Pair Your Summer Food Faves With Ribera, Rueda

Summer brings about a whole new menu of food options and cravings. Warm days mean sometimes you’ll opt for lighter dishes like salad and seafood, but when the grill is fired up, burgers, steak and barbecue chicken reign supreme. Equally important to your menu is wine pairings, and master sommelier Alex LaPratt of Atrium DUMBO restaurant has a particular penchant for Rueda and Ribera del Duero wines this summer.

During a segment on WPIX in New York City, LaPratt gave his suggestions for summer food-and-wine combos, and he wasted no time getting serious about RyR. When prompted about what he’d pair with a seafood salad, LaPratt bypassed the usual white wine options and headed straight for Rueda. “What I think works really well in the summer if you’re not looking to break the bank, something with a lot of value, is a little Verdejo from Rueda,” he explained. “It’s a classic region in Spain, a lot of minerality. Fruity, citrus, tropical. … for the summer, an incredible value.”

While LaPratt stayed true to American taste and paired up beer with a burger, when it came to barbecued chicken, Ribera del Duero was “another great value.” LaPratt praised the tempranillo grape of Ribera del Duero, saying it’s “light, refreshing, great minerality and just a little hint of smoke to complement that barbecue.” He opted for an Alonso del Yerro — which you can get the full story of in our Meet Your Makers profile of them.

And the biggest vino faux pas when it comes to red wine in the summer? “A lot of people drink it too warm, which I think is a shame,” LaPratt says — confirming what others have already told us in our Wine Temperature Guide for Summer.

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