(Family Features) For a novice, simply distinguishing a wine preference – white or red, sweet or dry – may be the extent of his or her comfort level. However, a more experienced wine enthusiast knows there is an entire world to explore when it comes to discovering interesting wine styles.
For example, winemakers in the Spanish wine regions of Ribera del Duero and Rueda draw on hundreds of years of history perfecting the art of winemaking. Together, these regions produce an array of flavorful, full-bodied reds and crisp, refreshing white wines. Recently, these regions have garnered attention for their wines’ value and versatility, making them solid choices for someone looking to explore and develop his or her palate without breaking the bank.
“The wines of Ribera del Duero are generally made in a more generous, international style that would make them a natural transition for a traditional drinker of Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Brahm Callahan, master sommelier and Ribera del Duero y Rueda ambassador. “The same can be said for Rueda. The wines have bright, ripe fruit, great weight and texture, and offer an excellent alternative for someone who likes Sauvignon Blanc.”
Ribera del Duero
There are 300 wineries in Ribera del Duero, which surrounds the Duero River for 100 miles across the region. The semi-arid terrain and climate create optimal ripening conditions for the Tempranillo grapes that define the region’s wines’ distinctive character. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, the big, rich, bold red wines of the region may be to your liking.
One of the hallmarks of Rueda’s refreshing white wines is versatility. With just the right amount of fruit and a refreshing finish, wines from Rueda are clean, bright and complex, yet effortlessly drinkable. The region is home to 70 wineries clustered on the plateau of Castilla y Leon at a high altitude of about 2,300-2,600 feet above sea level. The difficult growing environment, mineral-filled gravel soils and abundance of sunshine help create a crisp white wine with character.
Learn more about the region and its wines at riberaruedawine.com.
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