WWBG: Albarino and Vinho Verde


Editor’s Note: This weekly column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

A glass of white wine paired with seafood is a great way to enjoy a summer evening. An even better way is if that wine comes from the coastal areas of Spain and Portugal.

Albarino and Vinho Verde are quickly becoming summer favorites for white wine drinkers.

Pair these wines with crabs, shellfish and any fresh catch and you’ve got yourself a delightful meal.

Albarino is a variety of white wine grown in the northwest region of Galicia, Spain. It’s a perfect match of wine and culture. The fishing industry is what drives Galicia’s economy, and nothing pairs better with seafood like Albarino does. Albarino’s intense fruit character, lively acidity, moderate alcohol and mineral overtones make the wine taste almost like fresh sea breeze in a glass.

Vinho Verde is a not a grape varietal, but the name of a wine made in Portugal’s northwest region of Minho. Vinho Verde literally means “green grape,” but translates as “young wine,” because it is meant to be consumed within a year of bottling. Vinho Verde is often blended with Albarino and local varieties Loureiro and Trajadura. Since Vinho Verde is bottled so quickly, a natural quality emerges, making the wine slightly sparkling. This makes Vinho Verdes extremely fresh and effervescent.

Here are a few Albarinos and a Vinho Verde that would go great with your next seafood dish at home.

La Cana Albarino 2011 Rias Baixas, Spain

La Cana Albarino, SpainThis is a serious, beautiful Albarino. With a 91-point score from International Wine Cellar, this is a perfect Albarino to try for the first time. This wine gives off lively citrus flavors, fine minerals, seashell and salt aromas, and a silky smooth finish. Delicious.


Casal Garcia 2012 Vinho Verde Portugal

Casal Garcia 2012 Vinho Verde, PortugalAs Portugal’s top-selling Vinho Verde, Casal Garcia continues to produce a great inexpensive bright summer wine. The goal with this Vinho Verde is refreshment, not complex flavors. With a slight carbon dioxide hint, this wine pairs easily with many cold seafood plates and extremely well with sushi.


Legado Del Conde Albarino 2012 Rias Baixas, Spain

Legado del Conde, SpainLegado Del Conde Albarino is a full-bodied, rich, dry style of Albarino. Extremely floral on the nose with a bouquet of pear, peach, and melon this Albraino has a perfect balance of complex fruit and toasty flavors making it perfect with any grilled seafood and steamed lobster.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

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