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ISSUE #8, OCTOBER 2009

SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING EVENTS

GREAT MATCH

October 30, Houston

RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK
October 18-25, New York
October 18-25, Chicago


RETAIL PROMOTION PROGRAMS
Binny’s
October 1-31, Chicago


Crown
October 1 – November 15, Florida


Specs
October 15 – December 31, Texas


CIA WORLDS OF FLAVOR CONFERENCE
November 12-14, Napa Valley

RIOJA IN THE NEWS!

The Wall Street Journal, Sippin’ and Stompin’, September 18, 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:
newsletter@vibrantrioja.com

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.

Rioja Restaurant Week in New York and Chicago
Explore the vast variety of Rioja wines in some of the best restaurants in New York and Chicago. From October 18-25, Vibrant Rioja invites you to discover why some of the best chefs in the world consider Rioja wines to be some of the best food-pairing wines out there. If you’re a restaurant in New York or Chicago and would like to participate, please let us know. And if you’re a restaurant outside of NYC or Chicago, but would like to get involved, we can also help! We can send you promotional materials, help you with your wine list and much, much more! If you have any questions or would like to become more involved,
visit www.RiojaRestaurantWeek.com or email info@vibrantrioja.com.

Positive Outlooks For Restaurants
According to the National Restaurant Association, outlook for the restaurant industry went up for the first time in three months in July. Although sales and traffic have stayed the same, 31% of operators are optimistic about the second half of the year, up from 24%. While sales have only been up two percent in the first six months – a slower-than-normal growth rate – sales are still expected to reach a record high $556 billion this year. (Business Journal, September 1, 2009)

So, what can we do?
The name of the game is still value, so keep offering your customers more bang for their buck. Promotions such as Restaurant Week can be a great way to attract more customers. Also, make sure you revamp your wine list with Rioja wines. With thousands of wines at all price-points, Rioja wines are always a crowd-pleaser – and are consider some of the most food-friendly wines in the world.

A Permanent Shift in Consumer Perception?

High-end wines are clearly faring worse than anything else in these economic times. However, will this last forever or will consumers go back to purchasing $50+ (retail) wines when the economy recovers? Some truly believe that perception really has changed in the wine business. With consumers trading down, perception of wine and value has changed dramatically. In the meantime, high-end wines are still holding up in inventory and not selling. (Press Democrat, September 7, 2009)
So, what can we do?
For restaurants, having an balanced wine list has become extremely important. Did you know that Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink? That means you won’t have to hold the bottle in your inventory for long! We help you turn your wine purchases into cash faster than the competition!

Wine Consumption Is Still Growing

Even in tough economic times, Americans are still consuming plenty of wine. According to the 2009 Wine Handbook – released by the Beverage Information Group – this marks the fifteenth consecutive year of growth. One of the biggest factors for the continued growth is primarily thanks to the changing demographic trends in millenials (ages 21 to 30). Today, millenials account for 70 million people – and this generation is more willing to try different wines at lower price points. (Reuters, September 14, 2009)

So, what can we do?

Tailor your wines lists to adhere to the needs and wants of the millennial generation. They’re willing to try many different wines and lower price points – allowing you to move more wine out of inventory quicker. To buy a comparable Burgundy or Bordeaux, one would pay two or three times more. And did you know that Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink? We help you turn inventory into profits quicker than the competition.

Robert Parker to Lead WineFuture in Rioja
The day has come! 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) 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.

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!



Brand Profile: Vibrant Rioja and Social Media


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 Vibrant Rioja and Social Media.

Vibrant Rioja is going more digital than ever! For starters, we’ll be unveiling the new trade website – especially designed for the wine industry and restaurant professionals. Click here to view the new site and make sure you take a good look around!

In addition, we’re hitting up all aspects of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

On Facebook, become a fan of “Rioja Wine” for the latest news, tasting tips, food-pairings, stories and overall information to help you build your business.

Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter, @RiojaWine, where a top notch list of Riojaphiles will be tweeting about media, Rioja wines, restaurants, market conditions and the overall industry.

Lastly, get connected on LinkedIn with our own brand ambassador, Ana Fabiano!

GET INVOLVED... HERE'S HOW
If there is anything that you'd like to see in the upcoming newsletters that you feel will help other businesses, write a column and submit it to us! We would like to share best practices with all of you, so if you're doing something different to grow your business or would simply like to share your knowledge, please let us know.

Those interested should email Vibrant Rioja (newsletter@vibrantrioja.com) for more information and guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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.