Too often the descriptor "food wine" is used in a negative way, used to describe wines that aren't all that pleasing on their own. This is, of course, preposterous, and is just a way for writers to soften the blow when writing reviews of mediocre wines.
Wine is meant to be enjoyed with food. At least it should be. Saying that a wine needs food, should be a given.
This Dr. Konstantin Frank 2007 Gewuztraminer Reserve ($25) doesn't need food, but it sure does shine with it (or at least it did with the green Thai curry chicken and zucchini I made over the holidays.
At first, the nose is a bit austere, but as it warmed just a bit out of the fridge classic aromas of rose petals reach up out of the glass, along with gingery spice and sweet tropical fruit notes.
While medium-full bodied and decidedly on the off-dry side, this wine is balanced by terrific acidity (that may or may not have been added by the winemaker). The fruit is luscious with grapefruit, pineapple and lychee flavors filling the mouth. The finish is medium-long with a clean, minerally note that that I really enjoyed.
I tend to prefer drier Gewürztraminer, but after a bite of that spicy curry, the residual sugar tamed the flames and, even if it's a bit of a wine pairing cliche, I was reminded why this grape works so well with Thai cuisine.
So yes, this is a "food wine" in my book, but that doesn't mean it's not satisfying on its own.
Producer: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious).