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In This Issue:

A Toast to Your Health!

Spotlight on Rioja

Rioja in the News

Consumer Tastings

Rioja Recipe

  A Toast to Your Health!


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


The Vibrant Rioja Wine Team

When most people think of March, they think of St. Patrick's Day and green beer (for good reason, of course). Most people don't think of March as National Nutrition Month, but it is! So this month, let's all drink to our health -- and we do mean that quite literally.

Many of you are probably aware of some of the health benefits associated with the moderate consumption of red wine, but a recent study conducted at Universidad Complutense de Madrid has put the spotlight on the healthy attributes of Rioja's beloved Tempranillo grape. Not only are Tempranillo wines full of flavor, but they're also full of two things that can significantly help to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol: antioxidants and dietary fiber. So make the most of National Nutrition Month with a glass of Rioja!

Spotlight on Rioja
We recently sat down with Chef Patterson at Chart House and asked for some tips on food and wine pairings.

Vibrant Rioja: What do you like best about Rioja?
Patterson: I like how food-friendly and versatile the Rioja wines are. The pairings are endless. Did I mention that the color of the Tempranillo wines is gorgeous?!

Vibrant Rioja: Do you have some food and wine pairing words of wisdom?
Patterson: My only words of wisdom on food and wine pairing are not to take it too seriously or over analyze. I keep it very basic, just pulling a characteristic of the wine that works well with a food, or preparation, and then building on it.

Vibrant Rioja: What are your favorite foods to eat?
Patterson: What is my favorite food to eat? That's a hard question to answer. For me, it's really a question of where. If I'm in Boston, it's a variety of fresh oysters; Maine, lobster; or Nantucket, scallops -- when in season. Savannah, it's grits with Savannah white shrimp; low country, catfish and collard greens. In San Francisco, it's got to be Dungeness crabs and more oysters from Puget Sound, as well as a trip to Chinatown for some dim sum. When most people travel, they make plans on what to see when they arrive. I just plan on what to eat!
Rioja in the News
Rioja was recently featured on the final episode of "Vine Talk," Stanley Tucci's weekly wine-tasting talk show. Check out this video for a sneak peek of the show and stay tuned until it debuts on PBS on April 7!
CNBC's Wine Portfolio just wrapped up filming in Rioja, Spain. Visit for TV listings and tune into the show! You can also check out Wine Portfolio's live blog posts recounting their Rioja adventures on their Facebook fan page and on Twitter.
Consumer Tastings
The end of April marks the 25th anniversary of the Sandestin Wine Festival in north Florida, one of Florida's greatest wine festivals. Taking place from April 28 - May 1, the four days of unique events include private dinners, distinctive wine auctions, and wine tastings showcasing more than 800 wines.

Rioja medal winners:
Tempranillo category:
• Silver medal: Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2005
Spanish Red category:
• Gold medal: Bilbainas Vina Zaco 2007
• Silver medal: Campo Viejo Reserva 2006
Rioja Recipe: Shrimp Escabeche Martini

Courtesy of Chef Patterson, Chart House Restaurant

Shrimp Escabeche Martini
Serves 6

12 large martini glasses, approx. 10 oz
12 pieces of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Escabeche sauce heated
12 polenta fries
Cilantro sprig garnish, optional

Heat a cast iron or heavy gauge pan on stove.
Brush shrimp with melted butter and coat both sides lightly with chili rub.
Sear shrimp in skillet on both sides until cooked through.
Place 1/3 cup escabeche sauce in each martini glass.
Remove tails from half the shrimp and slice each into 3-4 pieces and add to the top of sauce.
Hang other shrimp on the rim of each glass.
Criss cross the polenta fries into the glass and place cilantro sprig in center.

View or print complete recipe