With temps high, many of us are craving more refreshing white wines and the most common bottles to grab are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Yet, there is a whole world of white wines to explore. As I’m studying Spanish wines, I thought it might be fun to help you discover a new summer crush with one of these flirty wines!
Spain primarily produces wines from indigenous grapes we are less familiar with making them a little more intimidating. However, unlike many European countries, they do often include the varietal on the bottle label.
Albariño has risen in popularity globally and is now being grown by winemakers outside of Spain in regions like central California. Wines made from the Albariño grape are dry and crisp with bright acidity. The most common notes will be citrus and green apple, but what makes it unique from the other Spanish wines mentioned below, is its floral aromas. Most will feel light on the palate, although there are a few fuller body examples. As mentioned above, most Spanish winemakers will put Albariño on the label, but look for those from the region of Rías Baixas. And I might be stating the obvious here, but it is delicious paired with seafood paella. It’s my go-to wine with sushi.
Godello is starting to gain popularity here in the states. This wine is fruitier than Albariño, but still dry on the palate. When you smell this wine, you’ll get notes of peach, apricot, pineapple and apple, and if the wine is a few years old, then you’ll also find nut and honey aromas. While I think this wine will also pair well with sushi, its true beauty is found when paired with grilled fish. The best examples of Godello will come from the Valdeorras region.
Verdejo is another indigenous grape to Spain, which is similar to Godello, but what sets it apart is its herbaceous fennel notes. It is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc in the Rueda region, which is what you want to look for on the wine label. This wine would be delicious with one of Spain’s famous cheeses like Manchego or Mahón.
There are also some interesting white Rioja’s, but I’d start the journey with these three. Tapas, anyone?