor, these two wines have a few other differences as well. Both Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner are known for their aromatic qualities, but each has a distinctly different aroma. Gewürztraminer varieties tend to offer the scent of flowers and tropical fruits. Grüner Veltliner, however, usually features stone fruits, herbs, and a mineral quality. 

Both Grüner Veltliner and Gewürztraminer wines can be versatile when it comes to food pairing. Grüner Veltliner's acidity and herbaceous notes can work well with a variety of dishes, including seafood, salads, and lighter meats. Gewürztraminer's aromatic and slightly sweet nature can complement spicy dishes, Asian cuisine, and even some desserts.

There is one key similarity between the two, though. Both Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner can be crafted into a range of wine styles, from dry to off-dry to sweet. The winemaker's choices and the growing conditions play a significant role in determining the final style of the wine.

Serving These Wines

White wines like these should be served cold, but you don’t want them to be too cold, as when a wine gets too cold, the aromas are a bit more difficult to catch and the acidic flavors tend to be more prominent. As a result, the ideal serving temperature is somewhere between 44 and 50 degrees depending on the dryness of the variety you’ve selected. The sweeter the wine, the warmer you want it to be. 

Don’t forget, too, that the glass in which it’s served matters. You’ll want to look for a high-quality glass that’s a bit thicker. There are glasses that are specific to white wines, and this is the best way to enjoy both of these options, as it will help you get acquainted with the depth of the flavors they have to offer. 

Ready to Try Something Amazing?

Whether you’ve decided on the Austrian or German white wine, we have something amazing for you to try. Our 2018 Ramos Vineyard Gewürztraminer offers a spicy complexity you’ll love. The aromas of lychee and rose petals will touch you the moment you open the bottle. As you taste it, you’ll notice hints of passion fruit, melon, and tangerine.  This wine is so loved, it’s been given award after award among North American Gewürztraminer varieties. 

Ready to try the Grüner Veltliner instead? Consider our 2018 Spring Creek Vineyard Grüner Veltliner. The single driest wine we make, you’ll find high minerality that’s carefully balanced with flavors like citrus and white peach. Ideal if you’re serving aromatic foods like lentils and chili, this is one that will complement your table again and again. 

At Pacific Rim, we’re passionate about crafting world-class wines, and these two are no exception. Ready to order? Grab a bottle of both so you can hold your own tasting and decide which one best meets your needs.


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