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ISSUE #6, OCTOBER 2009

IN THIS ISSUE:

COLUMBUS DAY – RIOJA GIVES THANKS TO COLUMBUS!


FOLLOW RIOJA ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK


RESPONDING TO READER’S COMMENTS – THE SUB-REGIONS OF RIOJA


SHARING YOUR STORY – DANNY & ANA

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK





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


    COLUMBUS DAY – RIOJA GIVES THANKS TO COLUMBUS!
 

On a beautiful day on October 12, 1492, Columbus landed in the Americas (today, the Bahamas) aboard the Niña, Pinta and Santa María. The rest is history. 517 years later, we celebrate the feats of this magnificent sailor and explorer. Did you know that Columbus drank the wines of Rioja on his journey? No? Well, to tell you the truth, neither did we but discovering the new world might have been a lot more fun if he had. But what better way to celebrate than by honoring him with wines from the country that sent him? And better yet, why not honor him by drinking the best wines in Spain? I’m talking, of course, about Rioja wines! This Columbus Day, celebrate the discovery of America with luscious reds, subtle whites and tasty rosés from Rioja!

  FOLLOW RIOJA ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
 

You can now interact with Rioja more than ever! Follow us on Twitter @RiojaWine and become a fan of Rioja Wine on Facebook.

  RESPONDING TO READER’S COMMENTS – THE SUB-REGIONS OF RIOJA
 

We got a lot of responses on our last newsletter from readers who want to know more about the incredible region of Rioja, and more specifically, its sub-regions.

It’s important to note that La Rioja is a province and autonomous community in Spain. Wines with the DOCa seal of Rioja are made with grapes grown not only in La Rioja, but also in some parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. Furthermore, the DOCa region of Rioja is divided into three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja – each with their own climate and terroir.

All of this contributes to the incredible diversity of wines from Rioja.
Rioja Alta - on the western edge of the region and at a high elevation, produces wines that are typically full-bodied with medium alcohol content.
Rioja Alavesa - with the highest elevation of the region, is typically known for producing wines that are lighter and aromatic.
Rioja Baja - on the southern edge of the region and at a lower elevation than Alta and Alavesa, produces wines that are deep in color and fruitier in taste.

For more information on Rioja and its sub-regions, please visit http://www.vibrantrioja.com/regions.html


  SHARING YOUR STORY – DANNY & ANA
 
  Danny and Ana, avid Rioja drinkers and readers of our newsletters, have been gracious enough to share with us their trip to Rioja, along with some pictures.

They recently went to the sub-region of Rioja Alavesa, visiting Marqués de Riscal and Bodegas Palacio, where they drank delicious reds and enjoyed the sights. Take a look for yourselves!

 
 

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK – Lamb Stew
Jill Paradiso is a classically trained chef that has worked in the kitchens of Mario Batali and Jean-Georges Vongerichten – you might recognize them. She has also done recipe development for Martha Stewart, Whole Foods Markets, and Dean and Deluca and she’s been kind enough to share some of her recipes with us.

 
 


If there’s one thing Rioja is known for – besides its delicious wines, of course – is their asadores. An asador is a restaurant that cooks its lamb, pork and beef on an open fire. And I know that we are all a bit reluctant to say goodbye to BBQ season. If you don’t have an open fire to cook with, have no fear! For stew season is also here! There is almost nothing that consistently pairs as well with Rioja as lamb, and this lamb stew recipe is a delicious way to embrace Autumn....

LAMB STEW
Serves: 6

Please note that leeks are very sandy.  To clean them, first cut them and put them ina bowl of cold water. Agitate the water a bit. The sand will sink to the bottom and the leeks will float to the top. Remove leeks from water and put on paper towels to dry.

3 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and coated with flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, washed and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons paprika
water, about 3 cups
salt, to taste
 
1.Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Working in batches, add lamb and cook until well browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch.
2.Remove lamb from pot and transfer to medium bowl.  Reduce heat to medium and add leeks and onions. Brown leeks and onions. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon paprika, dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon peel and 1 1/2  tablespoons salt.
3.Return lamb and any accumulated juices to pot. Add enough water to just cover all ingedients. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until lamb is very tender, about 2 hours.
4.Finish with 1 teaspoon paprika, remaining lemon peel and 2 tablespoons honey.