Verdejo, the Rock Star of Rueda

Ask any sommelier what a wine needs to be “food-friendly,” and here’s what they’ll tell you: acidity. Verdejo has it with a capital “A” – along with flavor, balance and fruit aplenty.

Verdejo grapes have been planted in Rueda since the 11th century, but it’s only in the past 40 or so years that the grapes have been allowed to shine on their own. The Rueda region earned Denominacion de Origen (DO) status in the 1980s, and since then the quality of its wines has only improved, thanks to state-of-the-art production techniques.

Currently, Rueda Verdejo wines must contain at least 85% Verdejo grapes, with up to 15% allowed for other varietals, though most winemakers tend to go with 100% Verdejo to celebrate the true character of the grape.

Fun Facts about Verdejo:

    • Two words: Seafood & shellfish.
    • Whether you’re slurping down oysters, digging into a perfectly roasted chicken or just nibbling on some cheese, Verdejo wines will both compliment the light qualities of your dishes and cut through the richness of others. If it’s salty, there’s a high probability it pairs well with a Rueda.
    • Anything that gets a smoky kiss from being grilled will be best friends with the fruity and sharp notes of Rueda whites. Where other white wines may fall flat, Verdejo has enough oomph to stand up to big flavors.
    • The acidity lends versatility to pair it with any type of cuisine — even if it’s Chinese take-out, Pad Thai or pepperoni pizza.
    • Two more words: Spicy stuff.

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