There is good reason that Spain's Rueda wine-producing designation has gained traction here in recent years, and that reason is its distinctive verdejo grape, a rough and ready variety with a long history and a penchant for kicking up its heels.
The 2009 Naia Rueda Verdejo from Bodegas Naia Winery (about $11 to $12 at wine shops and wine-savvy markets) is a very fine example of its kind at an everyday price. As the weather warms and cold suppers of chilled shellfish or maybe a variety of cold tapas begin to seem more appealing, this wine really should figure in your beverage budget.
Its aroma is very light, just hinting at fresh herbs and meadow flowers. It saves its wallop of grapefruit, white peaches, green grass and a lime kicker for the tongue, where it is astonishingly refreshing, even bracing. The peach is especially prominent through mid-palate, and a whiff of white pepper shows up on the medium-long, crisp, clean finish, making it a palate cleanser par excellence. The same qualities make it an ideal poolside sipper, as this verdejo is at it best well chilled.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.