Culinary and Hospitality students treated to Masterclass in Rueda wines

Friday, March 16, 2018 Press Office
Press Release

Masterclass enhances students' learning experiences

Culinary Arts and Hotel Management students in GMIT were recently treated to a Masterclass on Rueda Wines by wine expert and journalist John Wilson, supported by Elizabeth Fox, certified Sherry & Rioja Wine Educator and wine lecturer in the Galway International Hotel School, GMIT.

Rueda is a wine producing region situated in North West Spain where the continental climate and high altitudes vineyards make it one of the best regions for producing white wines.

Elizabeth Fox, award-winning wine expert and lecturer, says “The Rueda Masterclass was a wonderful learning experience for the students who received an in-depth insight into the wide range of wines from this white wine region of Rueda in Spain”.

“Verdejo is the indigenous white grape of the region which may also be blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Viura. The wines are produced in a variety of styles which are very palatable whether young and unoaked with touches of herbs and citrus fruits or with some oak ageing adding elegance and complexity to these Spanish whites. Verdejo itself dates back to the 11th Century and it is believed that it arrived in Spain around the time of King Alfonso V1 when there was a large movement of people back then”.

“Our students benefit immensely from these types of masterclasses as it prepares them for their various roles in the hospitality industry, adding to their knowledge and skills. Our students also learn the art of wine tasting in class and gain an understanding of how different wines can enhance and complement various dining experiences.”

“It is vital that all service and indeed culinary staff should have a good knowledge of all the wines available on a wine list plus the wines main characteristics. They should also have an extensive knowledge of which wines are most suitable to offer with the food of the restaurant. When one experiences the perfect food and wine match, it brings a whole new dimension to the dining occasion. Food is food, wine is wine, food and wine is gastronomy. Michel Roux Jr states in Decanter February 2016 ‘what’s missing in a lot of young chefs is wine knowledge. They should engage more with it, have more respect. Too many chefs think about matching food and wine by starting with the menu, as if wine wasn’t an equal partner, and impose the food on the wine, it’s unbalanced – in some ways food is more adaptable than wine.”

John Wilson says “We had a great tasting, working through the wines of Rueda, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. The students were very receptive and interested, asking lots of questions and enjoying the wines too”.

The White Wines of Rueda display a variety of styles that suit a vast range of cuisine.  They match well with seafood, grilled and fried fish, mussels, clams, sardines and calamari. They also pair extremely well with guacamole, salsa, tacos and Thai Curry. Verdejo has a refreshing streak of acidity which works well with cheese, feta, pecorino or Goat’s cheese.

Rueda produce a traditional style wine called Rueda Dorado which is a dry dessert wine with a golden colour and toasted nuts aromas which is due to its long oxidative ageing in oak barrels. This is a ‘Sherry’ like wine which is also fortified and hanks back to the old days before night time harvesting and temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation.

For further information on courses in GMIT’s International Hotel School, see: