For many years when one thought of Spanish wines, the predominant region that came to mind was Spain’s Rioja region. This has changed over the course of the last twenty years. Other regions have been receiving well-deserved attention. For instance, the Rias Baixas region is situated in northwestern Spain, west of Rioja and lingers just over Portugal. This region is renowned for Albariño, a grape varietal that produces crisp, aromatic white wines.
On a recent visit to a friend’s house in South Florida, I, who never visits anyone empty-handed, had a bottle of Val Do Sosego in tow. I was invited for dinner and knew that this bottle of Albariño would be a perfect accompaniment.
In a glass, the Val Do Sosego brings your senses to attention with its straightforward citrus notes and slight flowery hints. The scents of fruity orange and tart grapefruit are prevalent. The pale, yellow liquid summons a coastal Galician sunrise and on the palate, your tongue is awash with sharp acidity and a noted pucker of white grapefruit – yet, it’s not overbearing. It seems to ease into a delicate dryness. The wine has a subtle finish that reveals a touch of minerality which is not uncommon from a region with a cool, coastal climate and granite soil.
Overall, the wine is enjoyable, not too complex and not too fussy. At first, it taunts you like a grade-school bully, then backs off in coy disarmament. It is very drinkable and pairs nicely with seafood. The dinner I enjoyed on my visit consisted of fresh, briny seafood and rice seasoned with a faint zest of ginger and touch of red pepper spice. The Albariño helped accentuate the slight zing of the red pepper and worked in harmony with the meal’s sea-faring elements.
If you’ve never tried Albariño, it should be a new entry on your to-drink list. You might find it difficult to locate in your local grocery store, if they should stock it, your selection will be extremely limited. Albariño is a wine that you’re better off searching for at a boutique wine store or a big-box wine retailer. So there is your excuse to go wine hunting, if you’re like me, you can make a day of it!