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Wine Spectator School

Class 4: Major Regional Varieties

summarize: finish, balance, complexity



  1. Swirl, sniff and spit the Viognier, paying attention to how long the flavors linger in your mouth after spitting.
  2. Note finish on your worksheet.
  3. Repeat the process with your Gewürztraminer.
    • Viognier can be long, rich and spicy.
    • Gewürztraminer sometimes has a hint of grapefruit bitterness.



  1. Sip, swish and swallow your Viognier, checking for its balance of acidity, alcohol and sweetness.
    • It should have some body from alcohol, but should not be "hot."
    • It may also have a "softer" balance due to higher alcohol and lower acidity.
  2. Now sip, swish and swallow your Gewürztraminer, checking its balance.
    • Gewurztraminer can be high in alcohol, but still should not be "hot".
    • Like the Viognier, Gewürztraminer is also softer than a number of other white wines due to higher alcohol...

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