Home > Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spanish wine, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #71: Grape Trivia – Albariño

Weekly Wine Quiz #71: Grape Trivia – Albariño

Albariño grapes, as shown in Wikipedia

Albariño grapes, as shown in Wikipedia

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series, still focusing on the white grapes, and today’s subject is Albariño.

According to the legend, Albariño was brought to Galicia region of Spain some time in the 12th century, of course by nobody else but monks. But it was not until almost the end of 20th century that Albariño wines became well known and well recognized in the world. Albariño is the main grape in the Rias Baixas region of Spain. Rias Baixas became a DO (Denominación de Origen is Spanish definition of the quality of agricultural products, similar to AOC in France) for Albariño in 1980. The rules had to change after Spain joined European Union, which doesn’t allow DO definitions for the single grape, so the new rules had being put in place in 1988, allowing for a number of other grapes, such as white grapes Loureira blanca, Treixadura, Caiño blanca, Torrontés and Godello, to be included into Rias Baixas DO wines.

Albariño makes perfect summer white wines. It usually combines very expressive aromatics of bright white fruit, with zesty, lemony and dry palate, making it perfectly drinkable by itself or with the wide array of summer dishes. While Albariño is literally considered to be the most important Spanish white grape, it is also successfully growing now in the other countries, such as Argentina, United States and others. In Portugal, Albariño had being known for the very long time under the name of Alvarinho, where it is often used in making of the Vinho Verde wines.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Explain the origin of the name Albariño

Q2: What kind of food is typically expected to be paired with Albariño?

Q3: When Albariño was first planted in California?

a. 2000

b. 1996

c. 1992

d. 1988

Q4: For the long time, winemakers in Australia thought that they are making Albariño wine – until it was recently found that due to the mistake, what they thought they planted as Albariño is not Albariño at all, but a totally unrelated grape. Do you know what grape it was?

Q5: Val do Salnés is one of the sub-regions in Rias Baixas, making wines from Albariño grapes. True or False: to be labeled Albariño Val do Salnés, the wine must contain 100% Albariño grapes

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. Michael
    August 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

    A1: Alba-Rino means white from Rhine, so the origin is Alsace, France, and it’s related to Riesling.
    A2: The wine is of high acidity, so it pairs best with seafood, especially row – oysters, muscles, or any other food where you would all lemon juice.
    A3: b.1996
    A4: Savagnin
    A5: True.

    • talkavino
      August 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for playing, Michael! Great answers. My answers are coming on Wednesday.

      • Michael
        August 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        It was fun. Correction:

        A2 The wine is of high acidity, so it pairs best with seafood, especially raw – oysters, muscles, or any other food where you would add lemon juice.

        • talkavino
          August 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

          thanks – correction accepted : )

  2. August 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I love Albarino but know very little about it as evidenced by my inability to answer the questions. i will Google, read, and learn more due to your prodding. Thanks. But, is the answer to the first question – the name comes from the first farmer to grow the grape – Alain Barino?

    • talkavino
      August 24, 2013 at 11:34 am

      quite honestly, this is what I like about quizzes – whether I’m creating one or answering one – they force you to do the research and learn. You still have time until Wednesday to come back with your answer : )

  3. shirazrat
    August 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    A4: The problem happened in 1989 with the propogation material supplied to the CSIRO – the so-called albarino vines from Spain turned out to be actually savagnin. Lots of angst and unhappiness from wineries who had labelled their wines as albarino. Over 50 wineries in Australian now have a savagnin, where it is a dry and fruit driven style and like albarino (in the Spanish style) matches seafood or tapas quite well and very different to the almost sherry-like style of savagnin that is made in Jura (in central France).

    • talkavino
      August 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Thanks for the comment! I’m sure that discovery didn’t settle easily with the winemakers…

      • shirazrat
        August 25, 2013 at 8:44 pm

        Or some of the “expert” reviewers who were writing about those wines they thought were albarino. 🙂

  4. August 25, 2013 at 12:09 am

    1. Albariño means ‘white from the Rhine’
    2. Fish and Shellfish
    3. 1996 planted by the Havens, 2000 registered
    4. Savagnin
    5. False – 70% required

    • talkavino
      August 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Very solid work, Linda!

  5. August 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Thanks for the quiz. This one made me thirsty.

    • talkavino
      August 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

      sorry, hope you can deal with it : )

  1. August 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm
  2. August 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm
  3. August 31, 2013 at 8:38 am
  4. October 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm
  5. November 30, 2013 at 9:05 am
  6. June 28, 2014 at 9:20 am

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