Looking for great mileage for your wine dollars in the white wine aisle? Keep an eye out for Spanish verdejo. It’s the primary grape of Spain’s Rueda region, located on the high plains to the north and west of Madrid. One of many wine appellations lining the banks of the Duero river, Rueda stands out as an island of white wine production in a sea of red tempranillo.
Verdejo historically was used to make Rueda’s thick, heavy white wines, which were fortified with brandy and featured the nutty flavor of long-term barrel aging in the style of Spanish sherry. However, the introduction of modern winemaking equipment in the 1970s led to a startling stylistic makeover for Rueda and its verdejo.
Today, the region’s wines are fresh and clean, thanks to temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Their flavor profile is briskly dry and citrusy, with an herbal aromatic edge reminiscent of sauvignon blanc.
Marqués de Riscal is a Rioja-based wine company that is also a thought-leader in Rueda. They were among the first to invest in the modernizations that unleashed the lighter, brighter, unoaked style verdejo has become famous for today.
They continue to be a reliable source of excellent Rueda wines at temptingly low prices, like this one that has become a staple in Pennsylvania stores. It is crisp and dry, with flavors of lemons and green apples, and a leafy scent reminiscent of citrusy herbs like lemongrass or verbena. Try it with salads and seafood, or anything you might serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Marqués de Riscal Verdejo Rueda, Spain
$6.99 13% alcohol
PLCB Item #6371
Sale price through Nov. 29 – regularly $8.99
Also available at:
Hops & Grapes in Glassboro, N.J. - $7.98
West Trenton Fine Wines & Liquors in West Trenton, N.J. - $7.99
Original Canal’s in Pennsauken, NJ - $8.99