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Odd Pair: Gingerbread and Gewurztraminer

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During the holidays, you can't escape desserts. If they're not staring you down at the office, they're waiting for you at the multitude of holiday parties. Well, we aren't any different. If you can't beat them, join them, right? In this holiday version of odd pairings, we bring you gingerbread. Now, to be honest, gingerbread was not our first choice. We really wanted to pair wine with candy canes. What's the holiday season without candy canes? But, the wine experts at Spec's looked at us like we were crazy. "The mint in the candy canes would kill wine," they explained. Okay, on to plan B - gingerbread.

They recommended a Gewurztraminer to pair with our gingerbread. "The Gewurztraminer is not as thick as a Riesling," they told us. "The wine has more going on and will support the spice of the ginger." But pairing a sweeter wine with sweet gingerbread? Wouldn't that be a sugar overload? They explained that the sweetness of the gingerbread would kill the fruit in a drier wine. We took the suggestion, and they chose an Alsatian Gewurztraminer, a 2006 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Alsace, which is not as sweet as the German Gewurztraminer.

What struck us first about the Alsatian Gewurztraminer was the amber color of the wine - almost like liquid gold. It was surprisingly complex, with an apricot flavor and floral note. The slightly sweet flavor of the wine didn't compete with the spiciness of the gingerbread, but it also didn't do anything to enhance the flavor. The pairing was okay, but we won't run back for seconds. The good news is that we were pleasantly surprised by the drinkability of the Gewurztraminer and will continue the quest for a good pairing.

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