ISSUE #7, SEPTEMBER 2009
SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING EVENTS
October 6, New York
October 30, Houston
September 20-22, New York
RIOJA IN THE NEWS!
LA Times, ‘Easy to drink’ isn’t an insult when it comes to wines, August 5, 2009
NY Times, The Pour: Tradition Ascendant in Rioja, August 11, 2009
NY Times, The Pour: Rooted in Rioja, Traditions Gain New Respect, August 11, 2009
NJ.com, Rioja wines a good value, August 12, 2009
Forbes, Wines You Can Find: A luscious chardonnay and a spicy Rioja, August 21, 2009
Wine Enthusiast, Spain’s 10 Best Wines, September 1, 2009
Wine Spectator, Spain: Rioja, September 30, 2009
ABOUT VIBRANT RIOJA
Vibrant Rioja is a partnership between the governing body for wines from Rioja, Spain – called the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja – and Wines from Spain, under the auspices of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX).
Our goal is to raise awareness and educate consumers and trade professionals on wines from the Rioja region. Email us your questions or comments at:
WELCOME TO RIOJA BUILDS RESTAURANTS, A NEWSLETTER FOR THE ON-PREMISE AND FOOD SERVICE TRADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIBRANT RIOJA. We will be presenting news, trends and ideas to help you build your on-premise business. We will cover anything in relation to the wine industry and the food-service business as a whole. Then, we’ll bring it straight to you in short, concise bites that are aimed to help.
Robert Parker to Lead WineFuture in Rioja
In 2004, Robert Parker predicted that Spain would emerge “as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive wine making philosophy.” (Food & Wine Magazine, 2004) Now, Parker, along with some of the world’s most influential wine writers and educators, will be coming to Rioja this fall for WineFuture – Rioja 2009. The conference, created by The Wine Academy of Spain and supported by the CRCD Rioja (Consejo Regulador), will be held in the city of Logroño on November 12th and 13th of this year. Discussing the global financial crisis, the environment, sales, consumptions trends, on and off-trade challenges, brands, strategies and emerging markets will be Robert Parker along with Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier, Kevin Zraly, Robert Joseph, Mel Dick, Dan Jago and Troy Christense.
Registrations for Winefuture-Rioja 2009 will be available on-line from the official website at www.winefuture.es. In addition, some of the speeches will be available through live broadcast on the website.
Revamping Your Website
In our third issue (May 2009) and sixth issue (August 2009), we shared tips and tools on improving your online presence to increase sales. On August 5th, Wine Spectator launched the redesign of their website, WineSpectator.com. As with many retailers and restaurants, Wine Spectator is adhering to consumers needs and encouraging engagement among wine lovers – promising more compelling content, improved tools, easier use and more interactivity. (WineSpectator.com, August 5, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Don’t be the last one to revamp your website! Having a crisp, clean and easy to use site will ensure customers get the best experience possible, online and offline. Your website is another vehicle to reach your customers and expand on your customer base and customer loyalty.
Would You Like Fries and Wine With That?
Sounds a little far-fetched, doesn’t it? However, fast food restaurants are trying to raise their bottom line by adding new products and yes, wine to their menus. Though having alcohol in fast-food places in common practice in Europe, that isn’t the case in the U.S. yet… Starbucks, for example, announced on July that it plans to offer wine at a couple of stores in Seattle. Burgerville (a chain based in Washington and Oregon) recently added wine to its menu, even including wine pairing suggestions for specific burgers. (Examiner.com, August 10, 2009)
Getting Creative With Your Wine
It’s no surprise that restaurants make a lot of their profits on beverages, but it can’t be done without customers. So restaurants have been slicing prices and increasing promotions on beverages, especially since profit margins on food are often minimal. As a result, many restaurants are changing their approach to wine and wine lists. From a bigger selection of “by-the-glass” wines to very creative promotions, such as allowing guests within a week of their birthday to get their age in dollars applied to a wine purchase, as long as their party orders two entrees (thank you Restaurant Max in Minneapolis). (StarTribune.com, July 19, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Consumers are increasingly looking for high quality wines at a lower price, but wines need to be tailored to your customer preferences for varietal, brand and price. There are no better wines than Rioja wines for this purpose. In fact, Rioja wines often beat the best of France and Italy at lower prices. Keep in mind that leading U.S. wine players – E&J Gallo, DFV wines and W.J. Deutsch & Sons – decided to include Spanish wines in their portfolio because they know that consumers are increasingly discovering and buying Rioja wines
Blame it on Rioja
Want to read more about Rioja and wines? Besides visiting our website, www.VibrantRioja.com, you can also check out Adrian Murcia’s blog, Blame It On Rioja. Adrian Murcia is a New York-based sommelier, writer, educator, and unreformed lifetime Riojaphile. In his blog, you can learn more about Spain’s premier winemaking region, tasting notes, travel dispatches and more. Enjoy!
In each newsletter issue, we’ll profile a Rioja winery, importer or distributor of interest to the wine trade or a retailer doing an outstanding job with Rioja wines (Please submit articles.) In this profile, we take a look at Bodegas Valdemar.
Starting in September, VibrantRioja has partnered with three retailers to provide customers with exciting educational, promotional and tasting opportunities to learn more about Rioja wines.
If you are in the Florida area, please visit a Crown Wine & Spirits store and go to their website (www.crownwineandspirits.com) to learn more about this program and a schedule of events.
If you’re in the Chicago area, please visit Binny’s.
And lastly, if you’re in Texas, please visit Specs.
WHAT CAN VIBRANT RIOJA OFER?
• Wine Sourcing -- we can put you in touch with importers and distributors to help you develop a wine program customized to your needs
• Education -- we partner with the Culinary Institute of America to offer seminars and tasting programs that can teach your staff about the Rioja region, characteristics of the wine, and appropriate food pairings
• Food & Wine Pairing -- we can draw on our many relationships with leading chefs and food-and-wine educators to develop an outstanding set of wine pairings for your menu
• Promotional Programs -- we can design and help execute different promotional programs to help you introduce your staff and customers to the wines of Rioja. Some sample programs are: Vibrant Rioja VIP Club – special tastings, food pairings, seminars and guided trips to the region; Vibrant Rioja Winedays – Build traffic on off nights; Vibrant Match – Try a tasting and pairing event customized to your offerings.
That's great, but… what else?
• Vibrant Rioja Materials – we can provide you with a wide range of educational and promotional tools --many customized to your needs. They include bottle-neckers, informational notebooks, maps, gift bags, tasting notes, food-pairing notes and much, much more. If you have an idea, we will try to work with you to produce it.