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VOL 3 ISSUE 4 MAY 2011

In This Issue:

April Showers Bring … Rioja!

Spotlight on Rioja

Rioja in the News

Consumer Tip

Consumer Tastings

Consumer Events

Extra Information

Rioja Recipe

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  April Showers Bring … Rioja!


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

Okay, so maybe the above phrase is a bit too much of a departure from the original "April showers bring May flowers," but we're so excited that spring and our latest shipments of Rioja are finally here that we just couldn't help it. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the sunshine and greenery and to relax with friends while sipping some wine outside. It's also the perfect time to explore some of the delicious whites and rosés that Rioja has to offer. Go on, hop to it … wait … Easter has passed, which means that joke has expired. Looks like we need to brush up on our popular phrases. Well, at least there is one phrase that all we Riojaphiles know: salud!

Spotlight on Rioja: Lighten Up with Rioja Whites & Rosés

Although Rioja is known for its red wine, there are many crisp and refreshing whites and rosés as well. As the weather warms up, spring is the perfect time to try some lighter wines!

Rioja white wines are most often blends of the major white grapes -- Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca -- or 100% Viura. Viura is the main white grape grown in Rioja. It yields pleasant wine with a floral aroma and a light, delicate flavor. Malvasia grapes produce wines with a floral aroma and a core flavor of grapefruit. Garnacha Blanca grapes are mainly added to white Rioja wines for their pleasant taste and aromas of sweet honeysuckle and apricot.

Rioja rosé wines are produced using the Grenache grape. This gives them a light raspberry color and a fresh and fruity taste that is typical of this grape and very pleasant to the palate.

Fermentation can take place in either stainless steel tanks or oak barrels, which provide a crisp, rich taste. Red, white, or rosé, you can't go wrong with Rioja.

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.

Consumer Tip

Did you know that October is grape harvesting time in Rioja? Wouldn’t you love to be there? If you’d like to experience the vibrancy and passion of La Rioja at harvest time, why not join the great Spanish wine harvest tour, run by Iberian Wine Tours together with some highly renowned Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) tutors from across the USA. The tour features a range of visits to the finest modern and traditional bodegas in Rioja, and a Michelin dinner in the tiny Riojan village of Daroca. For details go to Iberian Wine Tours or email Hope to see you in Rioja!

Consumer Tastings


Rioja Tasting & Food Truck Pairing: K & L Hollywood Store
1400 Vine St, Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464-WINE (9463)
May 12th, 6 - 8pm


Rioja In-store Tasting (Free): Potash Brother Market
875 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610
May 13th, 4 - 7pm

"La Rioja Fiesta" -- Rioja Wine Flights @ DaVine bar
Whole Foods Lincoln Park
1550 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642
May 21st, 3- 8pm

Rioja In-store Tasting (Free): Potash Brother Market
1525 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610
May 27th, 4 - 7pm


El Coto de Rioja’s Paella Parade
Beekman Beer Garden (Formerly Water Taxi Beach) – South Street Seaport
89 South St, New York, NY 10038
(212) 385-4490
Tickets: $35 / $60 for two
May 23rd, 6- 9pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
1201 1st St, NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 589-0351
May 26th, noon - 3pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
1631 Kalorama Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 299-0874
May 26th, 4- 7pm

In-store Tasting: Bowery and Vine
269 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
(212) 941-7943
May 26th, 5 - 8pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
1350 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-1040
May 27th, noon - 3pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
900 Army Navy Dr, Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 413-1664
May 27th, 4- 7pm

In-store Tasting: Morrell Wine
1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020
(212) 688-9370
May 27th, 3:30 - 6:30pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
600 North Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 526-9100
May 28th, noon - 3pm

In-store Tasting: Harris Teeter
3600 S Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 412-1544
May 28th, 4- 7pm

In-store Tasting: Union Square Wine
140 Fourth Ave, New York, NY 10003
(212) 675-8100
May 28th, 4- 7pm

Consumer Events
Celebrate Spring with Coolfish, Post Wine & Spirits and Rioja
Coolfish Restaurant, led by Tom Schaudel, Long Island’s most recognizable Chef, takes a modernist approach to classic seafood. Pairing perfectly with the most food-friendly wines on earth, Coolfish will offer its globally-inspired, local cuisine alongside Rioja specials by the glass or bottle throughout May 29.
(6800 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791, 516-921-3250)

Coolfish neighbor Post Wine & Spirits, long considered one of the great wine stores on Long Island, boasts the most carefully selected inventory in the area. Post will offer the wines featured at Coolfish for purchase beginning April 27. Please join Vibrant Rioja and Post Wine & Spirits on Saturday, May 21 for a complimentary Rioja tasting from 12pm-5pm featuring the wines of Rioja.
(510 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791, 516-921-1820)

Extra Information

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting --LIVE on the Web
The Vibrant Rioja team brought the most comprehensive display of Rioja wines to San Francisco and New York the first week of May for the campaign’s annual Grand Tasting. Together with the social wine network Snooth, we opened the doors to our New York tasting for consumers for the very first time. In case you missed the opportunity to sign up for one of the consumer tickets, you can watch the tasting on our web site. This year’s seminar featured 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.

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.

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!

Congratulations from Rioja!
We are excited to award prizes to several Rioja lovers who entered to win prizes via our advertising!
• Amy B. from Bala Cynwyd, PA won a $150 gift certificate for a Rioja dinner at Fork restaurant in Philadelphia
• Amy P. from Chicago, IL won a $150 gift certificate for a Rioja dinner at Province restaurant in Chicago
• Leslie F. from Phoenix, AZ won a $500 gift certificate to Neiman Marcus
• And our GRAND PRIZE winner, Christine F. from Franklin Square, NY own a trip to Rioja, Spain!

Rioja Recipe: Mussels Steamed in Tomato Consommé

This month’s recipe is the winning submission from our Rioja Recipe Contest. Congratulations to Michael L. from Denton, TX for his recipe for Mussels Steamed in Tomato Consommé! Michael won a dinner for two to a great local restaurant for a Rioja dinner. Cheers!

Mussels Steamed in Tomato Consommé

This dish requires 20 minutes of preparation time and about 45 minutes cooking time. It will serve 8 – 10 people as an appetizer. Its hearty tomato base and complexity beckons a similarly complex and well-rounded red wine. Rioja fits the bill!

· 4 to 6 pounds mussels (expect 20 to 25 mussels per pound)

For the consommé:
· 2 each of parsnips, carrots, onions cut in large pieces
· ¼ head garlic (whole cloves peeled)
· 4 large tomatoes quartered
· Several sprigs of tarragon and fresh thyme
· Two cups dry white wine
· Two cups water
· 1 tbs. sherry or wine vinegar
· ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional but wonderful)
· ½ tsp sea salt
· Crushed white pepper to taste

In a covered sauce pot, heat all of the ingredients except the mussels at a low boil for thirty minutes.

During this time, prep the mussels by handling each one. Discard any mussel that is cracked or won’t close by itself when gently squeezed. Wash the mussels under cold water to remove any grit. Pull off any organic material attached to the mussel.

After 30 minutes, strain the consommé through a fine sieve. Taste the consommé for salt and adjust.

In a large pan with a lid, bring the consommé to a rolling boil and add mussels. Cover the pot for 1 minute, then open and move them around to cook evenly. Cover for 2 minutes and check them. If they are almost all open, they are finished. Remove them to plates immediately (discard any that did not open), ladle in the consommé, and serve with warm, crusty bread.

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