The Gewürztraminer grape. It’s one of those intense, unmistakable flavors—like cilantro or ginger—that people either adore and seek out or say, “not for me.” Those in the first camp will love these Northern Michigan versions of the Alsatian wine, lusciously floral and delicately spicy.
Snag a bottle to save for Thanksgiving dinner (it’s a classic with turkey and sage-y stuffing) or for takeout night (Gewürz gets even lovelier with spicy Asian food from sushi to coconut Thai curries). For fabulous takeout pairing, travel to N.J.’s Grocery in Lake Leelanau for succulent Indian samosas and chickpea curries in the deli case.
($19.99) Of this Old Mission winery’s two Gewürz wines, this limited production vintage comes from a single vineyard, has a higher alcohol content and a more intense rose petal bouquet on the nose. Sexy, spicy finish. peninsulacellars.com.
($18) Lots of fruit flavors, a tingling spice and lingering finish. bellago.com.
($16) The winemaker makes this exactly the way the Gewürztraminer grape tastes, resulting in a highly aromatic wine layered with apricot and hints of clove. chateaufontaine.com.
($18) Winemaker Adam Satchwell would pair this spicy and dry wine with steamed crab. shadylanecellars.com.