Contrary to popular opinion, the rain in Spain doesn’t fall mainly on the plain. A lot of it falls on Rias Baixas, a wine region on the cool and green Galician coast.
In a country known mostly for its red wines, Rias Baixas (pronounced “REE-ahs BY-shuss”) produces white wine almost exclusively, and nearly all of it is made from AlbariÃ±o—the name of the grape as well as the wine (another oddity in a country that typically identifies its wines by region). A famously fine match for seafood, AlbariÃ±o can be both creamy and crisp at the same time, with a mix of flavors as diverse as ginger, kiwi, grapefruit, and honey.
At Solo Vino in St. Paul, you can find a perfectly respectable AlbariÃ±o for under $11. But if you really want to experience the full potential of this varietal, splurge on the amazingly complex and elegant version from Do Ferreiro, made from vines more than two centuries old. It’s guaranteed to change your opinion of Spanish wines. —david mahoney