Albarino

Spain is most well known for its red wine grapes, especially Tempranillo, but if people are given the opportunity to taste Albarino they might change their minds.

Unique in that Spanish wine labeling laws allow Albarino grapes to be labeled as a grape varietal instead of the growing region (wine is not labeled Tempranillo, but Rioja). The grape is also labeled as Rias Baixas instead of Albarino, which can help confuse even the most versed wine drinker.

A unique flavor profile abounds in Albarino contains flavors such a peach and almond. These wines are not aged in oak, so they tend to be lighter and crisper then many alternatives, especially when compared to Chardonnay.

Albarino is also grown in Portugal, which is not surprising given that it is native to the Spanish/Portugese border. Known in Portugal as Alvarinho the history of the grape is suspect at best, did it really come from the end of the earth as was believed in the Middle Ages? The important part for wine drinkers, if available this grape can make an interesting set of wines.