This brings us to an unusual tradition in Rueda. Instead of referring to their verdejo-based wines strictly as “Rueda,” as is the case in most of the Old World (to name a wine for its place rather than its grape variety), Rueda wines also proudly carry the “Verdejo” name on their labels. It’s a great thing for consumers because it lets us know at a glance just exactly what we are getting without having to memorize every region’s allowed grape varieties or search the fine print on the back of the bottle and hope the grapes are listed.
Dry, fruity, refreshing wine from Spain that is easy to understand and immensely affordable? There’s another fine group of words. Look to Rueda for Saturday-in-the-sun wines that also clean up nicely for dinner that night. Whether the sun is shining or not, make sure to give them a little chill and appreciate them for what they are — refreshing wines that offer a nice alternative to the dry white standbys.
Below are 10 wines from Rueda, all of them verdejo varietals hovering in the neighborhood of 13 percent alcohol. They are listed in ascending order, according to price. More than half of them ring up at $11 or less.
2015 Nave Sur Verdejo. Floral and full of minerality, this organic wine was lemony and refreshing, and would make for a nice, light aperitif. $8
2015 Vega de la Reina Rueda Verdejo. This one had ripe stone fruits, pleasantly tart citrus, minerality, anise and spice on the finish. $9
2015 Carrasvinas Rueda Verdejo. Tropical notes, pineapple, hay, melon and anise came together in this soft and spicy wine. $10
2015 Marques de Caceres Verdejo. Ripe citrus and pineapple were complemented by other tropical fruits, minerality and a silky mouthfeel. $10
2015 Beronia Verdejo. A great aperitif, this soft refreshing wine started with notes of lime and orange zest, and led to clean citrus and herbs with a long finish. $11
2015 Verdeo Verdejo. Full of tropical fruit, honey, caramel, peach and anise, this viscous, mouth-filling wine was tempered by bright acidity. $11
2015 Shaya Rueda White Wine. Lime zest, minerality, ripe pear and stone fruits were all present in this rich and luscious verdejo varietal. $14
2015 Oro de Castilla Verdejo. Tropical fruits, citrus and floral notes gave way to minerality and a pleasing salinity in this one. $15
2014 Finca Montepedroso Verdejo. Notes of pineapple, peach, smoke and almond characterized this wine, which was full of vibrant acidity, many layers and a long finish. $16
2015 Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo. Here, a melange of gooseberry, guava, melon and a soft mouthfeel led to a bright, lemony finish. $16