Albariño Wine 101 - Everything you need to know - WinePros (2023)

What is Albarinho?

Albariño (or Alvarinho) is a thick-skinned green grape native to Galicia on the Atlantic coast of northern Spain. Best known as the main variety of Rias Baixas wines, Albariño is also produced in Portugal as a green sparkling wine. Known locally as Alvarinho, it is named as a variety to distinguish it from many Loureiro-based vinho verde.

In Spain, Albariño plantations account for more than 90% of the total plantations in the Rías Baixas. The complex mini-climate of this wine region results in diverse sub-regions and variations between vineyards and vintages.

Outside of the Iberian Peninsula, albariño is grown in the United States in some of the coldest areas of California, where the climate is similar to that of the Rias Baixas. Los Carneros, San Luis Obispo County, Napa County, and Santa Ynez Valley have several albariño plantations. Some wineries in Washington and Oregon also have Albariño vines. New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have also planted albariño with relative success.

The characteristics of Albariño emphasize the crispness and freshness of the flavors. The variety features high acidity and a fine texture with citrus, stone fruit and mineral elements that combine phenomenally with Spanish and Mediterranean seafood dishes. Additionally, Albariño can be oak aged or aged on the lees for a delicious style and creamy, oily flavor.

What color is the Albariño?

Albariño is a thick-skinned white grape variety with medium-sized clusters that are yellowish-green in color. It belongs to the Eurasian grape variety 'Vitis vinifera'. In fact, almost all grapes used in winemaking are members of the Vitis vinifera grape family. Before "véraison" or berry ripeness, the grapes feel hard and thick. When the "véraison" occurs, the skin of the grape changes tone, with the color of the albariño becoming translucent and golden, like most white grape varieties.

Between the "véraison" and the harvest, the grapes swell and fill with water. During maturation, the sugar content increases and the acidity decreases. Color pigments and flavor components accumulate. Warm, sunny conditions are ideal, while moderate water stress (drought) inhibits soot growth and stimulates grape ripening. Then the Albariño shows a variety of hues ranging from light green to golden yellow with intense red pigments as the variety matures.

(Video) Albariño (Everything you need to know) | Grapes 101

What does Albariño mean?

Albariño in Galician and Alvarinho in Portuguese derives from "albo" and "albus" meaning white, off-white, an indication that Albariño is a white grape variety.

How do you pronounce Albarinho?

Albariño pronunciation can be challenging for non-native speakers. But if you want to break into wine-tasting circles and earn the respect of the wine community, you need to learn how to properly pronounce the grape. There are many useful audio and video examples on how to pronounce albariño online, so check them out. The word consists of four syllables, with the third syllable being stressed. Phonetically, Albariño looks like this:


Where does the Albariño come from?

Albariño is native to the Rias Baixas of Spain, located in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Rias Baixas has a temperate and humid climate. Because of the humid conditions, vine diseases such as powdery mildew and rot are a common problem. That is why the Albariño is grown there, whose bark is thick and able to resist mold and rot. Albariño vines are grown on pergolas to also encourage air circulation.

The grape is also grown in neighboring Portugal, where it typically produces green sparkling wine. Albariño is referred to as the grape used in Vinho Verde to differentiate it from the usual Loureiro-based Vinho Verde blend. In Portugal the variety is called Alvarinho. A curiosity: Albariño wines were the first in Portugal to be recognized and labeled with their varietal name. In Portugal, Alvarinho is intended for immediate consumption.

Albariño Wine 101 - Everything you need to know - WinePros (1)

However, the Albariño is not only grown on the Iberian Peninsula. The strain has found a home in many parts of the world. In the United States, the Albariño is grown in the cooler areas of California, which climatically resemble northern Spain, where the Albariño thrives. The vineyards are located on hillsides overlooking the Coast Mountains in San Luis Obispo County. Other California areas where albariño is grown include Santa Ynez Valley, Napa County, and Los Carneros. In addition, there are wineries that grow albariño, including in Washington and Oregon.

(Video) Albariño - All About the Albariño White Wine Grape from Rías Baixas, Spain

Interestingly, the Albariño is also grown in the UK. Climate change is allowing British vintners to move away from weatherproof hybrids in favor of noble varieties. The Albariño grape is looking promising and could have its share alongside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for the production of sparkling wines in the future.

Albariño is also grown in New Zealand in the Gisborne, Nelson and Marlborough wine regions. However, very few, if any, wineries produce albariño in large quantities today. Albariño is also produced in Australia. The reason for this is that Australia has similar temperature conditions as Spain and Portugal. Albariño plantations thrive in Tasmania, where the cool climate produces excellent quality white wines. However, in the warmer Riverland region of South Australia, heavy, rich Albariño wines are the norm.

What kind of wine is Albariño?

Albariño is a fruity, acidic and refreshing white wine that is versatile and ideal for fish dishes and festive occasions. Albariño is fantastic as a poolside drink on a hot summer day or at a picnic. In fact, it's so easy to eat that wine lovers can even enjoy it in small amounts for breakfast. It's really unpretentious and tastes great when served chilled. Stock up on some Albariño wines in your fridge. When guests arrive, open them for instant enjoyment.

Is Albariño dry or sweet?

Albariño is mostly dry. However, there are also examples of dry Albariño wines. For example, in Portugal, the grape produces vinho verde, which is essentially a semi-sweet sparkling wine. As with all wines, it is difficult to define albariño in a black and white profile as many factors can contribute to a wine's ultimate character. The skill and experience of the winemaker, the location of the vineyards and the climate can drastically affect the taste of the wine.

What does Albariño taste like?

Albariño tasting notes highlight the wine's high acidity, freshness and subtle fruitiness. The aroma of Albariño is sweet but crunchy, with hints of lime, grapefruit and nectarine. Soft notes of beeswax, melon and honeysuckle are also present on the nose. On the palate, the Albariño taste shows a delicious acidity and intense stone fruit aromas. Peach, apricot and a hint of lemon zest define the palate. The finish is short, fruity with nutty elements. Consequently, the Albariño's flavor profile is invigorating with enough depth to awaken the taste buds.

When you sip an albariño with oak, expect a rich, luscious texture with ripe tropical flavors, medium acidity, and a creamy mineral finish with hints of kerosene. If stirring the yeast was part of the fermentation process, brioche bread and buttery notes are present on the wine's palate.

(Video) Lets Talk About ALBARINO - What you need to know about this POPULAR grape

How do you serve Alvarinho?

Albariño is best served chilled. The citrus and stone fruit flavors are even spicier when the wine is chilled. The perfect serving temperature for Albariño is 3-7°C (38-45°F), like a sparkling wine. In this way, their aromas are intensified.

Serve albariño in medium-sized white wine glasses, too. There is absolutely no need for expensive glass products. Decanting should be avoided entirely, as it will not help the albariño release additional aromas and flavors.

But to fully enjoy the Albariño, it must be kept cool while serving. Use an ice bucket or wine cooler for this. The bucket should be filled 3/4 full with equal parts ice and water so that the cold water surrounds the bottle. Then the water can transfer the heat from the bottle to melt the ice. The air acts as an insulator and the bottle cools down. Be careful, however, because if you chill a wine too much, you risk reducing the intensity of its aromas.

Can Albariño grow old?

Longer storage is not suitable for Albariño, as the wine must be drunk young, within a year of the date of bottling. However, there are some examples of bottle-aged or even barrel-fermented albariño available on the market. Therefore, it does not harm the wine to let it mature for a maximum of three years if it is stored in a dark cellar with constant temperatures and some humidity. A bottle-aged Albariño develops notes of dried apricots, jam, petroleum, ginger, hay and kerosene, among others.

How long should the Albariño breathe?

Most Albariño wines are light and therefore decanting them is not very beneficial. In general, white wines do not require aeration. A simple twist of the glass is enough to allow air and oxygen to come into contact with the surface of the wine, enhancing flavor and aroma. However, a nice decanter will bring out the beautiful straw yellow appearance of Albariño.

What food goes well with Albariño?

Pairing food with albariño is easy. Simply drink the wine with seafood and Mediterranean delicacies. White fish such as sea bass, cod, haddock and pollock are recommended options to accompany the wine. Try Albariño with Peruvian ceviche, Italian seafood risotto, oysters, fishTacos, steamed clams and mussels.

(Video) Albarino (Rias Baixas) - Know Wine In No Time

Also, the wine is fantastic with fresh herbs like parsley, dill and basil. And the wine's leafy notes pair beautifully with vegetable dishes. A hearty Caprese or Caesar salad, grilled vegetables, and even grilled Padrón Spanish peppers are ideal dishes served with a chilled glass of Albariño.

Albariño Wine 101 - Everything you need to know - WinePros (2)

Pairing with Albariño cheese

Albariño goes well with soft and semi-hard cow and sheep cheese. Try it with burrata, manchego, feta, gouda, mozzarella and taleggio. The cheese can be served on a cheeseboard with crackers and jam, or it can be part of a pasta or pizza dish. However, try the wine together with Galician cheeses such as Arzua Ulloa, Aged Tetilla, Cebreiro or San Simón da Costa. Finally, Mahón, Zamorano, and Roncal are also great cheese options to serve with Albariño.

How much alcohol does Albariño have?

Albariño is light and fruity and therefore low in alcohol. The alcohol content of Albariño is between 11.5 and 12.5% ​​vol. This is the typical amount of alcohol concentration for a dry non-oak white wine. However, there are examples of Albariño where alcohol levels can reach as high as 13.9% ABV. These are mostly oak wines that have also matured extensively on the yeast. Check the bottle label for accuracy and remember to drink wine responsibly.

How many calories does Albariño have?

Wine calories are high because of alcohol and residual sugar. But because Albariño is dry, with no hint of sugar, calories are low, making the wine a safe dietary choice. Carbohydrates in albariño range from 1 to 4 per cup, while calories range from 101 to 119 per serving. Therefore, Albariño wines are excellent for everyday consumption at lunch or dinner.


Albariño is a fantastic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, albeit not as progressive. With aromas of ripe stone fruit and honeysuckle and citrus flavors, Albariño is a delicious Spanish wine. Sample wine with fish dishes inspired by local Galician cuisine. After all, gastronomy and wine belong together in a region. And why not do yourself a favor and visit Galicia? Albariño is the perfect wine to appreciate the beauty of landscapes still caught in time.

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(Video) The Wine Clip: Know Albariño - 6 Key Facts


Is Albariño a good wine? ›

It's loved for its high acidity, refreshing citrus flavors, dry taste, and subtle saltiness. For seafood lovers, Albariño is a fantastic choice for pairing with exquisite dishes like ceviche, fish tacos, seafood pasta, and shrimp.

What are some fun facts about Albariño? ›

Albariño (in Spanish) or Alvarinho (in Portuguese) is a white grape variety. Its wines are easy-to-drink and light with a moderate alcohol content. Albariño can be aged in steel tanks to preserve the citrus flavor of the grape. However, the grape also has great aging potential in oak barrels.

What does Albariño wine taste like? ›

Albariño Tasting Notes

For the palate, expect notes of lemon, lime, grapefruit, pear and even a hint of beeswax. With a bit of bottle ageing, those delicious fruity flavours develop into sweeter notes of peach and apricot, and sometimes more complex notes of nuts and almond will appear.

What is the alcohol level of Albariño? ›

Albariño is a light, fruity white wine with quite a distinctive aroma and high acidity. It goes well with fish, seafood, poultry and many types of appetizers, but it is also great to drink on its own. Since it doesn't have a particularly high alcohol content (11.5% to 12.5%), feel free to indulge in a few glasses!

Is Albariño wine sweet or dry? ›

Albariño wines have a high acidity and feature refreshing notes of zesty citrus, Meyer lemon, apricot, and tangy grapefruit pith. There are some hints of subtle sweetness in the form of nectarine and honeydew. However, the wine is dry overall.

What food pairs well with Albariño? ›

Albariño Food Pairing

Try it with ceviche, seafood risotto, grilled (or fried) fish tacos, oysters, mussels, and clams. Cheese Pairing: Soft cheeses like burrata, or semi-hard cheeses such as manchego, gouda and salty feta will be killer alongside these fresh and bright wines.

What is Albariño wine similar to? ›

Albariño closely resembles the flavor of some Sauvignon Blanc wines, however, it is not as herbal or vegetable-forward as a typical Sauvignon Blanc. It tends to exhibit notes of citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and lemons, as well as stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines.

How long can you age Albariño? ›

Perhaps because it pairs so well with oysters and impromptu picnics, Albariño's aging potential is almost always overlooked. But with close attention in the vineyard, and careful decision making in the winery, this grape can make wines capable of evolving over five, 10, and even 15 years.

Where does Albariño grow best? ›

Traditionally grown in Spain's Rías Baixas region in the province of Galicia, Albariño flourishes in maritime climates. The sea-loving grape is known for its highly aromatic floral nose and white peach, apricot, and citrus flavors.

When should I drink Albariño? ›

Most Albariño wine you'll encounter is light and fresh. It is often served as an aperitif, alongside appetizers of raw fish such as ceviche, or sipped on a warm day in the sun. It's not traditionally cellared, as it's generally drunk within a year or two of bottling.

Is Albariño similar to Pinot Grigio? ›

Actually, the Spaniard albariño is more what Italian pinot grigio should taste like anyway, with hints of peach-y and apple-y aromas, a soft texture on the tongue, ending with a clipped finish from solid acidity.

What drink is 90% alcohol? ›

River Antoine Royale Grenadian Rum

180 (90% alcohol). Made in: GrenadaDrawing from the centuries-old tradition of “pot stilling”—a method of slow-distilling used for maximum flavor—this strong, clear rum is distilled from fermented sugarcane juice using a waterwheel.

What drink is 50% alcohol? ›

Whiskey. Whiskey is a spirit made from fermented grain. The ABV of whiskey ranges from 40% to 50%.

Can I drink 0.5 alcohol? ›

0.5% ABV is legally considered non-alcoholic because our body metabolises that amount of alcohol faster than we can feel any effect.

How do you serve Albariño? ›

Try serving albariño with steamed mussels, shrimp risotto, grilled octopus, or any white fish or shellfish. White meat like chicken and lean pork also pair well. Cheeses like salty feta or creamy burrata play nicely with albariño's freshness, as do fresh vegetables and creamy dressings, like a classic caesar salad.

Is Albariño similar to Chardonnay? ›

Try: Albariño

Like chardonnay, many drinkers have a preferred style of sauvignon blanc, but all prize sauvignon blanc's versatile and refreshing qualities. Albariño, from Rias Biaxas in Spain, is similar in personality, with bright fruit and zesty freshness on the palate.

What grape is closest to Albariño? ›

Sauvignon Blanc makes a good substitute as it has both the aromatic intensity and freshening acidity of Albariño. Vinho Verde white wines from northern Portugal also make a good stand-in – the area's climate sharing many similarities with that of Rías Baixas.

What temperature do you serve Albariño? ›

Full-Bodied Whites (Chardonnay, Albariño, Trebbiano, Viognier and Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, etc.) Serving these complex whites at 50–55°F enhances their layered aromatic characteristics and rich flavors. Tip: The less oaky the wine, the closer to 50°F it should be served.

What is Albariño called in Portugal? ›

Albariño is a white grape native to northern Spain (in Galicia) and Portugal, where it is called Alvarinho. It is known for its floral aromas, and is made into white wine of varying degrees of ripeness. In Spain, Albariño produces wines with balanced acidity, and a clean fruitiness with a moderately rich mouthfeel.

Does Albariño go well with chicken? ›

Albariño with Chicken

Albariño / Alvarinho also pairs well with lighter chicken dishes, especially if the chicken is seasoned with herbs, garlic and/or lemon. The acidity in the wine makes it a good choice for chicken dishes with cream and/or white wine.

Is Albariño a grape or region? ›


What is the most popular wine in Japan? ›

Among all of them, “Koshu” and “Muscat Bailey A” are the most famous. Koshu, the most prominent Japanese white wine grape, has already had a history of 1,000 years in Japan with Yamanashi Prefecture being the most famous region of production.

What is the history of Albariño? ›

The History of Albariño

The Albariño grape is indigenous to the northwestern corner of the Iberian peninsula, straddling the border between modern-day Portugal and Spain. It has been cultivated since the times of the ancient Romans, but was primarily used in blends alongside other grapes throughout its early history.

Does Albariño go with salmon? ›

Albariño is very acidic. Acid cuts through fat and oil so Albariño is a great match with fatty fish like salmon, or fatty meats like pork belly. The acidity in Albariño also pairs well with lemon based dishes as well or anything you'd squeeze a lemon on.

Why is rosé called rosé? ›

Rosé is not a specific type of grape — it's simply a genre of wine, like reds and whites. While it's produced similarly to other red wines, the time it ferments with grape skins is cut shorter. This reduced skin contact is what gives rosé its signature pink color.

What grape is Albariño made from? ›

Native to the coastal region of Galicia, Albariño (also referred to as Alvarinho) is one of the key white grape varieties of the Iberian Peninsula. The grape is characterised by high acidity and thick skins, as well as its ability to respond well to excessive humidity and heat.

What wine is closest to Albariño? ›

Verdejo. This aromatic white wine has similar citrus notes to its cousin Albariño, with aromas of grass and lemon similar to Sauvignon Blanc, making it the perfect wine to try for those who are fans of the later, specifically Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Why do wine snobs hate Pinot Grigio? ›

Wine snobs love to hate it. In many ways, pinot grigio is the Nickelback of the world of wine. The massively popular white has long been criticized for bland, formulaic and ruining wine. It's been written off as the water of wine, yet sales continue to boom across Canada and around the world.

Is Albariño full bodied? ›

Albarino is a light to medium-bodied white wine that is built around a core of acidity. With plenty of salinity, citrus and zing, it's a no-brainer as an aperitif or with fresh seafood!

Is Italian Pinot Grigio sweet or dry? ›

While France's Pinot Gris is known for its fleshy fruitiness (often using botrytis to make sweet wines), Italy's Pinot Grigio is far better known as a totally dry wine, with bitter notes and high acidity.

What drink is 100% alcohol? ›

Another strong alcohol, Golden Grain is a 100% neutral spirit distilled from grain. Similar to Everclear, it's colourless and odourless. It is majorly used for creating homemade liqueurs and extracts.

What is the least harmful alcohol to drink? ›

"Clear liquors like vodka, tequila, and gin are lowest in sugar and calories and are easiest for our bodies to metabolize," Kober says.

What drink is 95% alcohol? ›

Grain alcohol (Everclear) is 95% alcohol or 190 proof and some rums like Bacardi 151 are 151 proof or 75% alcohol. These liquors are banned in many states because of their high alcohol content. One drink = 5 ounces of standard wine (12% alcohol).

What drink is 80% alcohol? ›

Devil Springs Vodka

A spirit to be reckoned with, Devil Springs Vodka is notorious for its 80% ABV, making it one of the most lethal vodkas on this planet. People seldom drink this straight up–if at all.

What is the world's strongest alcohol? ›

Here are 12 of the strongest liquors in the world.
  1. Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany Vodka. Proof: 192 (96% alcohol by volume) ...
  2. Everclear 190. Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume) ...
  3. Golden Grain 190. ...
  4. Hapsburg Absinthe XC. ...
  5. Balkan 176 Vodka. ...
  6. Sunset Very Strong Rum. ...
  7. Stroh 160 Rum. ...
  8. Devil's Springs Vodka 160.
Jul 29, 2022

Can a beer freeze? ›

Each beer will vary based on its ABV, but a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a 10 percent solution of ethanol in water will freeze solid at 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that most beers with a standard 6 percent ABV will freeze before they get that cold.

Is there any alcohol in a banana? ›

Bananas make alcohol as it ripens, so if you like to eat them ripe with brown spots, it can contain a very small amount of alcohol. A banana at a very ripe stage contains less than 0.05g of alcohol.

What is the number 1 wine in the world? ›

What Are the Most Popular Wines in the World?
  • The Most Popular Wines in the World. There are several varieties of wine that are consumed more than others. ...
  • #8. Sauvignon Blanc. ...
  • #6. Syrah. ...
  • #5. Chardonnay. ...
  • #4. Tempranillo. ...
  • #3. Airén. ...
  • #1. Cabernet Sauvignon.
May 15, 2022

What is the number 1 drink in Japan? ›

Ramune is probably one of the most famous Japanese drinks mainly due to the unique bottle and the unique flavors it comes in. Of course among the more popular flavors are fruity ones like strawberry, peach and grape but there are also some crazy flavors like wasabi, chili oil and kimchi!

What is the number 1 red wine in the world? ›

1. Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is the world's most popular light-bodied red wine. It's loved for its red fruit, flower, and spice aromas that are accentuated by a long, smooth finish.

What does Albariño smell like? ›

Albariño offers a light and refreshing body with high acidity. Expect aromas of lemons, limes, pear, grapefruit, honeysuckle, nectarine, and occasionally orange zest on the nose, complete with subtle notes of granite and basil.


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3. Albarino Wine Tasting - Episode #241
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5. Albariño Spanish White Wine
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