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VOL 3 ISSUE 3 MAY 2011

In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Trade Events

Trade Special Events

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  Industry News

 

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

 

On-Premise Alcohol Sales Expected to Rise
A March report from foodservice consulting group Technomic revealed that 500 major U.S. restaurant chains achieved a combined 1.8% gain in 2010 sales. It is worth noting that a number of the top performers in the sample were chains that rely extensively on alcoholic beverage sales. Though on-premise growth remains uncertain, on-premise beverage alcohol sales in the U.S. are expected to rise by 1.9% over the course of this year.(Impact Monthly, April 1 & 15)
Our Thoughts
Ever a beacon of economic prosperity, the on-premise food and beverage industry is slowly making gains.

Consumers Taking Interest in White Wines, Sparkling Wine Continues to Grow
American consumers are cultivating an interest in white wines and rosés. Pinot Grigios, White Zinfandels, and Sauvignon Blanc were popular varietals during the first quarter this year. Consumers are becoming a little more daring when it comes to whites, which seem to be priced to sell of late. Additionally, it seems that consumption of sparkling wines is not limited to New Year’s and special occasions, which the consistent growth of sparkling wine sales in the U.S. suggests (sparkling wines enjoyed impressive 69% growth in January and have continued to post positive numbers).
Our Thoughts
It looks like the American love affair with reds is losing a little heat, which presents the industry with an opportunity to expand the palates of consumers.

$15 Wine the New Normal?
It's no secret that consumers have been spending less for a bottle of wine than they did prior to the recession. The median price-point for wine continues to trend downward, though we have seen some consumers trending back up. Patrick Comiskey of the Los Angeles Times recently noted that the $15 to $20 price segment could be called today's sales sweet spot, and many retailers are inclined to agree with him. (Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2011)
Our Thoughts
Consumers still shell-shocked from the recession remain cautious about their spending and their buying habits continually change. Continue to monitor consumer attitudes to determine what prices are right for your inventory and your clientele.

Rioja in the News

Wine & Spirits Features Rioja
Rioja’s recent 6-page feature in Wine & Spirits magazine, includes in-depth winemaker interviews from Joshua Greene. Joshua reveals many of the winemaker’s intriguing personal strategies, and also inquires about the bodegas historical practices and traditions.

Vibrant Rioja, Stanley Tucci + Vine Talk!
National public television stations are currently airing Vine Talk this month! Host Stanley Tucci (Big Night, Julie and Julia) joins well-known entertainment personalities -- including actors John Lithgow, Aidan Quinn and Rosie Perez, fashion designer Nanette Lapore, chef Lidia Bastianich, writer Nora Ephron and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons -- to taste wine and chat. Watch for some great stories, discussion and discovery. Rioja wines will be featured on one of the final episodes, so stay tuned! Be sure to check your local listings for airings.

Rioja Information

El Coto de Rioja Presents the Third Annual Paella Parade
Rioja is bringing a bit of Spain to the U.S. with the Third Annual Paella Parade, presented by El Coto de Rioja. Spanish cuisine and culture are celebrated at four different events around the country that pairs El Coto de Rioja wines with paella dishes created by local chefs. The four different cities participating in this year’s celebration are Miami (that event took place on March 9th--sorry if you missed out!), New York City (May 23rd), Chicago (June 23rd) and Seattle (June - date to be announced). Local chefs from top restaurants in each city will compete to create their own version of the Spanish favorite. For information and tickets, visit the event site.

Trade Events

Bocadillo Bash
The Florida Trade “Bocadillo Bash” was held on April 4th in Orlando Florida. The wine trade community showed up in full force to sample 85+ different Riojas and taste the fantastic culinary creations of top Florida chefs from K Restaurant, Mi Tomatina, Restaurant Orsay, Pine 22 and Luma on Park. The winner of the Bocadillo Showdown was Chef Nadia Ruiz of Mi Tomatina. As the winner, she will be attending the Grand Tasting in NYC on May 5th, on us. Congratulations, Nadia!

Trade Special Events
   

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting
It's not too late to register for this year's Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting Events in San Francisco (May 2nd) and New York (May 5th). Join the Vibrant Rioja team for the most comprehensive display of Rioja wines in the country, featuring well-established bodegas in the U.S. alongside wineries seeking importers. This year's focus is Tempranillo and the versatility and expressions of this king grape in the Rioja region.


Unable to join us in person? Watch the New York Grand Tasting LIVE on the web! Starting at 10:30am, you can watch this year’s seminar with renowned winemakers and winery owners Cristina Forner of Marques de Caceres, Diego Pinilla of Bodegas Bilbainas and Rafael Vivanco of Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco discussing the different expressions of Tempranillo in Rioja. Log on to www.vibrantrioja.com to watch the seminar live-stream and use our Twitter hashtag #RiojaBuzz to tweet in the questions you have always wanted to ask about Rioja. Following the seminar, stay tuned for up-close and personal one-on-one interviews with the winemakers and find out what attending restaurant owners, sommeliers and journalists think of Rioja.

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting 2011 -- San Francisco
The Westin St. Francis
355 Powell St (on Union Square)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Click here to register.
Monday, May 2nd, 1 - 5pm

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting 2011 -- New York
La.venue
608 West 28th Street (between 11th & 12th Avenues) New York, NY 10001
Click here to register.
Thursday, May 5th, 1 - 5pm

Spain’s Vivacious Varietals
Please join Wines From Spain at its 18th Annual Great Match, featuring Spain’s Vivacious Varietals. Meet with Spanish winery representatives, wine importers and distributors at this must-attend trade-only event. Discover new wines while tasting your way through Spain, highlighting more than 150 wines from many of Spain’s denominations of origin. Your complimentary reservation for the wine seminar and tasting must be confirmed at www.greatmatch.org or by calling 1-888-772-4694. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, May 17th
12:30 - 1:30pm Ribera del Duero Tasting Seminar presented by Doug Frost, MS, MW
1:30 - 5:00pm Main Tasting
The Parador
2021 Binz, Houston, TX 77004

Thursday, May 19th
12:30 - 1:30pm Valdeorras Tasting Seminar presented by Doug Frost, MS, MW
1:30 - 5:00pm Main Tasting
4:30 – 5:30 Rioja Tasting Seminar presented by Doug Frost, MS, MW
Old Red Museum
100 South Houston Street, Dallas, TX 75202

James Beard Foundation Awards 2011
The James Beard Foundation awards will be held on Monday, May 9th at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org.