December 2012

Celebrate the Holidays with Rioja Wines!

Holiday Table When the weather outside is frightful, we keep busy hunting for presents, entertaining, and celebrating with friends and family. Holidays can be stressful, but the wine selection doesn't need to be!

From prime rib roast to chocolate soufflé, Rioja wines pair beautifully with almost every dish on the table. The Tempranillo grape boasts balanced alcohol, color and acidity with smooth texture and medium body. Often fruity when young and velvety when aged, Rioja wines are versatile and easy-to-drink – perfect to keep holiday stress at an all-time low.

No need to break the bank to treat your palate either. Rioja offers excellent quality and value. As the only wine region in the world to extensively cellar and age our wines, we refuse to release any bottles until they are perfectly ready to drink.

Unwind over the holidays with a bottle of Rioja and one of these pairings for the perfect holiday feast:

• Green Bean Casserole – Rioja Crianza
• Prime Rib Roast – Rioja Reserva or Gran Reserva
• Fruit Tart – Semi-dulce (semi-sweet) Rioja Blanco

We wish everyone a joyful, wine-filled holiday season!

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header Spotlight on Rioja

Holiday Lights Spotlight on Rioja: Celebrating the Holidays

Celebrate the holiday season like a Riojano! An important religious holiday in Spain, La Navidad (Christmas) is a time for traditions, family, great food and wine. In Spain, the holidays start on December 8 with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Throughout the month, cities and villages display elaborate "Nacimiento" (nativity scenes), Christmas trees, and Christmas markets filled with fruits, flowers, marzipan, candles, decorations and handmade Christmas gifts. The most important holiday family dinner of the year takes place on La Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) accompanied by plenty of fine Spanish wine.

Traditionally, gifts are exchanged on the morning of January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. For Spanish children this is the most important day of the year, when they wake up to find Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings/Wise Men) have left gifts for them in their house. At midnight on El Año Nuevo (New Year's Eve) on December 31, everyone celebrates the New Year by eating 12 grapes, one for every chime of the bells in the city hall tower in Madrid, to bring good luck. Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

header Rioja in the News

Snooth Logo shows Rioja some love!

In his article, "Rioja Reserva," Snooth's Editor in Chief, Gregory del Piaz offered recommendations on top Rioja Reservas for the holidays, noting, in his words, "Rioja Reserva offers a unique opportunity to bring that something special to the table."

Gregory also notes that Rioja is one of the only wine regions that cellars and ages its wines to perfection before release. "There is no place else in the world where you can find wines like these. The wines of Rioja are aged for you at the winery and then put on sale when they are ready to drink. As if that in and of itself isn't reason enough to buy more Rioja Reserva, there is also the quality, which is pretty amazing at these price points."

The Reserva category was chosen over other age classifications because it "brings together a lovely mix of rich, vibrant fruit, plenty of spicy oak notes, and the incipient flavors and silky textures of extended aging." Gregory explains that the style of Rioja wines range from very modern to decidedly traditional. He states that, "this wide range of styles means that there's a great Rioja Reserva for almost every meal you have planned this holiday season. I wish to encourage you all to try a variety of these wines."

Read the full article here.

header Rioja Featured Tastings

Here is just a sampling of our tasting events across the country in December. To view all our upcoming events visit our online calendar.






Rioja and Tapas Tuesday at Racion – Old Town Pasadena
Chef Teresa Montano serves up Basque-inspired bites at Southern Cal's latest and most-attention getting spot. She's reaching above and beyond for us to create some special bites for this ultimate Rioja pairing. Seats are reserved and limited – and the food promises to be very inspired!

Tuesday, December 11
$30 includes food and wine
Please call (626) 396-3090 to RSVP - only 25 seats available


Second Annual Rioja Red Tie Party at Hotel Fairmont Eno Wine Room – Chicago, IL
Enjoy tapas style food and club style music. The dress code is RED!

Saturday, December 15
$50/person advance booking or $55 at the door (all inclusive)





In-Store Rioja Tasting at Cool Vines – Westfield, NJ
Saturday, December 15


In-Store Rioja Tasting at Cook's Warehouse – Decatur, GA
Wednesday, December 12

header Rioja Across the U.S.

San Diego Rioja Event San Diego Food and Wine Festival
More than 20 different Riojas were showcased in sunny California in November, as part of a 5-day festival, San Diego Wine & Food on the Bay. The Rioja events kicked off on Thursday with a seminar on "Twenty-first Century Rioja Wines," led by Bonnie Graves of "Girl Meets Grape." The following day featured an exclusive "Private Vault" tasting, where a small but carefully curated selection of truly extraordinary Riojas were sampled. A final Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon opened up Rioja wines to over 1000 wine lovers.

TSW Logo Rioja in Houston, TX
On December 10, join Vibrant Rioja Education Consultant James King and the Texas Wine School for a seminar and tasting highlighting a diverse range of Rioja wines, with a focus on holiday entertaining and pairings. Visit or email for tickets and event details.

Whole Foods Rioja in Portland, OR
Join Rioja in the Pacific Northwest for exclusive events at Whole Foods in Portland, Oregon. Vibrant Rioja expert Bonnie Graves will be on hand to personally guide you through the selections. All tastings are complimentary, and will be held at The Pearl (1210 NW Couch St.) on Thursday, December 13 from 5-7pm, and at Laurelhurst (2825 East Burnside St.) on Saturday, December 15 from 4-7pm. Hope to see you there!

header Recipe of the Month

Chef Root Vegetable Stew
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of Rioja with a hearty stew. This satisfying dish truly highlights the various textures, colors and flavors of root vegetables. It can be served as a main course but would look especially beautiful as a side dish on a holiday table. View the recipe here. Enjoy!

header Last Sip

Glasses The Revolution Collection
Looking for a fabulous gift for the wine lover on your list? These unique wine glasses are handcrafted in the Czech Republic by master glassblowers. Designed for use from either end, they give the illusion of floating liquid. They'll be in our stockings!

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