IN THIS ISSUE:



RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK IN NEW YORK



RIOJA FIT FOR A KING



THE LAND OF A THOUSAND WINES



RIOJA RECIPE: PATATAS A LA RIOJANA





TALK TO US

Do you have a favorite recipe and Rioja wine you’d like us to try? Have a great story about wine or Rioja that you’d like us to print? Or a question you’ve been wanting to ask about food and wine pairing, travel to Spain or other Rioja topics? Talk to us! Send us your ideas, recipes or stories. Simply contact newsletter@VibrantRioja.com

Spring is here so enjoy it with a glass of Rioja!

Salud!
The Vibrant Rioja Wine Team

   
RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK IS HERE
  From April 26 – May 2, more than 50 great restaurants in New York will be featuring discounts on their food and Rioja wines. Click here to go to the Rioja Restaurant Week website and see a listing of all the fantastic restaurants that are participating. It’s a great week to visit some of your favorite restaurants in New York at a reduced price for both the food and Rioja wine.

  RIOJA FIT FOR A KING
  At this year’s South Beach Food & Wine Festival, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia joined thousands of revelers on the beach to taste the wines of Rioja and food from Spain. If the King and Queen love Rioja, shouldn’t you? Okay, how about Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray? King and queen of a different sort but they were there drinking Rioja too. Here are links to three articles to tell you all about it:

The Gourmet Retailer, King of Spain to Reign at SOBE Wine & Food Festival, February 12, 2009

The Miami Herald, Exploring the Wines of Spain, February 19, 2009

Palm Beach Post, Five lessons (culinary and celebrity) from South Beach festival, February 25, 2009

 



  THE LAND OF A THOUSAND WINES
 

Rioja is known as The Land of a Thousand Wines. It has more variety than almost any great wine region in the world: four varietals for reds, three for whites; three climates; four types of terroir (fancy word for soil); and four aging standards. Here’s a quick primer:

RED VARIETALS
Tempranillo: The king of grapes in Spain, which makes up about 78% of all the grapes in the region. The taste can vary from hints of vanilla, cherries and currant to coconut.
Garnacha Tinta: As a blending grape with Tempranillo, it adds strength and warmth. As a single varietal, the taste gives hints of raspberry.
Graciano: As a blending grape with Tempranillo, it adds depth, acidity and aroma.
Mazuelo: As a blending grape with Tempranillo, it adds color and longevity.

WHITE VARIETALS

Viura: The main white grape in Rioja. Wines are pleasant with a floral aroma and a light, delicate flavor.
Malvasia: Mainly used to give structure to whites, the wines have a floral aroma and a core flavor of grapefruit. Garnacha Blanca: Added to whites for its pleasant taste and aromas of sweet honeysuckle and apricot.

CLIMATE
The Rioja region can boast to having three different climates: Atlantic, Continental and Mediterranean.

TERROIR
The Rioja region also has four types of soil where grapes grow: Iron, limestone, clay and chalky soil.

AGING STANDARDS
Joven: wines that have spent little or no time aging in oak.
Crianza: wines that been aged 12-18 months in oak barrels and another year in bottle.
Reserva: wines that have been aged in oak barrels 18-24 months and 12-24 months in bottle.
Gran Reserva: wines that have been aged in oak barrels 24-36 months, and 36 months in bottle.

To learn more visit our website at www.VibrantRioja.com. There’s more information about Rioja, wines, culture, lifestyle and much, much more.

 

 


RIOJA RECIPE: Patatas a la Riojana
Here’s an easy-to-make recipe that would go great with any red Crianza with 100% Tempranillo. It’ll make you feel the country life and rustic fare of Rioja!

 


PATATAS A LA RIOJANA


A Riojan tapa that is sure to make your taste buds scream with joy. Even the godfather of nouvelle cuisine, Paul Bocuse, had to succumb to this tapa, stating, “It’s one of the greatest dishes created by man.” Bold statement? I think not.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
7 ounces chorizo sausage, cut into ½ inch thick slices
½ pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon pimentón (sweet Spanish paprika) – if you can’t find pimentón, use regular paprika
1 ½ teaspoon salt

Directions
Warm the olive oil over low heat in a large shallow pan. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and tender and have turned a light brown color, at least 20 minutes. You want the onions to caramelize. If they start to get too dark, add ½ tablespoon of water to keep from burning.
When the onions are caramelized, add the chorizo and continue frying until it too is browned, about 2 minutes. Place the potatoes in the pan and stir to coat them in oil. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the pimentón and the salt, pour in water to cover, and bring to a boil. Once it reached a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and the water has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. You’ll end up with a wonderful, thick stew.