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VOLUME 2 ISSUE 10
NOVEMBER 2010

IN THIS ISSUE:

THANKSGIVING IS HERE!


SPOTLIGHT ON RIOJA - DINASTIA VIVANCO MUSEUM OF THE CULTURE OF WINE


BUY RIOJA WINES ONLINE AT J.J. BUCKLEY

RIOJA TASTINGS NEAR YOU

CONSUMER PAIRING TIP - TURKEY AND RIOJA

CONSUMER EVENTS

RIOJA IN THE NEWS

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

   

THANKSGIVING IS HERE!

 

Now that Halloween has come and gone and you've finished off the last of the candy corns, it's time for the REAL great American holiday that brings all Americans together: Thanksgiving. So break out the turkey baster, the fine china, the forgiving elastic-waisted pants with the elastic waist (maternity-wear sections are great for these if you're in need of a new pair), and, of course, the Rioja.

Given that this is a holiday centered around food, you might be tensing up at the mere thought of finding the perfect wine to pair with the a meal you'll likely spend days planning and preparing for. Relax, take a deep breath, and let us walk you through your Thanksgiving feast step-by-step. After all, there's a reason why Riojas are considered the best food-pairing wines out there!

First of all, here at Rioja, we have a different definition for "cooking with wine" than most typical. Our mantra is to only cook with quality wine you would like to drink, because the flavor will come out in your dishes, but also nothing is more fun than a glass (or two) while you cook! "Cooking with wine" is not exclusive to descriptions of the inexpensive, saltier wines created for cooking instead of for drinking. Rather, for us, the term also refers to the wine you drink while you cook. So, let's get this cooking-extravaganza started with a nice, clean and aromatic white Rioja--which is great for calming your nerves as you prepare to get quite intimate with the a 15- pound bird thawing in your sink just waiting to be cleaned and stuffed.

Several hours later, you'll be enjoying the aromas coming from the oven (and from the nose on that white Rioja too), as your dishes finish up in the oven and your guests arrive. Greet your guests and welcome them with a delicious glass of fresh and fruity Rioja Crianza, which is young but delicious. But don't forget to open and decant the Rioja Gran Reserva you've been saving for this special occasion to allow it time to breathe!

Before you know it, it will be time for the main event (No, we're not talking about the football games.). Gather around the table and raise what's left of the wine in your glasses and give thanks for all this fantastic wine! Now, you and your guests are ready to pass around the plates and that bottle of Rioja Gran Reserva (or Reserva or another Crianza or Joven, if you prefer any other of your favorite Riojas) with your friends and family.

Pace yourself --with the scrumptious food and with the delicious wine--because you'll want to save room for dessert. Or just forget the pies; make your dessert another delicious glass of Rioja! Our forefathers would be proud of you for doing Thanksgiving right. Salud Riojaphiles!

 
  SPOTLIGHT ON RIOJA - DINASTIA VIVANCO MUSEUM OF THE CULTURE OF WINE
 


Rioja is home to the world's finest wine cultural center and museum, the Dinastía Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine, located next to the small hilltop town of Briones. Declared the Best Wine Museum in the World by Unesco, this fascinating and interactive museum offers a stroll through the history and culture of wine, including an exploration of mythology and religion, art and ceremony as it relates to the world of wine.

Owned by the well-known Vivanco winemaking family of Bodegas Vivanco, the museum is the result of 40 years of collecting art and artifacts, offering something for wine lovers of all knowledge levels. The permanent collection includes a 2000 year old wine press, bottles dating back to Roman times, priceless pieces of art (two Picassos included!), hundreds of live vines from around the world and interactive displays and videos on the winemaking process. This spectacular collection is not to be missed on any visit to the region!

 
  BUY RIOJA WINES ONLINE AT J.J. BUCKLEY
 

Vibrant Rioja is pleased to announce that J.J. Buckley, a leading national online wine retailer, now offers an outstanding selection of Rioja wines at great prices. More than two dozen exciting Rioja wines of all types (Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) are now available for purchase online through their website at jjbuckley.com.

"We've long been known for our fine selection of Bordeaux wines," says Paige Granback of J.J. Buckley. "And because Rioja offers wines that are distinct and elegant, we started looking more deeply into them, and found many intriguing wines that offer great value to our customers, so we are really happy to be offering a broad selection of Riojas."

Browse Rioja wines available from J.J. Buckley. Complete shipping information can be found here.

 
  RIOJA TASTINGS NEAR YOU
 

November 18 - 19
In-Store Tasting: Riojas for Thanksgiving
Whole Foods
5-8 pm

1440 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
202.332.4300

 
 

CONSUMER PAIRING TIP - TURKEY AND RIOJA

 

With a versatile range from soft and elegant to lush and full-bodied, Rioja is the ideal wine choice for Thanksgiving dinner. Always aged to be ready to drink, Riojas offer balanced and complex wines with the perfect structure and acidity to stand up to the many fatty and caloric flavors offered up on turkey day. According to Bon Appetit magazine's Heather John, "Rioja reds with an alcohol content of 13 percent to 13.5 percent are going to be better companions to turkey, " and "the savory notes from this style of wine would also highlight the richness of a pan-juice gravy."

So, when you're thinking of the best pick to satisfy all of your friends and family this Thanksgiving, look no further than the delicious values in Rioja!

 
 

CONSUMER EVENTS

 

What could be more natural than a Rioja wine dinner at Rioja? Five delicious and creative courses created by Chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja Restaurant in Denver, Colorado, paired with the wonderful wines from Spain's Rioja region.

Located in Denver's historic Larimer Square, Rioja serves the flavors and ingredients of the Mediterranean in a landmark building with exposed brick walls, copper accents and handblownhand-blown glass fixtures. Chef/Owner Jennifer Jasinski has created crafted a cuisine all on her own with an emphasis on handmade pastas and local ingredients. The wine list, authored by front-of-the-house partner Beth Gruitch complements Chef Jen's cuisine featuring bottles from around the globe.

Where:
Rioja Restaurant
1431 Larimer Street
Denver, Colorado 80202

When:
Tuesday, November 30th, 6:30 pm

Price:
$95 per person plus tax and gratuity
For reservations, please call 303.820.2282

About the Chef:
Jennifer Jasinski was named 2004 Colorado Chef of the Year and 2005 Western Regional Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation. Rioja is consistently listed among Denver's top restaurants by the Rocky Mountain News, 5280 Magazine and the Gabby Gourmet Restaurant Guide. Jasinski has been named Best New Chef, Rising Star and more in Restaurant Hospitality, Nation's Restaurant News, The Denver Post, and 5280 Magazine. In 2007, she was the Jean Yancey award winner in the Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business awards and Denver Magazine Chef of the Year in 2010.

 
 

November 19
Rioja wine dinner
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
7-9 pm
Lake Mary, FL

November 20
Rioja & Sanford Wine Company wine dinner
Stone's Throw Bistro
7:30 - 10 pm
Sanford, FL

 
 

RIOJA IN THE NEWS

 

Are you a Riojaphile yet?

Jack Robertiello's feature article in Beverage Media entitled "Rioja Rising: with younger wines joining legendary aged reds, Rioja looks to cover all the bases" tells the tale of retailers and restauranteurs around the country turning to Rioja for value and food pairability. Wine stores like Orange County, California's Hi-Time Wine Cellars mega-store is up to 75 Rioja SKUs because, as explained by Wine Buyer Patty Quick "the consumer is realizing these days that there is great quality to price ratio in Rioja at every price point from $5 to $150."

Dominating about 20% of her Spanish wine list, Jill Zimorski, Beverage Director of Jose Andres' Think Food Group thinks the region has "done a really good job marketing and exporting their wines… and whether by chance of sheer likability, Rioja wines are certainly the most well-known." Check out the September issue of Beverage Media for more on "Rioja Rising."

 
 

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.


   
 

POTATO MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
 
With the holiday season fast approaching, here is a hearty side dish that can be incorporated into your usual repertoire. The mushrooms and sage lend a deep earthiness to this dish with is especially satisfying once the cold weather sets in.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, plus one tablespoon to grease casserole
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup white Rioja
1 cup gruyere, grated (about 4 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
1 cup parmesan, grate (about 4 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/8-inch rounds
3/4 sour cram
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
sea salty
freshly ground white pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13x9-inch casserole dish and set aside. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.

2. Add half of mushrooms to skillet. Cook until they are slightly softened, about three minutes. Add remaining mushrooms and cook another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cook 3-5 minutes until all liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cover bottom of casserole dish with potatoes. Sprinkle 1/3 cheese, 1/3 sage and 1/3 mushroom on top of your potatoes. Repeat two more times to create three layers of potatoes. Season each layer with salt and pepper.

4. Whisk together sour cream and heavy cream. Distribute evenly over potato and mushroom mixture and let stand 30 minutes to allow potatoes to absorb liquid.

5. Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle on remaining cheese. Bake another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

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