Why drink Albariño Wines

This is why it is time to drink Albariño wines
The Granbazan Albariño is light, but tasty and refreshing.

Why now is the time to drink Albariño wines

Attention all wine lovers and geeks: If you don’t know about the Albariño grape, it is time to get to know this excellent white wine grape from the land of Rias Baixas in the region of Galicia, Spain. Late Spring through the early Fall months is the best time to experience the flavors of Albariño wines. Warm weather brings out the refreshing taste of an Albariño wine. This is why it is time to drink Albariño wines.

The Albariño grape has been cultivated in the Rias Baixas area for centuries, but now the grape is found in many countries. Here in the U.S., there are many Albariño vineyards in California and Oregon. However, I favor the Albariño wines from Spain. They tend to be lighter, brighter, and more refreshing than wines from California and Oregon. They also cost a lot less.

How Albariño wines are made

Almost all the Spanish producers make Albariño essentially the same. The grapes are hand picked and crushed, and the juice is transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation and aging. It is all about letting the fruit shine in the bottle. Some producers will age the juice in neutral barrels, but this is the exception. 

Food and Albariño

The Albariño wines of Spain match perfectly with seafood dishes. A favorite dish with Albariño is fried calamari or grilled pulpo (octopus). Try it with linguine with a clam sauce. Wow!

Janelle and I were introduced to Albariño in Campastella de Santiago. We eyed patrons in a Tapas Bar enjoying bowls of small green peppers, Padrons. We ordered some and asked our server for a glass of wine to go with the Padrons. “Albariño, of course!” said the man. The Padron peppers are mild, grilled in olive oil, and when done, sprinkled with sea salt. More on Padron Peppers, how to grow and cook. You can buy Padron Peppers at farmers markets and some supermarket stores.

This is why it is time to drink Albariño wines
Padrons fried in olive oil with a dash of sea salt – scrumpious!

Favorite Albariño wines

My current favorite Albariño is the 2021 Granbazan Etiqueta Verde. I found this Albariño at Weimax Wines on Broadway in Burlingame. The price is $21.99 at Weimax, and it is also at the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa for $19.99. The wine is light and refreshing, with hints of citrus. It is a generous-tasting Albariño.

Laxas albariño at Costco
Laxas is a Costco staple

At Costco stores, look for the Laxas Albariño. It is $14.99 and very tasty, with floral notes and balanced acidity.

Another favorite is the Martin Codax Albariño. Martin Codax is a co-operative winery in Cambados, Spain. During the harvest many growers, from small backyard vineyards to larger plots, will harvest the grapes on the same days. The growers go to the winery and get their grapes weighed. Martin Codax is at Total Wines and BevMo, $17.99 to $18.99

At the Martin Codax coop the Albariño grapes to the crusher
At the Martin Codax co-op, the Albariño grapes go to the crusher

For domestic Albariño wines we like, nothing beats the Bokisch Vineyards Albariño wines. They make the best, even a sparkling Albariño, from their vineyards in Lodi.

Let us know if you have a favorite Albariño we should be drinking.

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