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Let's Chat About Wine: Albariño

By Staff in Food on Jun 13, 2014 8:30PM


I'm stealing someone's idea. But it's such a great idea and so much fun I just can't help myself. Eric Asimov, wine and food critic for The New York Times, does a monthly article in which he presents a particular wine, asks readers to drink that wine and leave comments about their experiences in the comments section of the article. I love this idea so much I'm stealing it.

Look, the best way to learn about wine isn’t to take a class or read a book, but to drink more wine and to talk about it. This can be an amazing way to learn for wine lovers of any level, from novice to expert.

So here's how it'll work: each month I'll select a type of wine and write a bit about it. Then, over the course of the month, I want you to go ahead and drink a glass of that wine when out at a restaurant, or buy a bottle to try at home. It doesn't have to be the exact label or vintage I'm drinking, but rather, just the same type of wine. As a matter of fact it'll be more interesting if you choose a different label or vintage than I choose. But if you want to see how your palate compares to mine, go ahead and try the same exact wine I'm tasting. Then, tweet your experience with that wine using the hashtag #ChiWineChat. Talk about the specific wine you tasted, how much you paid, and what you thought about it. You can follow along on twitter to see what others are tasting and saying, or wait till the next month when I'll recap some of the more intriguing tweets here. Pretty simple and it's sure to be a lot of fun.

So let's get started.

This month let's chat about Albariño.

Albariño is a white grape varietal grown in the northwest part of Spain known as Galicia, predominantly from the Rias Baixas DO or Denominación de Origen. In Portugal it's known as Alvarinho or sometimes Caino Branco. Its name means “the white from Rhine.”

Albariño is typically meant to be drunk young and is usually a reasonably priced wine. It's light, refreshing, and low in alcohol, typically between 11.5 percent and 12.5 percent ABV. Albariño typically expresses aromas of apricot, peach, citrus, grass, and minerality. It shares many of the same components, found in other aromatic varietals like Gewurztraminer and Riesling. It has a light crisp flavor that can be described as tangy or zippy. Many people say it pairs perfectly with shellfish due to its high acidity.

So let's drink some wine.

I'm tasting a Martin Códax 2012 Albariño. This wine is bright with a slightly green color. It has aromas of green apple, lime, white flowers and strong minerality. The wine is dry and the citrus comes through further when you taste it. The acidity makes it a good food wine. There's a slight bitterness on the finish. It's a tasty and refreshing summertime wine.

You can buy it for around $14 a bottle.

OK, now it's your turn. Get out there, have some Albariño, and tweet using the hash tag #ChiWineChat. There are no wrong answers here. Just have fun, learn, and most of all enjoy some good wine.

By John Lenart.