Friday, September 15, 2006

“A” is for Albariño

Well, it’s Friday and I don’t have much time to write. Unfortunately, my pesky job frequently gets in the way of the things I’d rather be doing—like going on and on about wine.

Today's topic is: what I drank last night.

Albariño! No, this isn’t the latest shooter or the modern version of muscatel. Albariño is an awesome Spanish white wine. Green’s is featuring the wines of Spain for the next couple months and Spanish wines are getting a lot of press these days, so I thought this would be an interesting wine to talk about.

Now I know I promised to hold back on the poetic wine descriptions, but I’ve got to tell you what it tastes like, right?

Think of the flavor of albariño as pinot grigio on performance-enhancing drugs. It’s popping with apple and pear with a hint of lemon zest, and it finishes with a refreshing zing thanks to well-balanced acidity.

There—I’m done.

Albariño is made from the grape of the same name. It comes from the Rías Baixas district, which is just north of Portugal near the Atlantic Ocean. It’s only made in this tiny little corner of the world. The wine is made in stainless steel tanks, so there’s not a hint of oak to be found.

This is the perfect example of wines that people should drink more often. It’s all too easy, even for experienced winos like myself, to get stuck in the rut of drinking the same thing night after night. Try another type of grape, another country or just another producer. The best thing about wine is that it's so unique. You could spend every day of your life tasting new wines and never even come close to tasting them all.

Not that I wouldn’t like to give it a try.

Here’s the wine I had last night:

Burgáns Albariño Rías Baixas 2005 – you can find it at Green’s for $10.99 and elsewhere around town I’m sure. This is an easily available wine in other areas as well.

To promote diversity in wine drinking (and to annoy anyone who is actually reading this), I’ll be covering the entire alphabet in future postings, highlighting grapes, wine-producing countries, wine varieties and individual producers.

I wonder what “B” will BE??!! I told you it would get annoying.

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