Albariño - crisp white aromatic wine: what's not to love?
In honour of one of my best-selling white wines, Ferrum Albariño, let's take a look at the Albariño or Alvarinho grape and why Albariño wines are becoming increasingly popular. I latched on to this grape variety (pronounced phonetically as Alba-reen-yo) several years ago and have been slowly converting people over to its wines; in my opinion, Albariño, especially from the Rías Baixas DO, is one of the best Spanish still white wines today.
- concentrated perfumes of various fruit - peach flesh, apricot, melon and citrus fruit - with some apple or orange blossom notes.
- a very fruity palate - green apples, peaches, apricots, melon and citrus fruits especially lime - with hints of spice and almonds. Also minerality and sometimes with a little salinity
- despite its complex and sometimes intense flavours, a light to medium body
- mouth-watering crispness
- low-ish alcohol levels of c. 12%
Where to find Albariño
When to drink it
Albariño wine is not produced for keeping. Although some producers are experimenting with oak which would provide a structure more suited to ageing, oak has a tendency to overpower the grape's flavours so needs careful handling. Albariño is produced for drinking relatively young, at 3 to 4 years of age though well made Albariño can keep a little longer.
Given its lovely acidity Albariño can be consumed without food, as an aperitif or at a get-together with friends.
Food-wise it works especially well with:
- fish because of the hint of saline minerality in much of the wine, including oily fish
- most fish dishes including fish served in Mediterranean tomato-based sauces
- spicy dishes including Thai and Indian food and tagine
- goats cheese
If you look at my guidelines for food and wine-matching tips the intensity of the dish should be matched with the body of the wine and therefore the relatively complex and intense Albariño can cope with quite strongly flavoured dishes.
It's time to give Albariño a try
...especially if you haven't tried it before. As mentioned above I was really torn between Aromatic Whites and Crisp Light Whites when categorising the style of the Ferrum wine so....
You should try it if you are a fan of
- aromatic wines like Soave, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Grüner-Veltliner
but also if you like
- crisp light wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Arneis and Grechetto.
As the Albariño grape is becoming better known, indeed positively fashionable, it is likely to go up in price however it can currently represent very good value for the quality.
© Wines With Attitude Limited, www.wineswithattitude.co.uk
Lindsay Cornelissen DipWSET is passionate about good quality wine and set up Wines With Attitude to share that passion with other wine lovers.
Read More of the Latest News
Sign up to my newsletter for notification of new wines, blog posts and subscriber-only sales.