When Spanish wine comes to mind, many of us immediately think of the beautiful Tempranillo-based reds of Ribera del Duero and Rioja. While we enjoy Spain’s red wines immensely, in summer we treat ourselves to the wide array of Spanish whites that we find at our local wine shop. While each variety and style has its own characteristics, we find that Spanish white wines are ideal with lighter summer fare, especially the fresh grilled seafood and sautéed shellfish we eat this time of year.
Rias Baixas: The main grape grown here is Albariño, used to make fresh, crisp white wines that pair exceptionally well with seafood and hold up to a touch of spice. They are generally drunk young but they will age for two or three years.
Condes de Albarei Albariño 2012: Flavors of lemon, pineapple, and melon with a clean, dry finish make this a great choice before dinner or with appetizers.
Robaliño Albariño 2012: Citrus flavors mingle with white flowers and mineral notes on the palate, with a touch of almond blossom on the finish. This is terrific with cooked seafood.
Pazo Señorans Albariño 2012: Notes of green apple, grapefruit, and tropical fruit with a hint of white flowers wash across the palate through the long, smooth finish.
Mar de Frades Albariño 2012: Clean and fresh with flavors of lemon-lime and river rocks, Mar de Frades is outstanding as an aperitif or with raw bar. Not sure if it’s cold enough? Wait for the little blue sailboat to appear on the label.
Rioja: Tempranillo isn’t the only game in town when it comes to Rioja. Many wineries here grow and produce white wines, made from Viura (also known as Macabeo), Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca, and Tempranillo Blanco, a recently discovered white mutation of the traditionally red grape. Some are made in a fresh, young style while others are barrel-aged for more complex flavors of caramel and spice. Try this Rioja, Vivianco (right).
Faustino VII Blanco 2012: Behind the old-fashioned label hides a young, bright wine made of 100% Viura that can be served on its own or with seafood salads.
Luis Alegre Viura 2012: Mostly Viura, the Luis Alegre is blended with a small amount of Malvasia for a floral lift on the nose. Pleasing flavors of pink grapefruit, peach, and lemon zest invite you in for another sip.
Next up, more of our favorite Spanish wines...