Assýrtiko

(A SEER-tee-ko )
Synonyms: Arcytico, Assirtico, Assyrtico, Asurtico, and Asyrtiko

Wine Name: Assýrtiko

Background: Assýrtiko is a minerally tasting grape from Greece especially from the volcanic Santorini Island and some other Greek Islands. It is a unique grape in that it retains acidity when it ripens. Grown in ampeles, nest-like bushes very low to the ground, that protect the grape bunches from the hot sun and winds, these grapes produce both a bone-dry wine with citrus aromas and an earthy, mineral aftertaste. Sometimes the grape is used to produce sweet wines.

Classic Brands and Sources: Argyros, Boutari Winery (Santorini), Domaine Sigalas, Hatzidakis Santorini

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical Greek, dry style

Body – light

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
pairs well with medium acidic foods (eg. yogurt) and fresh herbs,

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
seafood and shellfish with acidic sauces, Taziki, yogurt and sour cream dips, hummus, kebabs, chicken, pork and lamb with herbs,

Cheese Pairings:
Feta, goat’s cheese (fresh), Parmigiano-Reggiano, other acidic cheeses

See also Appetizers for Assyrtico and other dry, light, lemony wines

Arneis

(are-NAYS)
Synonyms: Barolo Bianco, Bianchetta, Bianchetta d’Alba, Bianchetta di Alba, Bianchetto, Bianchetto Albese, Bianchetto di Alba, Bianchetto di Verzuolo, and Nebbiollo Bianco

Wine Name: Arneis, Roero Arneis, Langhe Arneis

Background: The Arneis grape of northern Italy makes a dry crisp, floral white wine especially in the regions of Roero and Langhe. It is a low acid grape and was often used to in the past to soften the strong tannins of the Nebbiolo grape when making Barolo wines. Now it is most sold as a varietal bottling under its own name or is used occasionally in white blends. It has aromas and tastes of pears, peaches, apricots and almonds. Occasionally a sweeter version is produced from raisinated grapes.

Classic Brands and Sources: Ceretto, Cristina Ascheri, Fratelli Giacosa, Pio Cesare, Vietti, (Italy); Jacuzzi, Seghesio, Viansa (U.S.), Coopers Creek (New Zealand)

Characteristics:

Style #1 – DryBody – medium (-) to medium

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with light to medium body savory dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Pasta with cheese, vinaigrette with oil to vinegar ratios of more than 2:1 ratio, fish, shellfish, chicken, veal and pork with creamy or buttery (savory) sauces

Cheese Pairings:
American, Colby, Mild cheddar, Velveeta, Double Glouchester (similar to mild cheddar), Fontina, Gouda, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Triple Creme, St André, Zamarano (Spanish sheep’s milk cheese), Brie and Camembert (without rinds)

Albariño

(ahl-ba-REE-n’yo)
Synonyms: Alvarinho (Portuguese), Albarín Blanco, Cainho Branco

Wine Name: Albariño, Alvarinho, Vinho Verde,

Background: 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, produces a very light, low alcohol, unripe and acidic wine called Vinho Verde (literally “green wine”). It does not have the aromatics of the 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

Characteristics:

 

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