Albariño is the primary grape used to make dry white wine in the Rias Baixes (Lower Inlets) section of the Galicia region of Northwestern Spain. Considered by many to be Spain's premier quality white wine, Albariño is also known in Portugal as Alvarinho and often used as a component of Vinho Verde. Weather conditions in the Rias Baixes are generally cool, windy and rainy. Vines must be trained high and open to allow winds to dry them out and avoid the ongoing threat of rot, mildew and other fungal diseases. Albariño vines have developed a high tolerance to the blustery, cold, damp conditions of maritime climates. Albariño grapes' thick skins contribute to their intense aromas. Typically, its wines are very sweet-smelling, often described as having scents of almonds or almond paste, apples, citrus, lime, peaches, and flowers or grass. Albariño shares many of the same terpenes also found in the other aromatic varieties: Gewürztraminer, Muscat, and Riesling.
Riesling is usually made to be a sweet wine, although it can also create a dry wine as well. Riesling is a late-ripening grape, and only has a moderate yield. This makes it difficult to grow, and often the price reflects this. A cheap Riesling might be sharp, but a well grown Riesling will be a sweet but complex white wine that ages very well. Riesling is affected by where it is grown -Californian Rieslings tend to be dry and have a melony taste, while Germanic Rieslings are more tart and 'grapefruity'. Other typical Riesling flavors include fruity and floral, as well as honey and musky. Rieslings should be served cool at 47F (but not as cold as fridge temperature). Riesling goes very well with oriental dishes. It also goes well with seafood of all types, and is one of the few wines that goes well with chocolate. It is also great on its own, as a dessert wine.