• Molly Jean

Molly's Meal Match: Albariño

Albariño is primarily grown in the Rias Baixas region of Spain, where granite soil vineyards produce wines with crunchy acidity and a savory finish. It's important to note that Spain's most notable dry wine, likely originated in the Northeastern area of Portugal. Where it's known as Alvarhino and is one of the core grapes in the Vino Verde region.

Albariño is a challenge to grow and is a low yielding grape. Despite its challenges, its thick skin thrives in cooler climates and the proximity of the notable growing regions to the Atlantic, imparts unique salty flavors into the wine. This quality of salinity in the wine is a major identifier for this varietal.


While Albariño is not as aromatic as varietals such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer, this wine is arguably just as dynamic. It can either have crisp or a slightly creamy texture*, it can be lean with vibrant acidity, or waxy and slightly bitter. It has flavors ranging from citrus to peach, and aromas ranging from floral to herbaceous.


This delicious wine can pair with just about everything. It pairs particularly well with salty foods like scallops, seafood, risotto, poultry, grilled fish tacos, salads, light meats, and dishes with leafy herbs.


*these flavorful wines are sometimes aged on the lees (sobre lias), enhancing the aromas and flavors with a touch of creaminess on the palate.

 

Flavors + Aromas

Primary (grape and alcoholic fermentation):

Floral: honeysuckle, white flowers, jasmine

Red Fruit:

Black Fruit:

Green Fruit: green apple, pear, quince

Citrus Fruits: lime, lemon, lemon zest, grapefruit

Stone Fruits: peach, nectarine, apricot

Tropical Fruits: honeydew melon, kiwi

Herbaceous:

Herbal:

Spice:

Fruit Ripeness: ripe fruits

Other: vanilla, potpourri , saline, minerals, brine


Secondary (post-fermentation winemaking):

Yeast: biscuit

Malolactic Conversion: cream


Tertiary (maturation/aging):

honey, dried fruits, almonds

*Cellar for 5-15 Years

 

Shrimp Ceviche

La Caña Albariño (2019)


This is a delightful and fresh pairing for Spring. Not much can beat sipping on a crisp wine and snacking al fresco! This Albariño has aromas of peaches and apple cider. The sharp acidity is balanced by a faint creaminess on the palate. The textures of which are mirrored in the Ceviche - the acidity of the lime is deliciously juxtaposed by the creamy avocado.

Directions -

1. Juice 6 limes into a small bowl. Add peeled, deveined and cubed raw shrimp to the bowl. Stir to insure the shrimp is covered by the lime juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour, while the acid from the lime juice cooks the shrimp.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the veggies. Dice the red onion, cherry tomatoes, avocado and chop the cilantro. Mix together in a bowl.


3. At the hour mark, look at your shrimp, they should be plump and no longer translucent. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl of chopped veggies. I used a spoon to limit the amount of lime juice going into the mixture.


4. Gently integrate the shrimp with the veggies, adding salt and lime juice to taste. 5. Once you have the perfect balance, enjoy with some salty tortilla chips.

​Ceviche

Dry Goods:

salt (to taste)

tortilla chips for dipping

​Refrigerated Goods:

1 lb shrimp (peeled / deveined / cubed)

​Produce:

1/2 red onion (diced)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

1/2 avocado (diced)

6 limes (juiced)


 

Romesco Smothered Burrata

Burgans Rías Baixas Albariño (2020)


This particular Albariño drinks similarly to a Sauvignon Blanc - it's light and acidic with grassy aromas. I am obsessed with Romesco and the acid forward tomato sauce, aligns with the wine on your palate and highlights its herbal qualities. This wine would also pair well with the Crispy Shrimp & Romesco and Mozzarella Lamb Burger recipes found in the Cab Franc Meal Match post!

Directions -

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet place the tomatoes, whole red peppers, and slivers of garlic (skins removed). Drizzle some avocado oil over the veggies. Cook for 20-25 minutes - I pull them when the skins begin to brown.


2. Place a metal bowl over the red peppers and leave for 5 minutes. This will allow them to continue to soften. Then slice the peppers to remove the seeds and stem.


3. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, drizzle a tbsp of oil and warm it. Add in 1/2 cup of the blanched slivered almonds and torn bread pieces (1/2 inch in size). Cook until browned, stirring occasionally - about 3 minutes. I forgot mine on the stove and burned them a bit- it was still good.


4. Add 3 tbsp of oil, 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, bread pieces, blanched almonds, add the tomatoes, red peppers, paprika, cayenne, handful of parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and salt & pepper to taste to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth-ish, it should be saucy and thick.


5. In a large shallow bowl, pour Romesco over burrata and enjoy with some pita chips.

​Romesco

​Dry Goods:

4 tbsp avocado oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds

4in length French bread (I have also used a hotdog bun)

1/2 tbsp paprika

cayenne to taste

salt & pepper (to taste)


Stacy's Pita chips or pita bread for dipping.

​Refrigerated Goods:

1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes

8 oz burrata

​Produce:

10 - 12 Campari tomatoes

2 red peppers

handful flatleaf parsley

3-4 cloves of garlic


 

Zucchini Fritters

Alma Terra Albariño (2020)


These fritters are deliciously salty and have an herbaceous quality that calls for the acidity of an Albariño. You can get your full serving of vegetables, while bathing in aromas of candied peaches from the wine. This pairing unites sweet and salty, while pleasantly satisfying your taste buds.

Directions -

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.


2. Using a cheese grater, carefully grate the zucchini.


3. Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Folding the zucchini over to ensure it all has been salted. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.


4. Remove the zucchini from the refrigerator and use the bottom of a clean bowl to press on the zucchini. This will cause the water to squeeze out of the holes in the colander.


5. In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Then stir in flour, chives, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, breadcrumbs cheese and zucchini. Continue to stir until the mixture is equally combined.


6. Use an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 size measuring cup, to portion out the mixture. Form them like hamburger patties and place them on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.


7. Bake your fritters for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and cooked through.


8. Remove from the oven and serve warm, topped with sour cream and parsley.

​Zucchini Fritters

Dry Goods:

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp garlic powder 1/4 cup flour 1 tbsp avocado oil

3/4 cup breadcrumbs salt & pepper (to taste)

Refrigerated Goods:

1 large egg

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

sour cream (for garnish)

​Produce:

5 medium zucchini

2 tbsp cup of chives

fresh parsley (for garnish)


 

Charcuterie Board

Val Do Sosego Albariño (2020)

Albariño has a significant amount of acidity and a sometimes unctuous quality that makes it a great choice for pairing with meats, cheeses and olives. Look for soft cheeses or slightly hard cheeses with an herbaceous quality, any cured meat will do, and find my new favorite board item - stuffed dolmas. This salty-oily treat is an amazing and a mouthwatering pairing to Albariño.

Directions -

1. Pick your cheeses, pick your cured meats, and garnish with Spanish olives and stuffed dolmas (grapevine leaves).


2. Decorate your board and enjoy sipping and snacking.

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Albariño and checking out these pairing suggestions. If you have feedback, comments, or questions please feel free to comment below, post to The Wine Tails Facebook Page, or message me on Instagram.


Thank you Wine Simple, Wine for Normal People, The Wine Bible, and Wine Folly for providing me with amazing research materials. Follow along with The Wine Tails Pinterest page to see what gets me motivated and gives me inspiration for these pairings.


Cheers and happy sipping!

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