Albariño is the perfect white wine for shellfish, seafood, sushi, tapas, and Chinese food takeout.  With its creamy body, and citrus, peach and flowery notes, Albariño is the ideal wine for kicking back on the patio and enjoying it with a wide variety of shared dishes and finger foods.

Albariño (aka Alvarinho) is a Spanish white wine grown in the northwestern corner of Spain called Galicia. Common qualities of Albariño are medium to full-bodied that has a creamy body that is similar to Chardonnay but, you’ll find more citrusy notes, along with peach and flowers. Also, unlike Chardonnay, it is rarely aged in oak barrels, so you won’t find a snappy vanilla flavour to this wine.

Albariño & Seafood Pairing

The acidic tang of Albariño makes it a perfect pairing for creamy seafood dishes or pretty much anything that comes out of the sea like grilled shellfish, shrimp scampi, sardines, grilled calamari, tilapia, sole, halibut, sea bass, ceviche, steamed mussels or fresh white crab.

Albariño & Vegetarian Cuisine

Albariño is incredibly veggie friendly, and will pair well with dishes that include carrots, jicama, cucumber, celery, butter lettuce, endive, bok choy, fennel, cilantro, onion, cabbage and cauliflower.   Caesar Salad, vegetarian stir fry, earthy mushroom and bean dishes, along with creamy pastas, like pesto or alfredo all make excellent dance partners with the fresh and tropical Albariño.

Chinese Food Takeout & Albariño Pairing


Albariño is great with Chinese Food Takeout as well, due to its acidic nature and ability to pair with a wide range of flavours and conquer the saltiness and spiciness of several classic takeout dishes.

The creamy texture of Albariño complements the earthy flavours you’ll find in egg rolls, spare ribs, and stir-fried rice.  Albariño is not a fan of beef, but since most Chinese takeout is all about pork, chicken and shrimp, you shouldn’t have any issues here.  Even if there is meat involved, it won’t be a worry as it’s usually an addition to a dish, rather than the core component.

Albariño is a fan of anything spicy, so if you love the Sriracha on your takeout, you can count on Albariño to subdue the heat, allowing you to taste all those bright flavours that have gone unnoticed all this time before.

While we’re still talking about BFFs here, you’ll love Albariño with Tapas for all the same reasons.  (the wine cuts through rich dishes, and is refreshing against anything salty or spicy).  If you’re not seeing a trend here in how Albariño is a versatile food with lighter to medium-bodied dishes, it’ll probably become more obvious with my next pairing.

Albariño & Sushi Pairing


Elegant, crisp, and juicy with its peachy keen and nectarine notes, Albariño is a star with sushi (especially if you add a touch of Sriracha to the mix).  The mineral flavours of Albariño adores the seafood goodness that Sushi serves up in spades, while the tropical notes jives perfectly with the wide variety of sushi (including tempura) you may be feasting upon.

Notable Producers of Albariño

Adega, Havens (an American version), Lagar de Forneios, Laxas, and Valminor all make excellent Albariño.

Albariño is also produced in Portugal, where you’ll see Alvarinho on the label.  While it’s still delicious, it certainly has less body and is typically lighter than a Spanish Albariño.  American Albariño tends to vary by producer, as very little is produced in comparison to other grapes.  This means slightly higher prices, but a guarantee that the wine will most likely be interesting.

 

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