Rueda Rules

As summer approaches, it’s the prerogative of any self-proclaimed wine lover to seek a quaffable, refreshing wine(s) to cool off as the mercury rises.

For those still on the lookout, I recommend you check out Rueda, a region in the midwest of Spain that’s well known for its white wines. The high limestone content of Rueda soil tends to yield some mineral character and good acidity.

Combine that with the greenish, slightly bitter qualities of Verdejo (that’s verdelho in Portugal), the grape most commonly grown in Rueda, and you’ve got one zesty summer sipper that’s a delight to enjoy on a hot day.

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This Marques de Riscal version has lime, grapefruit and Thompson grape aromas and flavours that enliven the senses with its freshness and racy palate. $11.05 at LCBO stores.

Back in Black

My favourite AC/DC song and third favourite song of all time (first and second favourites being The Eagles’ Take It Easy and Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams, respectively – yes, I’m a classic rock gal).

It’s also the perfect song to describe where I’m at right now: I’m back on my blog, tonight’s wine is black (so are my teeth), and I feel kick-ass — I just completed the major WSET Diploma milestone of finishing my coursework assignment, a 10-page essay on wine labels with a case study on effective packing versus an example that needs improving. Yeehaw!

The song also matches up perfectly with my wine, Prazo de Roriz. It’s black, beefy, brooding – and while a little on the old side, like AC/DC, it’s still lip smackingly good.

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The second wine of Quinta de Roriz, a Symington Family property, it is a dry red blended table wine made of the same Fab Five grapes as the estate’s Vintage Port. The winery is perhaps best known for its Douro icon wines that it makes with Bordelais co-owner Bruno Prats, Chryseia and Post Scriptum.

If you are a fan of full-bodied, juicy, “black teeth” wines, consider shopping in the Portuguese section next time. This category has many powerful reds similar in profile to what you’d find from California, Argentina or Chile, often at a better value.