Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Define a "Floral, Spicy" White Wine

"A floral, spicy white that would go well with hot or aggressively spiced foods."

Spicy Whites, or conversely whites that stand up to spice, are in a category by themselves.  Imagine a richly seasoned curry, red-hot wings, barbecued ribs, or your favorite three-pepper Thai menu item.  Your average Chardonnay or Semillon would turn into lemon water next to that dish, as would most reds.  What the food needs is something with the heft to balance it - and that's where wines like Riesling, with rich, clean flavors and “zingy” acidity, and Gewurztraminer, with its floral scents and its spicy, even musky tropical fruits come in. Wines from these grapes are often slightly “demi sec” (This translates as half dry, or “with a hint of sweetness”).  That sugar balances the spice, while the zing of acidity keeps it fresh.

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