Celebrate Albariño Day with spicy Shrimp & Clam Pasta
Grape Celebration days have become a popular way to promote wines from a region or from a common grape around the world. They can be a bit confusing, as sometimes the day/date seems to be a bit vague. Some, like #AlbariñoDay are placed perfectly in the calendar. August is prime time for seafood served with a crisp, refreshing white wine. Cabernet Sauvignon day is in late August, how does that make any sense at all? Recently, wineries have gotten together and extended the day to a week or more. International Albariño Day stretches over August 3-8. I love Albariño, so I’ll happily celebrate!
Rias Baixas is Albariño
The Rias Baixas region in Spain is the old world home of Albariño (pronounced “Alvarinho”), so you will often see wines labeled with just the Rias Baixas name, but they will be made from 100% Albariño grapes. Rias Baixas is in the far Northwest corner of Spain and the vineyards are placed very close to the ocean. While we think of Spain as a hot, dry place, Rias Baixas is not. With it’s proximity to the cold ocean, wines here will be lean and acidic.
Vinedos Don Olegario Albariño Rias Baixas DO 2015 (suggested $20)
From the winery:
“The Bodega Don Olegario Albariño is medium-bodied that shows opulent, powerful aromas and flavors of citrus and flowers, with tropical notes. The grapes are produced at 95 meters elevation on a 12.4-acre vineyard with 30-year-old vines in sandy and granite soils. The grapes are hand harvested and undergo a cold maceration before fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures. The wine ages 8 months in stainless steel vats on the lees before filtering and bottling.”
Eye: Clear, pale lemon yellow. Immediately on opening, a bit frizzante (tiny bubbles), not quite effervescent.
Nose: Clean, ripe lemons with just a touch of salt air. Not tart lemon, soft and ripe.
Mouth: Ripe lemons carry on in the flavor, but with a softness and medium body, not lean and tart, just nice, crisp, juicy but creamy body. No trace of oak flavor, no surprise as the wine is aged in stainless steel.
Food Pairing with Albariño
From the winery:
“With the versatility to pair with a wide range of dishes, Albariño is the perfect match. The classic pairing is with various seafood (due to the its origin), however Albariño can stand up to unexpected international fare. Albariño’s crisp, clean flavors compliment sushi perfectly, which is commonly known to be difficult to pair with wine. The Don Olegario Albariño will also pair nicely with spicy and flavorful cuisines like Indian and Thai dishes, which usually overpower other wines. Other successful pairings include soft cheeses and poultry dishes.”
As advertised, the Bodega Don Olegario Albariño is a great partner with seafood of almost any preparation. We enjoyed it with a pasta in a slightly spicy sauce served with grilled shrimp and clams. The wine had a nice fresh, cleansing acidity and played beautifully with the crushed red peppers in the sauce. Lemon tones in the dish were reflected in the lemon aromas and flavors present in the wine.
Note: this recipe can be easily made on the stove-top. In the summertime, it’s fun to use the grill! Ingredients Instructions
Spicy Shrimp & Clam Pasta
Note: this dinner comes together very quickly. Complete all prep and read through the instructions carefully before you start!
Note: this recipe can be easily made on the stove-top. In the summertime, it’s fun to use the grill!
Disclosure: The importer provided the wine with a request for a post during Albariño Week (August 3-8) if I enjoyed the wine, but no expectations beyond the request. All opinions expressed are my own.