Finally! White wine weather has arrived. When the weather gets warmer and the food is light and fresh, few things are as good as relaxing on the deck and sipping some white wine. There are so many greats from all over the world such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio it would be difficult to grow tired of your options. I want to throw another option that is severely underrated, yet perfect for the summer months all the same. Spanish white wine.
When thinking of Spanish wine, most will think of mind blowing red wine values that are everywhere. Yet when you stop and think that Spain has the world’s most total acreage devoted to vineyards, you would assume that there are some great whites if you wander of the beaten track a bit. This is a very accurate assumption. Spain is home to an array of whites ranging from rich and exotic to neutral, clean and crisp. Most are excellent with summer food fare too! Read on to learn more about these underappreciated wines.
When talking of Spanish white wine, you really have to start with Albarino. This is Spain’s signature white grown in NW Spain just north of Portugal. Imagine a crisp ocean breeze in a bottle – light, intense minerality with searing acidity. Throw in some exotic and complex notes and you are getting there. These features allow Albarino to pair beautifully with shellfish, various seafood and of course paella. Galician cuisine has a strong North Atlantic vibe. Over generations the wine has been made to pair with this style of cuisine and they have it down pat! Next time you have shellfish give Albarino a try you won’t be disappointed.! One of the very best producers of Albarino is Pazo Senorans. Consistenly ranked among the top white wines in Spain.
Another great white grown in Spain is grown further inland in Rueda. Northwest of Madrid the Verdejo grape grows well here. Reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, it is lighter, less exotic than Albarino but still crisp and refreshing. Grown in a scorchingly hot area, the locals need a zippy and refreshing wine quaffing wine that won’t break the bank and Verdejo fits the bill. Seldom over $15 and usually closer to $10, Verdejo may not be the most complex wine you will drink, but if you are looking for a crisp and clean food friendly wine, it is hard to go wrong with Verdejo. Larrua Rueda is a fine example of this style.
Finally, don’t forget about Cava. A great valued sparkling wine made in Spain. People forget that sparkling wine is also a great everyday food friendly wine. It is too good to only drink at celebrations! Cristallino Brut Cava is a great value!
Spain has much more to offer than delicious red wines. Some of their whites are absolutely delicious. While not as appreciated as the greats from France, Italy or the U.S., Spanish whites can be an excellent option often found for a fraction of the price as the aforementioned regions.