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VOLUME 2 ISSUE 8
SEPTEMBER 2010

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IN THIS ISSUE:

WINE IS GOOD

RIOJA AND WINE SPECTATOR

FACEBOOK & TWEET US!

SPOTLIGHT ON RIOJA: SAN MATEO WINE FESTIVAL

CONSUMER TIP


RIOJA IN THE NEWS

RIOJA CONSUMER EVENTS

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


Salud!

The Vibrant Rioja Wine Team

    WINE IS GOOD!
  In our May newsletter, we detailed the health benefits of wine, which included the French Paradox (how come French people have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease when their diet is rich in butter, cheese and saturated fats?), the link between red wine and shielding the brain from stroke damage, wine and cancer, and less weight gain in women over the years. Well, pretty soon, the fact that moderate alcohol consumption can be good for the body – and why not? The soul! – will be published in the 2010 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans!

That’s right! Since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 1990 declared that alcohol has “no net health benefit… Their consumption is not recommended,” various studies have been done to determine the long-term effects of alcohol consumption. In 2010, according to experts charged with creating the alcohol section, “the lowest mortality risk for men and women [occurs] at the average level of one to two drinks per day” and that “moderate evidence suggests that compared to non drinkers, individuals who drink moderately have a slower cognitive decline with age.”

In other words, not only do people who drink moderately – one to two drinks per day – have the lowest mortality rate in the long run, they are also more alert while living longer! I toast to all our moderate drinkers out there – keep doing what you’re doing.
 
  RIOJA AND WINE SPECTATOR
  For a while now, we’ve been talking about the amazing value that Rioja wines offer at every single price point. Especially today, in these tough economic times, we want to be able to enjoy high-quality wines at moderate prices.

Well, in Octobers’ issue of Wine Spectator, Thomas Matthews describes how few regions in the world offer high quality and value like Rioja. In fact, on the annual tasting report on Spanish wines, 33 of the 130 Riojas tasted rated an outstanding 90 points or higher. And in the value category – priced at $15 or less – 26 Riojas rated 85 points or higher. It’s no wonder then that Rioja is considered the best wine region in Spain and one of the best in the world! You can find the entire list here.
 
  FACEBOOK & TWEET US
 

Can’t get enough Rioja? Not satisfied with just having a glass – or two, or three – a day? Want to keep the conversation going at all times? Then Facebook and Tweet us and help us keep the conversation going! Do you have any questions about the region? Want to know what the best vintages are? Just want to share your stories with the rest of Riojaphiles out there? Make sure you Like us on Facebook and talk to us on Twitter @RiojaWine.

 
  SPOTLIGHT ON RIOJA: SAN MATEO WINE FESTIVAL
 
 

If you are a lover of food and wine, the festival of San Mateo (Saint Matthew) held in Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, is an experience you will not want to miss. The week of festivities includes parades, food tastings, bullfighting, concerts, theatre, street music and fireworks. September 21st marks the official gastronomic celebration of San Mateo, and the city’s main fountain flows red as the wine harvest begins. Also on September 21st in the emblematic plaza of Logroño,“El Espolón”, two men in traditional dress tread the grapes, barefoot and linking arms, until the first juice of the harvest is collected in a jug. This is offered to the Virgin of Valvanera, the patron saint of La Rioja.

 
  CONSUMER TIP
  Did you know that only the highest quality grapes are used to make Rioja wines? Rioja grape harvesting is predominately done by hand. Once harvested, bunches then grapes go through a double selection table so that the wine production process starts in optimum conditions. This careful selection of only the highest quality grapes is a key factor in distinguishing Rioja as one of the finest winemaking regions in the world.
 
  RIOJA IN THE NEWS
  On August 3rd, 2010 The Guardian, the most widely read UK newspaper website, offered an interesting international investment perspective on wine, giving specific mention to Rioja. Business reporter, Elena Moya, provided insight on the increasing popularity of wine not only with consumers, but also investors. She touches on the fact that wine boutique hotels, tour companies and educational centers are flourishing around the world, naming the Rioja region as an “upmarket hub”. The full article can be found here.
 
  RIOJA CONSUMER EVENTS
 

Rioja wines will be featured in a special wine education seminar held at the Los Angeles County Fair in Ponoma, California. The seminar will feature a minimum of six Rioja wines and a cheese sample. As an added perk, each participant will receive a tasting ticket for a taste of a ‘Gold Medal Winner’ of the LA International Wine & Spirits Competition 2010.

What: Rioja Rejuvenated! seminar led by Ana Fabiano
When: Thursday, September 30th 7pm
Where: The Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Marketplace at the Fairplex
Cost: $17 per person

 
 

Northeast

7-Oct 7pm
Barcelona Restaurant Bodegas Roda winemaker dinner
155 Temple St New Haven, CT 0651
(203) 848-3000
Price $65 plus tax and tip
RSVP: gretchen@barcelonawinebar.com

13-Oct 3-5pm
Sherry Lehmann in-store Rioja wine tasting
505 Park Ave New York, NY 10022
(212) 838-7500

13-Oct 6-8pm
Sherry Lehmann walk around Rioja wine tasting
505 Park Ave New York, NY 10022
(212) 838-7500

14-Oct 5-8pm
Whole Foods - P Street in-store Rioja wine tasting
1440 P Street NW Washington, DC 20005
(202) 332-4300

15-Oct 5-8pm
Whole Foods - P Street in-store Rioja wine tasting
1440 P Street NW Washington, DC 20005
(202) 332-4300

Southeast

23-Sep 5:30-7:30pm
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Rioja wine tasting
Sarasota, FL

Midwest

23-Sep
Rioja wine dinner at La Merenda


  29-Sep 7-9pm
Rioja & Haskell’s sit down wine tasting at Kieran's Irish Pub

30-Sep
In-store Rioja wine tasting at Kafka Wine Co.

Oct. 1st
Rioja in-store Tasting at Potash Brother
1525 N. Clark St., Chicago IL
( 312.337.7537) 4-7pm

Oct. 3rd
Rioja In-store tasting at Whole Foods Kingsbury
1550 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago, IL‎
(312) 587-0648‎ 2-5pm

Oct. 7th
Rioja in-store Tasting at Kafka Wine Co.
3325 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL‎
(773) 975-9463 6-9pm

Oct 8th
Rioja In-store Tasting at Haskell's

Oct. 9th
Rioja in-store Tasting at Haskell's

Oct 10th
Rioja in-store Tasting at Whole Foods Kingsbury
1550 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago, IL‎
(312) 587-0648‎ 2-5pm

Oct 13th
Rioja wine dinner at Samba Brazilian Grill
240 W Gilman St # 2, Madison, WI 53703-1897
(608) 257-1111 7-9:30pm

Oct 15th
Rioja in-store tasting at the Noble Grape
802 N. Bishop St., Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 846-1204 5 pm till 8 pm
 
 

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK
Jill Paradiso is a classically trained chef who has worked in the kitchens of Mario Batali and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 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.

   
 


ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP

This is a satisfying and hearty dish that really highlights the various textures, colors and flavors of root vegetables. It can be served as a side dish, but would also do well as a vegetarian main served along with a creamy side like polenta or a nutty grain like kasha or quinoa.

Note: This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated, but do not add turnip greens until ready to serve- they are best when they are bright green and lightly wilted.

Yield: 8-10 as a side dish, or 4-6 as a main

Ingredients:
6 cipolline onions, peeled
6 baby turnips, washed and halved (or 2 large turnips, quartered) with turnip greens reserved
½ lb baby carrots
4 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 leeks, washed, cleaned and sliced into ¼’ rounds
2 parsnips, cut in ¼-inch rounds
1 celery root, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup Rioja, preferably barrel fermented white or Crianza
2 vegetable stock
¼ cup olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary sea salt

Instructions:
1.Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. In a heavy roasting pan, combine the vegetables and olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are nicely browned.

2.Transfer the pan to the top of the stove. Add the wine, stock, and herbs and cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, add in turnip greens and stir to wilt greens. Season with salt and remove herb sprigs before serving.

Rioja Pairing: Root vegetables have a delicate creaminess and earthy flavor that would pair beautifully, but not be overwhelmed with the warmth and spice of a Rioja Crianza or the richness of barrel fermented white.

Remember, if you have any questions or comments regarding the recipes, you can email Jill at jill@vibrantrioja.com.