Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Evidently this past Saturday, August 4, was the first International Albariño Day. Now, everyone knows holidays like this fall into the “devised by marketing people to sell more of whatever it is” category, which means one should regard them with a wary eye. International Albariño Day is not remotely as legitimate as say, International Give a Wine Writer a Ferrari Day.
Be that as it may, the warm weather months actually are the perfect time to drink Albariño. The signature white grape of the Rias Baixas region in Galicia, on Spain’s northeastern coast, produces crisp, aromatic white wines. Typically unoaked, Albariños are stylistically akin to Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Arneis and so on, with flavors suggesting pineapple in ripe vintages, or grapefruit in cooler ones, and with a distinctive chalky-seashell mineral note.
2011 Salneval Albariño ($10)
2010 Vionta Albariño ($14)
2011 Bodegas La Cana Albarino ($15)
2010 Bodegas Don Olegario Albariño ($18)
2010 Bodegas Fillaboa Albariño ($18)
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