A Portuguese Alvarinho: Zip with that seafood
It’s not too often that a Portuguese white wine makes it to the seafood spread, but here’s one to savor. Grown in the northern part of Portugal (Moncao & Melgaco), the Alvarinho grape produces a zippy flavor combo that brings out the depth of seafood flavors.
Nortico is well known for producing a light and interesting wine that, while wines from the region are often carbonated, this one is not. This probably explains why their cork and bottle top are designed like those used for a sparkler.
It turns out to be an interesting wine that has a little fresh baked bread and grapefruit on the bouquet that may actually remind some people of an expensive Champagne. But the crisp refreshing flavors minus any trace of carbonation quickly identify it as a non-sparkler.
With just 11% alcohol, it also makes for a great luncheon wine. The racy acidity and crisp personality add to its ability to pair with mid-day tapas or snacks. Too bad Albalone are on the endangered list (maybe they can farm them), because this would be the perfect wine to enjoy with a nicely cooked Abalone entrée.
A good pairing rule for most Alvarinho wines is to pick a seafood recipe that you would spritz with lemon to enhance the flavor. This well-defined pair will bring out the best in seafood flavors, even those that are very delicate.
You can find it at Total Wine for around $15. They have done well getting this selection on the shelves here in the U.S., so enjoy a taste of Portugal!
As with many white wines with zesty acid, drink along with some food, they’re not good solo acts. It is also best served a little chilled at about 55-60 degrees to bring out its distinctive bouquet.