I recently decided to cohabitate with my better half. In addition to blending our hodgepodge furniture, it also meant bringing together my love of dry red wines with his inexplicable desire to drink sweet whites. Let's just say I've been drinking far too much Riesling. 

In my desire to appease his palate, I recently picked up a nice, cheap bottle of Fetzer Gewürztraminer. For $7, the "Shaly Loam" by the purveyors of boxed-wine is actually drinkable, though sugary. I don't like sugary wines, but I remembered that there are some great qualities to Gewürztraminer. My search to find the side of "G wine" that I prefer took me to my old stand-by bottle shop, Bine and Vine. 

The 2012 Claiborne and Churchill Dry Gewürztraminer called my name with the promise of spice and fruit. At $20, it tipped my wine budget for the week, but I have to say it was worth it. Despite being 100-percent tank-fermented, the wine was round and supple, with a smooth finish made possible by just the tiniest bit of residual sugar—according to C and C's spec sheet, .008 percent residual sugar, to be exact. 

After the wine warmed a bit, the scent of orange blossom was intoxicating, as was the wine, at close to 14-percent alcohol. The flavors of pear and lemon were bright without being sharp. A peppery twinge in the finish smoothed into light apricot essences. The wine is like my favorite fruit tray, with all the melons and citrus I love and no syrupy elements to ruin it. 

Doing a little research, I found that the brand, based in San Luis Obispo County, specializes in dry wines inspired by those of Alsace, France, and that they've produced this varietal for 30 years. Claiborne and Churchill's website has the 2012 vintage sold out, with the 2013 going for $22. 

But enough numbers—I have to go blow my paycheck on whatever Bine and Vine has left in stock.

Write to jenv@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_VT.


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