Like most wines there’s a difference between young Rueda and wines that have been aged in oak or on the lees and have a few of years bottle age. The former are arguably the most flexible, the latter the more subtle and complex.
Rueda’s mainstay, Verdejo, has much in common with Sauvignon Blanc with which it is sometimes blended.
Young Verdejos are bright and citrussy, a good match for summery food such as seafood and salads.
Unlike many other wines they’re not fazed by tomatoes, asparagus or sharp vinaigrettes.
They can deal with raw onion, olives and punchy sauces like allioli (garlic mayonnaise) and pair well with dishes with aromatic herbs such as dill and coriander.
They pair particularly well with grilled and fried fish - think grilled sardines, calamari and chipirones or even grilled octopus.
Rueda is a natural go to with shellfish such as mussels and clams or with a selection of seafood-based tapas - in fact it’s a great wine to take on a beach picnic.
You could also drink it with Mexican dishes such as guacamole, salsa fresca (fresh tomato salsa) and super-popular tacos or with the bright flavours of Asian noodle salads - it can handle a bit of fresh chilli.
Like Sauvignon Blanc it also has an affinity with fresh cheeses such as goats cheese, feta and pecorino - you could drink it with a Greek salad for example or a spanakopita (cheese and spinach pie).
Aged Rueda wines
Once Rueda has acquired a bit of bottle age it gains a weight and nuttiness that will carry richer fish dishes such as hake with garlic, gambas or fish dishes that are cooked in white wine or with a white wine sauce.
It can also be paired with the local delicacy of Lechazo (baby lamb), with the ability to match with lighter red meats.
This is also the style to serve with Spain’s innumerable delicious rice dishes including, of course, a good seafood paella.
Translated by ICY
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