Albariño — Spain’s Delicious White Wine and a Great Summer Fruit Salad Pairing

Many people say they don’t like white wine because they think of overly oaky Chardonnays or sweet Rieslings. The perfect white wine in my opinion is the Spanish varietal Albariño. I have loved Spanish white wines for years; the first time I enjoyed a glass was at the Tapas bar in the basement of Harrods in London. Kevin and I enjoyed the wine so much that we bought a bottle and sat there and watched the assortment of shoppers shop at the amazing store.

Albariño & Fruit SaladMore recently with all our travels to Napa, I rekindled my love for Spanish varietals, mostly Albariño, like Mark Herold’s Acha Blanca, which is 76% Albariño. Back home in Seattle, it’s getting more common to find Albariño’s on restaurant menus. Tom Douglas’ Etta’s at the Market has had one on their “wine by the glass” menu for sometime.

The Albariño grape has a thick skin, which adds to the aroma. It can be a sweet smell of citrus, apples, peaches, apricots or even almonds and flowers. Take a sip and those same scents will hit your taste buds.

When I was assigned a winemaker to host at our recent Vino in the Village event, I was pleased to find that Albariño was going to be served. I got a few bottles to sample in order to come up with a pairing menu. The first sip of the Belmonte Cellars 100% Albariño and I new I had to pair it with fruit. I wanted to showcase the fruit flavors, but also add sweetness. The wine is not sweet itself, but dry and crisp. By pairing this with a fruit salad of sorts, I brought out the perfect combination of flavors.

Kevin and Belmonte Cellars WinemakerThe Belmonte Albariño has a peachy apricot overtone and so by taking those fruits but adding mango for more sweetness and apple for crispness the flavors all popped. I served this fruit salad on toasted sour dough bread squares — the sour dough bread gave another layer, and the wine’s crispness withstood the sourness.

For a smaller party, you could serve this salad on individual tasting spoons. Any leftovers add sugar and simmer over medium low heat and puree with an immersion blender and you’ll have a perfect summer jam!

how good is that

Great Summer Fruit Salad Pairing with Albariño
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  1. 2 mangos
  2. 2 peaches (I used white peaches)
  3. 4 apricots
  4. 2 honey crisp apples
  5. 1 lime
  6. sour dough bread
  1. Dice mango, peaches, apricot and apple all into a small dice. Toss together with the juice from lime. Set aside in fridge for at least one hour to have flavors come together.
  2. For sourdough toast squares, cut off crust and cut each slice into 6 squares. (Save the crusts and pulse them in the food processor for breadcrumbs later.) In a 350 degree oven toast the squares for 15-20 minutes till golden and firm.
  3. Serve a spoonful of the fruit salad on each toast! Take a sip of wine and then a bite and you will see how the flavors work together to showcase both the fruit and the wine.
  4. Any leftovers, for every 2 cups add ½ of sugar, bring to a boil, simmer over medium low heat until thickened. Pulse with the immersion blender for a smoother jam.
Shaun Myrick