It’s International Albariño Day and what better way to celebrate than drinking some! Well, as Americans, it isn’t commonplace to have some just laying around the house or in our cellars – in fact, most supermarkets won’t have it in the wine isle, so let’s take a moment to learn about the grape and add it to our regular rotation of whites and requests to local stores (if need be).
Albariño is commonly grown in the northwestern area of Spain, Galicia, and when grown in Portugal, it goes by the name Alvarinho. The name comes from the Latin word albar/alvar, literally meaning ‘white’ – referencing the grape’s color and juice.
Most commonly, Spanish Albariño comes from the Rias Baixas DO which has assisted the grapes place both nationally and internationally. That international acclaim has led to domestic plantings of the grape in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Albariño is prized and known for its quaffable nature with apricot, lemon, peaches, white flowers, and a balanced acidity that makes it incredibly food friendly – especially with grilled octopus.
To protect the grape from rot, Albariño is generally grown on a trellis system to keep them high off the ground and protected from the wet Atlantic coast climate.
The vast majority of Albariño is produced to be enjoyed in its youth, although some producers will let the juice see a bit of oak or retain some residual sweetness, allowing the wine to have an age-ability around 3 years to maturity.