In Rueda, in Spain’s Castilla y Leon region, northwest of Madrid, you'll find fresh, crisp white wines, perfect on hot summer days. Relatively ignored until now, these wines are finally getting their day in th sun.
Though grapes have grown in the Spanish region since the 11th century, Rueda achieved Denominacion de Origen status for its wines in 1980, a few years after Rioja’s Marques di Riscal winery made a significant investment in vineyards and built a separate facility for the production of white wines.
Since then, other wineries from Rioja and Ribera del Duero (that previously focused on red wines) have followed suit and today there are many familiar names among the wines of the city. The predominant grape is Verdejo, sometimes blended with small amounts of Viura or Sauvignon Blanc and it pairs wonderfully with seafood paella or fried calamaritos. (Though you'll find that the citrus and herbal notes also go well with fresh vegetable dishes and salads.)
So when the days get longer and the temperature soars, reach for one of these cool white wines. Here our picks for what to drink this summer.
Palacio de Bornos Verdejo 2013 (left) is straw colored with green touches. It has delightful aromas of Clementine, tangerine, lemon pith, and savory herbs. It's full bodied on the palate with fruit flavors accented by a hint of fennel bulb. The finish is crisp with a nice level of minerality. $13
Oro de Castilla Verdejo 2013 Made from 100% Verdejo, this has fresh flavors of just cut grass and citrus. It's very bright in the mouth and shot through with a vein of minerality. $15
Next, more top wine picks...