In this article, we spoke with Devin Perez, a Spanish native and sommelier with the Rusty Pelican located in South Florida. He provides insight into the Spanish grape variety Albariño and the wine regions it’s found in.

What Does Albarino Taste Like?

Albariño closely resembles the flavor of some Sauvignon Blanc’s, however it is not as herbal or vegetable-forward as a typical Sauvignon Blanc. It tends to exhibit notes of citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and lemons, as well as stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines. Albariños tend to be bone dry and are usually very acidic.

The grape grows in the region of Galicia, which is located in the Northwestern part of Spain. The specific area in Galicia that grows Albarino is dubbed Rias Baixas. An area that is mostly surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, which contributes to its maritime climate — allowing for cool nights to help lock in that high acidity.

Some say it is no coincidence Albariño grows so well here, since the grape originated in Northeastern Portugal, where it’s known as Alvarinho. If ever it was said that the food and wine of a land were interconnected, you would be hard-pressed to find better examples than within Galicia, with its lively bright white wines and love for seafood.

You could drive around the coast and find fishing towns centuries old that are still locked in time. Multiple generations of fisherman still populate the coast and have all intention of continuing to do so. It truly is a beautiful partnership, that of Albariño and seafood. Also a region we highly recommend visiting!

RELATED: Visit These Stunning Vineyard Resorts in Galicia Spain

What other Spanish white grape varieties are worth trying but may not be receiving much press lately?

Albariño has taken the claim of being the most popular white wine coming out of Spain. Cava – Spain’s answer to Champagne and Prosecco – does not get as much exposure in the sparkling wine category (it does have some stiff competition) and as such, you can sometimes find some hidden gems for a fraction of the cost. Vinification laws in Spain are not as strict as those as in Champagne, therefore you can find some interesting wines thanks to their ability to blend more grapes together.

Additionally, Sherry (Jerez as it is named in Spain) is a wonderful fortified wine for exploring intimately.

Lastly, in the red-grape dominating region of La Rioja (90% of all wine from there is red) comes Viura.  This is a nice aromatic white wine with light fruit flavors and good acidity.

Learn About These Other Wine Grape Varieties

Chenin Blanc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Petit Verdot
Pinot Grigio
Pinot Meunier

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Citrus Fruits (Grapefruit and Lemons)

Stone Fruits (Peaches and Nectarines) 

Earth & Mineral Notes

Vegetable, Asparagus, Eucalyptus, Black Olive

Additional Complexities

Smoke, Walnut, Grass

Structure & Body

Albarino Wine Profile

Body Medium

Sugar Dry

Tannins Light

Acidity High

Alcohol Medium


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