Rueda is considered to be one of the best value white wine regions in Europe at the moment and the region seems to be going from strength to strength. Delicious, fruity and zippy wines are being made and selling at less than 5 euros in Spain and less than 10 dollars in the States. This is incredible value. The other main characteristic of the region is reliability. Similar to Chile, you can almost guarantee that a white selected form Rueda will always be good. Sometimes they are great, but they are always good. After tasting more than thirty wines from the region, I haven’t tasted any bad ones. This is a feat!
Rueda is located in northern Spain, northwest from Madrid, close to the red wine producing areas of Ribera del Duero and Toro. The native grape is called the Verdejo and has enjoyed a surprising Renaissance in Spain in the last few years. Whereas before, the Verdejo was used to make Sherry style oxidised wines, vintners realized that the grape was capable of making extremely fruity, tropical and grassy fresh wines. In the 1970’s, the prestigious Rioja producer Marques de Riscal invested money in the region and started experimenting with the Sauvignon grape, both in making single varietal wines and also blends with the Verdejo. At the time, the other wineries viewed Riscal suspiciously, but as these things go, today most Rueda wineries make a Sauvignon Blanc. / Verdejo blend! And they are delicious!
Here are my absolute favorite Rueda wines and sample food matching:
1. Marques de Riscal Sauvignon and Marques de Riscal Verdejo, DO Rueda
Pair with Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad
2. Belondrade y Lurton Barrel Fermented Verdejo, DO Rueda
Pair with Pasta Carbonara
3. Aura Verdejo, DO Rueda
Pair with Cream Cheese Crostini and Black Olives
Links on Rueda: