This is a late ripening white wine variety whose home is the Rias Baixas and Galician wine regions of North West Spain and Portugal. These areas, under the influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean, are cooler and wetter than the rest of Spain.
In the north west of the Iberian Peninsula this variety produces light bodied wines with high acidity. The Portuguese Vinho Verde's made from this variety are often very light in body and alcohol, say 8.5%, reflecting the common practice of overcropping on pergola trellises in a warm, humid climate.
Albarino wines are very aromatic, redolent of peaches and apricots and can display a complex array of flavours, similar to Viognier but with much less weight.
It is no surprise to those who have tried these wines that this is now the most fashionable Spanish varietal white wine.
Some winemakers believe that true Albarino is a worthwhile variety and the process of importing the wine through quarantine has begun.
Many of those who planted Savagnin, and those who have tasted the wines believe that Savagnin is a very suitable variety for making aromatic white wine in Australia. See this page for Savagnin in Australia
Cirami Estate in the Riverland Wine Region plan to release their first Albarino in the near future.
Spanish style seafood dishes or tapas are the the obvious choices for food pairing with Albarino varietal wines.
However it is a very versatile variety and can be used in a similar way to Riesling with all manner of seafood dishes, especially those with garlic. Paella, pastas and risottos will be enjoyed with these wines as well.
This Book by Evan Goldstein contains many suggestions for pairing unusual varietal wines with food. One suggestion for food pairing with albarino is Steamed Manilla Crabs and Udon