Albariño or Alvarinho originally hails from either side of the border between Vinho Verde (Minho) in North Portugal and Rias Baixas, Galicia in North West Spain. We are dealing here with a very old grape variety, proof of that is provided by a small vineyard of 300 to 400 year old vines which exists in Galicia.
Wines produced from Albariño (or Alvarinho as it is known in Portugal) offer fragrance and intensity of fruit, including stone fruit, lemon zest and grapefruit blossom. These are dry, usually light white wines with a naturally high and refreshing acidity. There have been experiments with oak and Bâtonnage (lees stirring) which can add a delightful complexity and texture. The wines are exceedingly food friendly, working especially well with a wide variety of seafood dishes.
The thick skin of Alvarinho gives it a robustness that helps it to deal with a damp climate which it certainly gets in Rias Baixas. These white wines are often relatively high in alcohol and acidity, but most importantly they are highly flavoursome. Due to these factors it can age better than most Spanish white grapes especially with some oak influence and lees stirring as mentioned above.
Albariño Vines are grown outside the Iberian Peninsula in Uruguay (Bodegas Garzon), The USA, Australia and in New Zealand where there are notable examples despite the young vine age.
Food Matches for Albariño
Arguably the perfect wine for a buffet or tapas due to it's refreshing yet amiable nature. It is great with salads or simple, unplanned and rapidly thrown-together dinners.
Albariño does though have a best friend in the form of seafood, especially shellfish. It is superb with crab, lobster and langoustines in any form. If it is not on your local seafood restaurant wine menu then they may wish to revisit their list! Try it with grilled fish, pan fried fish, squid, sushi, sea bass, sea bream, cod, haddock,hake... you get the picture, I'm sure.
White meats also combine nicely with Albariño, chicken with a citrus influence or herbed pork being two options.
Discover our Collection of Albariño and Alvarinho Wines
Discover our range of delicious, food friendly Albarino based wines from Iberia and Uruguay and please note that if you're looking for a particular wine, you can reach out to our team who'll be happy to help. Alternatively you can explore our Wine Discovery Guide or Wine Collections for some inspiration.