By Gail Appleson • Special to the Post-Dispatch

The warming temperatures of spring create a perfect opportunity to explore refreshing white wines that might be new to you. Wines made from verdejo are certainly among those that should be added to your shopping list. Although it’s grown in various regions, the grape is primarily associated with Rueda, a Denomination of Origin or appellation, located in north-central Spain. Considered one of Spain’s most important white wine grapes, verdejo produces crisp, fruity wines with grassy and citrus notes, making these wines a great alternative to sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.

Marqués de Cáceres 2017 Verdejo, Rueda, Spain

Bought • Schnucks, 8867 Ladue Road, in April for $9.99

Description • This bright and lively white comes from Marqués de Cáceres, which is best known for its red wines from Rioja. The winery expanded its operations into Rueda in 2014 to produce verdejo along with other white wine grapes. Vibrant and refreshing, this is an easy-to-drink, light- to medium-bodied wine that’s crisp and citrusy. It’s a great patio sipper that can be enjoyed as an aperitif wine or as a pair with seafood and other light fare.

Bodegas Naia 2017 Verdejo, Rueda, Spain

Bought • Schnucks, 8867 Ladue Road, in April for $14.99

Description • Elegant and fresh, this verdejo received 91 points from Wine Spectator. Bodegas Naia was established in the heart of Rueda with the aim of focusing on old strains of native verdejo grapes. This verdejo has a rich mouthfeel and is more complex and bigger in body than the Marqués de Cáceres. It’s a soft and well-balanced white that tastes of peaches and pears along with citrus flavors and a touch of spice. It would go well with fish, chicken and paella.

Follow Gail on Twitter @GailAppleson.


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