There is something very harmonious in pairing a wine from a coastal region with a dish of the sea. Such is the case with spaghetti alle vongole and an Albarino from Rias Baixas.
Galicia, in northwest Spain, is home to the Rias Baixas wine region, with its main grape variety called Albarino. The region is subdivided into three distinct areas: Val de Salnes on the western coast, and O Rosal and Condado de Tea on the Portuguese border. Albarino represents over 90% of the planted vineyards in the Rias Baixas region. The Albarino grape produces light-to-medium-bodied wines that are dry, refreshing and have a lively acidity with ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Most Albarino-based wines produced in Spain will be aged in stainless steel tanks to preserve the grape’s fresh, fruity characteristics.
A fantastic example of Rias Baixas Albarino is the Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino 2010. This wine is produced from estate-grown vines and purchased grapes from older vineyards in the Val de Salnes sub-region of Rias Baixas.
Tasting notes: A clear light yellow-gold color, with a fragrant nose of melon, citrus and honey. Ripe tropical fruit and citrus flavors, with floral and honey notes, coat the palate before you experience the clean, crisp finish. This wine beautifully illustrates a balance between ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors and crisp acidity.
Pairing ideas: The Nessa Albarino 2010 paired perfectly with the spaghetti alle vongole – not surprisingly, as the varietal is from Galicia Spain, a region well known for shellfish. Also pair Albarino with fish tacos, summer salads or enjoy by itself on a warm summer afternoon.
A good Spaghetti alle vongole recipe can be found here: www.jamieoliver.com