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Discovering hidden Spanish gems with Wine Events Scotland

In one of the latest virtual events, Edinburgh's Wine Events Scotland introduced a selection of DO Rueda wines.

When you think of Spanish wines, you'll probably conjure up images of fruity Rioja, sparklingly sweet Cava or maybe a dry Christmasy sherry.

Generally speaking, the most well known Spanish wines are reds, but there's a host of versatile whites that hail from the Rueda region that are well worth a try, if you can find them.

Rueda went from growing grapes for sherry, to producing wines that made use of the native verdejo grape thanks to the Marqués de Riscal from Rioja.

Wines from the region, which was given DOC status in 1980, are mainly kept in Spain and it's easy to see why.

Lucky for a few wine fans, Edinburgh's Wine Events Scotland did the hard work of finding four bottles (from Great Grog) for a DO Reuda tasting that took place last month.

The wines

Diana Thompson of Wine Events Scotland chose four very different DO Rueda wines all from Edinburgh's Great Grog, to taste during the hour long virtual event.

These were: Diez Siglos Verdejo, Bodegas Naia S-Naia Sauvignon Blanc, Bodega Naia and Bodega Naia K-Naia Verdejo.

Despite some sounding the same in terms of names, these wines were all very distinctive and would all stand up well with food.

As with all Wine Event Scotland tastings, Diana took guests on a virtual trip around the region while telling us more about the wine makeup and what food pairings would match well with each.

Describing the region Diana said: "Situated on The River Duero to the west of Spain’s renowned red wine vineyards and high on the plains, lies Spain’s White Wine Country DO Rueda.

"Home to some of Spain’s greatest white wines, this is a region which is surprisingly often overlooked.

"Growing at altitudes up to 2,800 feet with cold winters and hot summers, these vines are certainly hardy and produce some of the purest fruit with fabulous expression.

"Once discovered, DO Rueda wines tend to become great friends to wine lovers."

Sauvignon Blanc is now also grown here, which give the wines a crispness, but mixed with the Verdejo grape there is also a fruity note that many people may not expect.

A relative newcomer to the DO Rueda range, the Diez Siglos wine is made from grapes from a collective of about 70 growers.

Fresh, fruity and crisp, the acidity in this wine would suit seafood or fattier cuts of meat.

The other three wines all come from Bodegas Naia and are easily spotted due to their eye catching labels.

Made by Eulogio Calleja with old vines, a strict grape selection and extended lees ageing, these wines are a bit more complex in taste and again would work well with food.

Tasting notes here consisted of apricots, green pepper, gooseberry and passionfruit.

The favourite of the night was the Bodega Naia which has some oak barrel ageing. This gives the wine a dry nuttiness, as well as hints of stone fruits, making it ideal with chicken or meaty fish.

With warmer weather hopefully just around the corner, each of these white wines would be a brilliant addition to a BBQ or al fresco dinner.
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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