My name is Sarah and I'm a white wine snob. Years at university of knocking back the cheapest whites my friends and I could get our debt-ridden hands on - Fat Bird, anyone? - have given me a deep-seated aversion to most white wines.
For the last few years, I've bid sayonara to sauvignon blanc, cheerio to chardonnay and goodbye to gewürztraminer. It's my forever friend red wine that has always had my heart.
But there's a new white wine on the block which has really captured my interest and might just be the perfect pick when you're trawling the wine aisle ahead of your Ponsonby Road BYO this weekend.
Aromatic albariño is considered a summer wine that hails from the sunny shores of southern Europe, but is increasingly popular here in the Land of the Long White Cloud even as our temperatures get colder.
The albariño grape variety is native to Northwest Spain and Portugal, meaning albariño wines are known for being distinctly crisp, dry and aromatic.
Now grown in sunny Gisborne, Aotearoa albariños are fruity, tangy and super fresh. They pair perfectly with seafood like oysters, fish tacos or spicy ceviche, or the fresh flavours of Thai food.
Basically if you're a fan of a fresh pinot gris, this is the next step to take. Plus, ordering it out with the correct roll of the 'R' is sure to impress your friends.
Our picks for NZ albariños to take along this weekend:
Leftfield Albariño: Refreshing, with hints of citrus flowers and stone fruits, Leftfield's albariño is ideal for those seeking something less brash than an acidic sav but a little lighter than a full-bodied pinot gris.
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Albariño: Fresh and full-bodied, this wine has strong citrusy, peachy, spicy flavours and a dry, finely poised finish.
Babich Family Estates Headwaters Albariño: Full of aromas of lime and orange blossom with rock melon and honeysuckle and lots of spice.