Pronunciation: Ver-day-ho

From: Rueda, Spain (North-Central region)

What’s it taste like? Easy Drinker with Well-Balanced Medium to High Acidity, Aromatic and Tasting of Fresh Herbs and Greenery.   (The wine term for this is ‘herbaceous’, and can apply to taste or smell or both)

What food goes well with it? Soft Cheeses like Fresh Mozzarella, Goat Cheeses, Chicken, Fish and Shellfish with out heavy sauces, enjoy it with dishes that combine fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley and with salads of all kinds. Its crisp acidity and fruit forward flavor makes it a great partner.

Find it for under: $20, often closer to $10

Discover Verdejo: from Spain Camina Verdejo at World Market, Naia at Total Wine and Gordo at Whole Foods, from the U.S. in Virginia at Keswick

Verdejo – My guess is that you’re not very familiar with highly aromatic, fruit forward white wine from Spain. If you order Pinot Grigio in a restaurant, or grab a bottle at the store by default, its time to discover this getting-easier-to-find alternative. Its a natural for easy summer-fresh foods.

You may surprise your friends with this enjoyable quaffer, like I did when ordering for the table recently at a Spanish restaurant in New York. The Verdejo was a clear stand out with our spicy, veggie-laden tapas with lots of green herbs, roasted red peppers and fish.

Just like other wines from the ‘Old World’ (think Europe), it can be called Rueda or Verdejo, because the label might show either the place where the wine was made, or the grape – or both! There are lots of rumors about the origin of Verdejo, but DNA testing shows they have relatives in other Spanish grapes.

Verdejo is one of the top most planted white varieties in the Rueda region of Spain, with almost 30,000 acres cultivated. The versatile grape can be made into still sparkling and sweet wines, although we’ll most often see them in the U.S. as still, dry table wine. You may have to look a little harder for Verdejo, but that just will add to the fun of exploring the wonder that is wine!

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