5 of our favorites, and great food pairings to go with them
The West’s new Latin grapes
Alex Farnum
Albariño, an aromatic, flamboyant white with roots in northwest Spain.

Get cozy with the West’s new wave of flamboyantly aromatic, thoroughly romantic Latin grapes. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love―especially when you pair them with these aphrodisiac foods.

The grape: Albariño (al-ba-ree-nyo)
Definition: Aromatic, flamboyant, peachy white from northwest Spain
Our pick: Cambiata Albariño 2007 (Monterey; $24)
Proper usage: With almond- and raisin-stuffed green chiles

The grape: Arneis (ar-nace)
Definition: “Little rascal” from Italy―crisp, lighthearted white full of peaches, gardenias, and orange zest
Our pick: Seghesio Family Arneis 2007 (Russian River Valley; $20)
Proper usage: With crunchy salt shrimp and ginger dipping sauce

The grape: Pinot Grigio (pee-no gree-djee-o)
Definition: Tart and steely white from Italy, with a whole gamut of citrus plus hints of stone fruit
Our pick: Brassfield High Serenity Ranch Pinot Grigio 2007 (High Valley, Lake County; $15)
Proper usage: With seared tuna and spicy Spanish romesco sauce.

The grape: Verdelho (ver-del-ho)
Definition: Portuguese white, with citrus zest and a rush of juicy lemon-lime fruit
Our pick: Lee Family Farm Silvaspoons Vineyard Verdelho 2007 (Alta Mesa; $15)
Proper usage: With plain fresh chèvre (goat cheese)

The grape: Vermentino (ver-men-tee-no)
Definition: Another tart white from Italy, with great minerality under grapefruit and sometimes a hit of stone fruit
Our pick: Tablas Creek Vermentino 2007 (Paso Robles; $27)
Proper usage: With oysters on the half-shell and a spritz of lemon