February 6th, 2020
From UNESCO World Heritage sites to the most local delicacies, she also learned about the region’s rich culture, culinary heritage and winemaking history. Read on to learn about her favorite memories, key wine takeaways and how this trip might have changed her outlook on Ribera & Rueda wines.
Where do you work?
Total Wine & More
What do you do there? (title/responsibilities)
Wine Buyer for Spain and Portugal
In one word, how would you describe Ribera del Duero?
And another word describing Rueda?
From Mercado San Miguel to the historic Cava Baja street, the aqueducts to the Valladolid, which cultural activity did you enjoy the most?
Honestly, everything was truly amazing; there is just so much history everywhere you turn. One of my favorites was exploring the old underground wineries and caves, especially in Aranda de Duero.
What are the “must-do” activities you would recommend to someone visiting the wineries of Ribera y Rueda wines?
In Ribera del Duero, 100% exploring the old wineries, puts a whole new perspective on winemaking hundreds of years ago. Rueda—hands down—a night harvest! Though it is always a challenge to keep awake until late at night, it is worth it!
What was your most memorable food pairing during the trip?
White Asparagus (I am obsessed with this every time I go to Spain and can’t get enough when I am there) with a glass of crisp Rueda Verdejo. Tuna belly with fresh tomatoes and olive oil, so simple and yet so mouthwatering, with a Ribera Tempranillo.
What was your most surprising wine learning from your time spent tasting in Ribera y Rueda?
Rueda—the age-ability of some of the white wines out of this region. When I thought of a crisp, fruity white wine, I didn’t associate it with something that could be held onto and aged, but I quickly learned how amazing some of these higher acid whites could hold up to the test of time and still taste wonderful with the added age.
Ribera del Duero—how elegant the wines truly are. To me, Ribera had been a powerhouse; big wines, that paired beautifully with food. When I was there, I tasted so many wines that were approachable— beautiful yet still packed in flavor!
Has your outlook on the regions changed?
Yes, I love the more modern take on Ribera reds that the region is turning out, along with the quality levels that Rueda has to offer.
What are your top takeaways that you will bring home with you to Total Wine & More?
Rounding our Ribera del Duero section to reflect the elegance I tasted in the region. Exploring an aged Rueda to highlight the quality within the region.