The mofo guide to albariño
Albariño, mofos. This white grape from northwestern Spain and Portugal has got it going on. Here’s what to expect, and what it does so well.
Why mofos like albariño
Whilst the rest of Spain is dominated by red wine production, up in the northwest region of Rías Baixas you’ll find the albariño grape holding court. Here on the Atlantic coast, with an yearly average rainfall that’s higher than even the UK further north, it has well and truly ploughed its own furrow. With vibrant aromatics, driving acidity and an uncanny ability to pair with the region’s maritime delights, it ranges from young and fresh to more textured and developed examples that have been aged on lees.
What to expect with an albariño
On the nose, expect to find floral and fruity aromas like citrus blossom, lemon, grapefruit and nectarine, plus a saline hint that takes it to the next level.
On the palate, albariño has a refreshingly high acidity that wakes up your taste buds like a dip in a cold plunge pool. Typically light bodied, that same blossom and citrus carries through, with more concentrated examples pushing into apricot and white peach territory. And that salinity? It can be as light and crisp as a spring morning or as bracing as an Atlantic breeze. Expect also to find a bit more texture, body and concentration with more premium examples that have been aged for a bit on their lees too.
What temperature should I serve albariño at?
Because of that naturally high acidity, albariño is best chilled to 7-10ºC (around 45 minutes in the fridge before you plan to drink it). That way you’ll get the best of the aromatics and make the most of the refreshing acidity.
What foods pair with albariño?
No matter the albariño you’re reaching for, seafood will be the winning pairing - “rías” in “Rías Baixas” means “inlet”, so look to those fish that stick closer to shore. Mussels, oysters, crab, lobster, moreton bay bugs all love to pal around with albariño at the table, and it’s also fantastic oceanic fish like barramundi too.
When should I be drinking albariño?
Albariño is a perfect summer-autumn sipper, or as a sidekick to your favourite seafood dishes. So go ahead, pour yourself a glass and let the good times roll.
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