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Synonyms: Alvarinho (Portuguese), Albariño (Spanish), Albarín Blanco, Abelleiro, Albarina, Albelleiro, Alvarinha, Azal Blanco, Cainho Branco, Galego, Galeguinho, Paderna

Wine Name: Albariño, Alvarinho, Vinho Verde,

Background: Alvarinho is the Portuguese name for Albariño and therefore the same grape as Albariño. Its name, “Alba-Riño” means “the white [wine] from the Rhine”. Albariño is currently one of Spain’s most fashionable white grape varietals. It produces a light aromatic wine with lemon, grapefruit, apricot and white peach scents, similar to a lighter version of a Viognier. The Rias Baixas region of northwestern Spain is the best known producer. In Portugal, Alvarinho, the same grape with a different name, is used to produce a very light, low alcohol, unripe and acidic wine called Vinho Verde (literally “green wine”). It does not have the aromatics of the Spanish Rias Baixas Albariño but it is often made with a little “frizzante”, small bubbles that give a refreshing tingle to the palate. Occasionally some red grapes are thrown in to make it a rosé or pale red color. It can be a delightful summertime wine.

Classic Brands and Sources: Spain: Agro de Bezán, Benito Santos, Bodegas Fillaboa, Bodegas Valamor, Burgans, Lagar de Cevera, Martin Codax, Quinta da Aveleda; U.S.: Artesa, Gallica


Style #1 – Rias Baixas

Body – light to medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – fruity but dry

Tannins – low

Style #2 – Vinho Verde

Body – light to medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry with frizzante

Tannins – low



Wine and food pairing guidelines:
pairs well with moderately acidic, light bodied dishes, saffron

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
seafood (especially grilled and slightly spicy), Cajun flavored dishes (e.g., jambalya, creole sauces), cerviche, chorizo, paella, sushi, lemon chicken, pizza, tomato-based acidic pasta, salads, vegetable dishes

Cheese Pairings:
Feta (sheep’s milk), Garrotxa, goat cheese, Gouda, Manchego, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Murcia, Bucheron (French goat cheese), Roncal, Tetilla, dry Jack cheese, cream cheese, Neufchatel

See also Appetizers to pair with Albariño