But Albariño shouldn't be drunk solely between June and September. Right about now, with the days shorter and the cold temperatures setting in, we can all use a lift. And with one heavy holiday meal right around the corner and more to come, I'm filling my shopping cart with lighter food options that won't leave me groaning come the New Year.
Here is an Albariño for you to look for in your local shop, as well as some menu suggestions for dishes to serve with it. One final note: if you will be having a mountain of leftovers in your fridge this Friday, Albariño is your friend. Turkey sandwiches and leftover Waldorf salad will be spectacular with this wine.
2009 Condes de Albarei Albariño Salneval (available for $8-$16) This is a wonderful example of the grape that showcases its versatility and food friendliness. It manages to be fresh, lively, yet mouth-filling at the same time. A nicely-balanced set of aromas and flavors including apple, lemon, and bitter orange finish off with a nutty, slightly salty edge that reminded me of Marcona almonds. Excellent QPR, and a great starter bottle if you're not familiar with the grape. This will set a good benchmark for future comparison.
In addition to turkey leftovers, try your Albariño with these recipes from your favorite food magazines:
- a quick version of the Portuguese cataplana stew of sausage and clams from Food & Wine
- seared scallops with fennel and grapefruit salad from Cooking Light
- chicken curry with green apple and coconut chutney from Bon Appetit
- Rachael Ray's Baja-Style Fish Hand Pies