It is time to Summer Like a Spaniard!

My name is Sarah Howard and I work for the DOs of Ribera del Duero and Rueda.  Twin Liquors has asked me to guest blog to write about these two fantastic Spanish wine regions. I was recently in Austin hosting a couple of Spain 201 classes at the Round Rock and Hancock Center Twin Liquors.  I had so much fun educating everyone on the two regions and seeing everyone enjoy the wines from Ribera del Duero and Rueda.

First things first, where are Rueda and Ribera del Duero and what kind of wines do they produce?  Located in Northern Spain, about two hours north of Madrid, Rueda and Ribera del Duero are hidden in the high plains of Castilla y Leon.  The landscape looks alternately like the beach, the desert or the moon.  The climate here is extreme with harsh winters and temperatures soaring past 100 degrees during the summer days and down to 50 degrees at night.  The harsh, almost inhospitable climate is perfect for growing Verdejo in Rueda and Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero.

Verdejo is the perfect match for toasty Texas temperatures.  White wines from Rueda are refreshing with aromas and flavors of lemon, lime and peaches.  It is no wonder that the crisp, aromatic, citrusy Rueda Verdejo is Spain’s #1 white wine.   I like to say drinking a glass of Verdejo is like drinking a glass of sunshine – bright, crisp, refreshing and oh so enjoyable.

In Segovia, in the heart of the Rueda region, Rueda Verdejo is paired with Cochinillo Asado or roast suckling pig.  The fresh flavors of Rueda are a perfect match to the tender pork.  If suckling pig isn’t on the menu, pair Verdejo with seafood, fresh summer salads, cheeses or spicy cuisine.

Tempranillo, known locally in Ribera as Tinto Fino, survive scorching summers and frigid winters to produce bold red wines of incredible depth and structure.  The flavors of Tempranillo are blackberries, currants, raspberry, spice and a touch of vanilla.

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero is bold enough to stand up to Texas BBQ, or anything grilled.  In my opinion, the perfect pairing with Tempranillo is lamb.  Lamb, or Lechazo, is a signature dish of the region and the wine balances the flavors perfectly.  Between the suckling pig in Rueda and the Lechazo in Ribera del Duero the two regions are a meat-lovers paradise!

So, to Summer Like a Spaniard all you need is a glass (or two) of your favorite Rueda or Ribera del Duero!  Kick back, enjoy the sunshine and turn on the grill.  These wines are ready for your next BBQ.

Find your favorite Rueda or Ribera at tastings at select Twin Liquors locations Fridays and Saturdays in July.  For more information visit the Twin Liquors events page.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the Spanish Wine Sale through the end of the month – enjoy 20% off six bottles or more.

For more information on the regions please visit www.riberaruedawine.com.

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