by Paullette Gaudet

Albariño Day_blogThe scorching arrival of August brings many things to light, most notably a thirst for cool, crisp summer wines that can be sipped without guilt well before five on a sunny afternoon. Enter Spain’s Albariño wine—a light-bodied white that presents with a relentless citrus flavor shadowed by a slight mineral aftertaste. International Albariño Day is officially August 1st, but the Albariño Wine Festival in Cambados, Spain, lasts the full first week of August. The festival started in the 1950’s when a group of friends challenged a local landowner to judge the best Albariño. A private affair at first, the competition grew to a festival that included the public (with car parades and public tastings), intellectuals, writers, musicians, folklore artists and sports figures. Now, the first Sunday of August features the Capítulo Serenísimo parade, ending at the courtyard of the Pazo de Fefiñáns where a solemn ceremony bestows awards to men and women from various spheres of society, sports, and the arts, and converts them into ambassadors of the Albariño Wine Festival. After this, the winning wines are named, giving them international prestige.

Traditionally grown in the Galician wine region of Rias Biaxas, Albariño is now being grown in North America, which merits an international celebration of this wine. Delicious on its own, Albariño pairs exceptionally well with unadorned (read: simply seasoned and grilled) seafood, particularly octopus, and roasted vegetables. Chill a bottle and raise a glass of Albariño this week to salute a superlative Spanish summer wine!