Albariño Food Pairing

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Published January 25th, 2023

Albariño is one of the most famous varieties grown in Spain and Portugal.

Albariño Food Pairing.

Despite being so popular, the history of the grape is a bit shrouded in mystery, because its origins are still unknown. It may be the most prized grape of the Rias Baixas region of Spain, where more than 90% of the vineyards are devoted to it, but nobody can tell how it found its way to the region.

What we know is that the grape’s meaning is rooted in the Latin word “albus” which means”white” and that it is absolutely tasty and a perfect pair for a variety of dishes, from seafood to creamy cheeses. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Albariño food pairing, so make sure to stay with us until the end to find some mouth-watering combinations.

Albariño food pairing: the basics

Albariño has aromas of tropical and stone fruit, as well as citrus notes and a characteristic herbal sensation that makes it reminiscent of Gewurztraminer and Viognier wines. On the palate it’s medium to light with a strong acidity, guaranteed to leave your mouth feeling refreshed after every sip.

Albariño wines are usually consumed young and fresh, within a year or two from bottling, but due to the high acidity of the wine and the phenolic compounds that come from the grape’s thick skins, they have incredible aging potential.

Albariño in Spain and Alvarinho in Portugal

Like we mentioned in the beginning of this article, Albariño is the star of the Rias Baixas region in Spain. Albariño wines produced in the area are some of the world's most elegant white wines. The wine region is located in Galicia, a lush green area in northwest Spain on the cool Atlantic coast. Albariño from Rias Baixas is crisp, light, and refreshing, owing to its misty, coastal terroir and it’s also a perfect match to Galician food, as we’ll see later in the article.

Vinho Verde literally translates to “Green Wine”.

In Portugal, where they pronounce it as “Alvarinho”, the grape is blended with other white grapes to produce the Vinho Verde wines in the province of Minho. The wines have a slight sparkle due to their natural acidity and lower alcohol content. Vinho Verde literally translates to “Green Wine”, but in this sense, it means "young wine" because the wines are released three to six months after the grapes are harvested.

In Portugal you can also find the single varietal Alvarinho Vinho Verde wines that are occasionally bottled with a small amount of carbon dioxide, resulting in wines with a light, sparkling mouthfeel. They were the first Portuguese wines to be widely labeled and recognized by their varietal name, and their increasing popularity has resulted in a surge in availability and price.

Is Albariño sweet?

I can hear a lot of you with a sweet tooth asking “Is Albariño wine sweet?”. Well, Albariño wines are generally considered to be dry, but there may be some sweetness brought on by the honeydew and ripe peach characteristics of the wine.

All that pretty much sum up the Albariño wine characteristics, so without any further ado, let’s get into food pairing with Albariño.

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Albariño pairing with seafood.

Albariño pairing with seafood

Seafood is, undoubtedly, the best Albariño food pairing. The wine’s crisp and fresh aromas are an ideal match for a variety of seafood dishes. Plus, the acidity and minerality of Albariño wines refresh your palate after every sip, removing any “fishy” tastes. The grape is grown near the Atlantic Ocean, where the local seafood is delicious, and as you may know already from our other articles, we really believe in the saying “what grows together, goes together”.

Albariño pairs well with mussels, oysters, clams, scallops, shrimps and scampi, to name a few. No matter if you’re serving a seafood platter, or cooking seafood pasta or risotto, Albariño is a perfect match for any of these meals. 

If you’re looking for the best Albariño to pair with seafood we definitely recommend the 2021 Bodegas Agro de Bazan Granbazan Etiqueta Verde. Take a sip and you’ll figure out for yourself why wines from the Rias Baixas region are so popular.

Albariño pairing with fish

Because of its acidity and minerality, Albariño is also an excellent choice for a variety of fish dishes, from lighter to heavier. Grilled or baked fatty fish pairs well with an Albariño , but you can also try it with deep-fried fish because the wine's high acidity cuts through the fat in the food, making it a delicious pairing. Other fish and Albariño food pairing options include fish tacos, ceviche and codfish based dishes.

Winner of the Berlin Wine Trophy Gold award for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020 vintage) Bodegas Rectoral do Umia Pedra da Auga Albarino consistently proves that it’s a quality wine. What better to match your favorite fish-meal?

Albariño pairing with sushi

Albariño is a delicious wine to pair with sushi because it is elegant, crisp, and juicy, with round peach and melon flavors. Albariño's saline-laced minerality will perfectly match any of the following sushi styles: Rainbow Roll, King Crab, Boston Roll, Spicy Tuna, Tiger Roll, and Tempura.

The bright and crisp Fillaboa 2021 Estate Grown Albariño, with its fruit forward scents, including peach, honeydew and crushed apple, along with its medium body and freshness will make a perfect addition to your next sushi night.

Albariño pairing with Galician food

Like we mentioned earlier, one of the best Albariño food pairings is Galician food. We wouldn’t be such fans of the saying “what grows together goes together”, if it wasn’t so accurate. And there’s a reason for that too.

While now it is very easy to find any wine from all over the world and pair it with any cuisine we like, it wasn’t always that easy. Before trade became as easy as it is today, locals had to make do with what they had available.

So they created the tastiest dishes with their local ingredients to match with their locally made wine. Let’s have a look at some tasty Galician dishes that make a perfect Albariño food match.

Fried Padron Peppers (pimientos de Padron)

Spanish Padrón peppers are only in season for a couple weeks, but it's worth picking some up to enjoy their intriguing genetic peculiarity since only one in every dozen or so peppers is spicy! You can serve them with garlic mayonnaise or fried eggs and of course, a glass of Albariño.

Albariño Food Pairing Galician-Style Octopus.

Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician-Style Octopus)

Pulpo a la Gallega, or Galician octopus, is a popular appetizer served throughout Spain today. It originated in Galicia, a region of northwest Spain where octopus (pulpo in Spanish) is a common catch for local fishermen.

Octopus pairs well with Albariño because it complements the wine's rich texture. The wine's fresh acidity will balance octopus based dishes with lots of olive oil. Serve with other appetizers dishes such as patatas bravas, croquettes, or even a cheese plate.

Gazpacho soup

Gazpacho is a traditional cold Spanish soup made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and garlic. The crisp minerality of Albariño, along with its lime and honeydew tasting notes make it a perfect match for this refreshing Galician dish.

Albariño cheese pairing.

Albariño cheese pairing

Light and creamy cheeses are the perfect Albariño cheese pairings because the acidity of the wine can easily cut through their creaminess. The richness of the wine makes it possible to pair with semi-hard such as manchego and gouda. You might be surprised but even feta cheese can be a great match for this wine, because both of them have a characteristic salinity.

We couldn’t possibly not include a Portuguese Alvarinho in our recommendations.The 2021 Joao Portugal Ramos Alvarinho has strong citrusy and floral aroma, combined with mineral and tropical fruit notes. It’s guaranteed to make your mouth water.

Albariño pork pairing

Due to its high acidity and ability to easily cut through fat, Albariño is a great match for pork based dishes, even those that tend to be too fatty, such as pork belly. If that's not enough, the meal gets a pleasing sauciness from the lemon and grapefruit flavors of wine.

Albariño might be a native Spanish variety but there are many countries of the New World that have started making their own versions with amazing results. We definitely believe that the 2020 Folktale Winery Albarino is a great example of what the New World can bring to our tables.

Albariño and chicken

Albariño goes nicely with chicken recipes that are lighter in flavor, particularly when the chicken is cooked with herbs, garlic, and/or lemon. With its acidity, the wine pairs well with creamier chicken-based meals like chicken alfredo.

Last, but definitely not least, we have the 2021 Adegas Arousa Valdemonxes Albarino. Both this and the 2020 vintage were best sellers, so we’re definitely looking forward to the 2022 vintage, which should be out soon. Don’t miss out on it if you see it, since all previous vintages have been praised for their liveliness and freshness, well-defined fruit traits and balance.


We hope that this article has helped answer all questions you may have had about food pairing with Albariño.

Another great thing that we should mention about Albariño is that it’s not only food-friendly, but it’s also very inexpensive, averaging at $15 a bottle. So we definitely recommend grabbing a few bottles and a few of your friends and having a Spanish and Portuguese food and wine tasting event..


Photo credits juantiagues, Ricardo Bernardo