Today is Fragrance Day--which was likely created to sell more perfume, flowers or incense. Instead, we felt it appropriate to spotlight some seriously fragrant wine varieties--Riesling and Gewürztraminer--perfect for spring.
While nearly all wines exhibit some sort of aroma or bouquet due to the presence of chemical compounds found naturally in the grapes, Riesling and Gewürztraminer are the varieties held above all others for their pleasantly floral and aromatic qualities.
Part of the joy in both varieties is tasting and smelling the unique characters the wines exhibit when the grapes were grown in different countries--yet the wines still display their signature, varietal qualities. Think of these two grapes as like Tim Burton movies: They all look similar yet have different characters and plots--but you still instantly know the film is Burton's from a mere glimpse. You can just as easily pick out a Riesling or Gewürz with a quick sniff, but the origin of the wine adds extra dimension.
To see for yourself, pick up St. Urbans-Hof ($12) from Germany and Penfold's Hyland Riesling from Australia ($13), and taste them side by side. For Gewürztraminer, try Willm from Alsace ($15) alongside Pacific Rim ($11) from Washington. (Pacific Rim also makes some awesome Rieslings.)
For such comparisons, really note the differences in what you smell, since breathing in the aromas and letting your mouth water is what enjoying aromatic varieties is all about.
What are your favorite aromatic wines? Share your picks below.