Albariño (al-bar-EEN-yo)

One of the liveliest white wines in Europe and considered one of the best wines for seafood, albariño comes from the region Rias Baixas (REE-az BUY-shaz) along northeastern Spain’s ruggedly beautiful and very green northwestern coast (it looks like Ireland). In the last decade, albariño has become Spain’s most notable and delicious dry white table wine, even though the dry whites of Rioja (made from the grape variety viura) were once better known. Albariños are floral and citrusy, but not quite as aromatic as, say, rieslings or gewürztraminers. They are rarely made or aged in oak and are best when young and snappy. Interestingly, unlike most Spanish (or European) wines which are named for the place from which they come, albariños are always labeled just that—albariño. (See also Rias Baixas). Albariño, for all of its fame in Spain, probably originated in northeastern Portugal where it has grown for centuries and where it is known as alvarinho. It is still grown widely there and is the core grape in vinho verde.


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