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ISSUE #8, DECEMBER 2009

IN THIS ISSUE:

THIS THANKSGIVING, GIVE THE GIFT OF RIOJA!


ENJOYING FIRST CLASS!

A LITTLE HISTORY ON RIOJA

REMEMBER TO TALK TO US ON FACEBOOK AND TWTTER


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


    THIS CHRISTMAS, GIVE THE GIFT OF RIOJA!
  Still thinking about Christmas gifts? Forgot about someone and need to get a last minute gift? Still not sure what to get your mother-in-law? This year, give the gift of Rioja! With so much variety - seven varietals for reds, six for whites; three climates; four types of terroir; and four aging standards – you are sure to find the perfect wine for anybody.

Want to be the life of the party? Don’t forget to pair your delicious holiday meals with Riojas – often considered the best food-pairing wines in the world. Trust us, your family will thank you! You can look at different recipes on the recipes section on www.vibrantrioja.com and look at food-pairing tips.
 


 
  ENJOYING FIRST CLASS!
 

Flying first class and business class just got a lot better. While the western world tries to recover from the economic crisis, airlines are revamping their wine lists to offer extraordinary wines to their first class and business class customers. The New York Times’ article on November 11 “For First Class Passengers, Wine Is Getting Better” shows that more and more airlines are starting to take their wine seriously. And why not? It’s another way to make flying more comfortable for customers.

Now, some may be asking, “what about those of us who don’t fly first-class or business?” Don’t worry, as airlines are also revamping their coach class wine lists. For example, Iberia, SIA, Quantas and British Airways have a special “wine team” who selects the wines every year. Now that’s what I call service! Next up, more seat space, please!

 
  A LITTLE HISTORY ON RIOJA
  Vineyards in Rioja have existed since Roman times, but it wasn't until around 950 AD when the region and its vineyards were expanded upon and further developed. The reason? Religion.

At this time, the Camino de Santiago – one of Europe’s most spiritual pilgrimages even today – gained prominence and drove people to travel from France to the tomb and church of St. James in Galicia (Northern Spain). A good part of the Camino traverses the entire length of Rioja, with the city of Logrono serving as major crossroads. And what’s there to do during a spiritual pilgrimage? You guessed it! Drink wine!

Modern wine making began in Rioja around 1850, thanks largely to Bordeaux. At that time, Odium – a type of mildew – ferociously attacked Bordeaux vineyards. This brought French winemakers to find a region where they could grow exceptional wine. And where else can anyone grow such wines? The French brought their growing techniques and oak-barrel aging into Rioja. In fact, the Marquis de Riscal and Marquis de Murrieta built their French style bodegas (wineries) around 1870 – both major players in Rioja today.

Needless to say, wine has played and keeps playing a historic role for Rioja. You can learn more about Rioja at www.vibrantrioja.com.
 
  REMEMBER TO TALK TO US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
 

Remember to keep following us and talking to us on Facebook and Twitter! Make sure you follow us on Twitter @RiojaWine and become a fan of Rioja Wine on Facebook.

 
 

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK –Roasted Rack of Lamb
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.

 
 


While Riojas tend to be very food friendly, and able to be paired with a exceptionally wide range of cuisines and preparations, when it doubt, there is but one word you need to remember: LAMB.   

Here is an exceptionally easy and delicious recipe that will work fantastically for Holiday Entertaining- it will look beautiful on your table and doesn't require much time at all.  It can be paired with almost any side-dish or served alone with a simple gremolata (minced parsely, lemon zest and garlic), or a cumin spiked yogurt.

Note: To "French" a rack of lamb means to clean meat, cartilage and fat between the tips of the rib bones to make for a neater presentation.

ROASTED RACK OF LAMB
Serves 4

2 whole frenched racks of lamb (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil; heat until hot but not smoking .
2. Add lamb to skillet; Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Meat should be well browned.
3. Pour off excess fat and transfer skillet to oven; cook lamb 20-25 or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thicket part of the meat reads 130 degrees (medium-rare).
4. Let lamb rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.