In recent postings we've explored some of the most common red and white wines and then taken a more in-depth look at other similar wines. As we walked through the white wines, Pinot Grigio was discussed. It was described as a light-bodied wine with a zesty and thirst quenching appeal. Then, as other similar white wines were described, Albariño was introduced. But, you may have asked yourself 'What is Albariño?" and thought "I've never heard of it." Or, you may have completely passed over this relatively unheard of wine. And that would be a mistake!
Albariño (aha-bar-reen-yo) is a white wine whose grapes originally came from Spain. The wine's name, Alba-Riño literally means white (wine) of the Rhine. What could be better, right? This grape is primarily grown in Spain as well as Portugal (where it's called "Alvarihno") but has spread to the U.S. where it is grown in cooler California climates, notably Napa, Sonoma Coast and Paso Robles.
This very refreshing wine is quite dry (i.e., little to no residual sugar) and has aromas of apple, grapefruit, melon and lemon and includes flavors of peach and citrus. Albariño can have a smooth, creamy, almost oily or waxy mouthfeel and a finish with a hint of saline (yes, salt). So, if you enjoy a smooth, creamy Chardonnay, you should give this lighter white a try.
And, if you happen to come upon a Vihno Verde (Portuguese), you'll also be enjoying a wine made from Albariño grapes. This too is a light, refreshing and citrus infused wine that can be produced still or slightly sparkling.
One way or another, keep your eyes out for Albariño. If you enjoy white wine, you need to give it a try! Cheers!