Albarino is the name for the grape varietal and the wine those grapes produce. Until the last few decades, the Albarino grape was mixed with other grapes to create wine profiles. Only in the 1980s did it emerge as a variety of wine on its own. The point of Albarino is to produce a clean, crisp wine with obvious fruit notes. European and American drinkers are fond of whites with these characteristics, so it's no wonder Albarino is a popular choice among such wine drinkers.
Spain's Underrated Wine:
Albarino comes from the Galicia region on the Atlantic coast of Spain. It's actually mostly grown in the Rias Baixas portion of Galicia. Portugal also produces Albarino, but it's mostly known as a Spanish wine, and Spain's winemakers craft more of it.
Possibly because Albarino can be a little one-note, it lacks the distinct attention that other wines get. That being said, a fruity, acidic wine with very low sweetness is something many wine drinkers can get behind. Try this wine if you're sick of Pinot Grigio, especially if you like dry whites.
Flavor Profiles in Albarino:
Albarino is dry and citrusy, and it often gets compared to Pinot Grigio. Though it doesn't have as much differentiation as some other wines (like the crazy flavor differentiations you can get between bottles of Chenin Blanc, for instance), consistency can be a magical thing. When you order Albarino, you always know you're getting some version of an acidic, fruity wine.
You'll notice that Albarino has a slight bitterness to it, especially in the aftertaste, that other light white wines lack. This element makes it great as a food pairing because that bitterness will clean your palate between bites of different foods.
What to Eat with Albarino:
The most popular Albarino food pairing is seafood. The palate-cleansing aspects of Albarino make it a popular choice when you're getting fishy things, chewy things or oily things (all which can describe seafood). It's good with food that isn't too light or heavy, so you'll love it with cream sauces, white meat and softer, milder cheeses.
Albarino can handle all kinds of spices and vegetables, making it a fabulous choice if you're eating vegetarian or vegan. It pairs well with everything, from mint to thyme to saffron. Whether you want avocado, celery, sweet potato or even cactus, you can trust Albarino to taste good with it.