Grüner Veltliner vs Gewürztraminer: What’s the Difference?


Grüner Veltliner vs Gewürztraminer is a fun comparison because these are two less common (but still accessible) white wines.

Grüner Veltliner is a dry, lean, citrus-driven white wine with high acid. Gewürztraminer is a low-acid, medium bodied, aromatic white with lychee, floral, and spice.

TL;DR: These are very different white wines. You’ll want to do a side-by-side tasting.

Here’s what you need to know about the differences between Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner.

Gewürztraminer Basics: Zippy and Refreshing

gewurztraminer wine grape profile - gruner veltliner vs gewurztraminer

Despite its Germanic name and origin, the Alsace region of France is most closely associated with Gewürztraminer wine production. Situated in the rainshadow just east of the Voges mountains, Alsace enjoys a sunny, dry climate perfect for the Gewürztraminer grape. The high latitude helps keep the grapes cool at night, prolonging the growing season and allowing Gewürztraminer to fully ripen.

Gewürztraminer is almost always dry or off-dry with a medium body and plush aromatics of ripe citrus, rose, ginger, and lychee.

Here’s more on Gewurztraminer wine.

Grüner Veltliner: Crisp and Crunchy

Grüner Veltliner vs Gewürztraminer - Grüner Veltliner wine profile infographic

Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature white wine grape. Grüner Veltliner has a light to medium-bodied profile with vibrant green apple, citrus, white pepper and a distinctive minerality.

The wine’s clean and crisp finish is achieved through fermentation in stainless steel tanks, preserving its natural freshness and fruitiness.

Helpful Tip: Here’s the complete guide to Grüner Veltliner.

Austria’s Famed Grüner Veltliner Winegrowing Regions

  • Wachau
  • Kamptal
  • Kremstal
  • Weinviertel

Wine Comparison: Gewürztraminer vs. Grüner Veltliner

Here’s a side-by-side comparison highlighting the key differences and similarities between Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner.

Characteristics Grüner Veltliner Gewürztraminer
Hue Pale lemon to green Pale to medium gold
Color White White
Aromas White pepper, green apple, citrus Lychee, rose, spice
Sweetness Dry Dry to off-dry
Acid High Low to medium
Alcohol (%) 12-13% 13-15%
Body Light to medium Medium
Intensity Medium Medium to Pronounced
Key Growing Regions Austria (Wachau, Kamptal), Germany Germany, Alsace, Austria
Classic Pairings Seafood, salads, asparagus Spicy cuisine, Curry, Mexican, Stinky Cheese
Price Range $15-$35 $15-$40

Gewürztraminer Wine Profile

  • Body: Gewurztraminer has a medium-bodied profile that will feel heavier in your mouth.
  • Flavor Profile: Flavors of lychee, rose, ginger, ripe citrus.
  • Acidity: Gewurztraminer is lower in acid than Gruner Veltliner.
  • Versatility: Gewurztraminer’s fuller body, high aromatics, and off-dry style make it a suitable pairing partner for spicery cuisine, like chili, curry, and Mexican.

Grüner Veltliner Wine Profile

  • Body: Gruner Veltliner has a light to medium-bodied profile, delivering a clean and easy-drinking experience.
  • Flavor Profile: Obvious flavors of green apple, citrus, and mineral. Gruner Veltliner won’t be as intense on the nose as Gewürztraminer, but you should get the aromas clearly.
  • Acidity: Gruner Veltliner typically features refreshing acidity, enhancing its fruit-forward nature. Definitely higher than Gewürztraminer.
  • Versatility: Gruner Veltliner is a great solo sipper or perfect pairing partner for creamy dishes, white fish, fresh cheese, and salads.

Are Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner Similar?

Yes, Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner are similar. Both wines have a spicey note, Gruner with white pepper, and Gewurz with ginger. Both are made using protective winemaking techniques to preserve their aromatic freshness.

What Is the Difference Between Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner?

Gewürztraminer is more aromatic than Grüner Veltliner, meaning you’ll it will smell more pronounced in your glass. Gewürztraminer is known for its lychee and floral notes, medium body, and low acid. Grüner Veltliner will just be zippy citrus, along with a distinctive white pepper character.

Fun Wine Tip: Grüner Veltliner’s signature white pepper is what sets it apart during blind tastings. Gewürztraminer’s signature aromas are lychee and rose.

Gewürztraminer vs. Gruner Veltliner Winemaking

gewurztraminer versus gruner veltliner winery

Winemakers commonly ferment both Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner in stainless steel tanks, preserving their freshness and fruit-forward flavors.

Fun Fact: Winemakers will rarely blend Gewürztraminer or Gruner Veltliner with other grapes. They are what’s called a “single varietal wine”, meaning only Gewürztraminer or Gruner grapes are in your bottle.

Gewürztraminer vs Gruner Veltliner: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

  • Gewürztraminer’s medium body, and floral and ginger aromatics make it a wonderful pairing partner for stinky cheeses, blue cheese dressing, and also heavier dishes with spice, like curries, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Yum!
  • Gruner Veltliner’s clean and delicate character makes it a versatile partner for light pasta dishes, white meats, and mild cheeses. It’s also a fantastic wine for sipping on a warm afternoon.

Gewurztraminer and Gruner Veltliner Serving Temperature

WineIdeal Serving Temperature
GewürztraminerChilled (around 50-55°F or 7-12°C)
Gruner VeltlinerWell Chilled (around 45-50°F or 7-10°C)

Gruner Veltliner’s leaner style means that you’ll want to serve it well-chilled, directly from the fridge. Gewurztraminer’s fuller body and aromatics will open up at a slightly warmer temperature. Let your Gewurztraminer warm up for 10 minutes on the counter before enjoying.

Most Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner wines are ready to drink immediately after opening, with no need for decanting or extended aeration.

Which Is More Expensive, Grüner Veltliner vs Gewürztraminer?

Since both Gewürztraminer and Gruner Veltliner are similar in style, knowing their price ranges can help you decide which to enjoy next.

Gewürztraminer Cost

  • Entry-level Gewürztraminer wines are usually priced between $15 and $20 per bottle. These are lovely bottles that are a good place to start.
  • Premium Gewürztraminer from renowned regions or prestigious wineries can range from $20 to $40 or more, reflecting their exceptional craftsmanship.

Gruner Veltliner Wine Cost

  • Entry-level Gruner Veltliner wines are generally available from $10 to $15 per bottle. These wines offer an accessible introduction to the grape’s delicate charm.
  • Premium and top-tier Gruner Veltliner wines can range from $20 to $40 or more, reflecting superior quality and distinctive expressions.

Which Is Better: Gewürztraminer or Grüner Veltliner?

If you prefer crisp white wines with overt citrus and a peppery note, then try Gruner Veltliner. If you enjoy fuller-bodied white wines with perfumed aromatics and ginger, then Gewürztraminer is the better wine.

Final Thoughts – Gewürztramineror Grüner Veltliner?

Gewürztraminer vs Grüner Veltliner - white wine salad

Both Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner have unique personalities that you’ll need to taste.

  • Hosting a side-by-side tasting is the best way to explore the differences between these two classic white wines.
  • Get yourself 2 bottles of similarly priced Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner, invite a few friends over, and do your own tasting.

Gewürztraminer captures floral aromatics and gentle spice that are warm and inviting in your glass. Grüner Veltliner, with its linear personality and white pepper kiss, is an attention seeking wine.

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