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In This Issue:

Long Live the Red, White and Rosado!

Spotlight on Rioja

Rioja in the News

Consumer Tastings

Consumer Events

Extra Information

Rioja Recipe

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  Long Live the Red, White and Rosado!


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 newsletter@VibrantRioja.com.


The Vibrant Rioja Wine Team

Why not honor the stars and stripes with something a little different – a red, white or rosado! Whether you plan to celebrate Independence Day with an all-day cookout extravaganza or with some light hors d'oeuvres during the fireworks, Rioja's got you covered. Temper the hot sun with a chilled rosado or a crisp white, or close out the evening spectacle under the stars with a rich Rioja red. Happy Fourth of July -- salud!

Spotlight on Rioja: Rioja Trip Winner Travels to Spain

Through the Vibrant Rioja advertising campaign, Christine Farrell and her mother Barbara Canton were the lucky recipients of a trip to Rioja, Spain where they experienced the wine, region and culture. Christine tells us about her trip in her own words:

Vibrant Rioja (VR): How was your experience with the winery tours and lunches?
Christine Farrell (CF): Absolutely outstanding in every way! We both came away learning so very much of the wine making process. We experienced a true feel for the Riojan culture of eating, having the many different courses of each meal. Each of the four bodegas we went to--Darien, Dinastía Vivanco, Heredad Ugarte, and Marques de Riscal--were high class restaurants with spectacular views. I have entered our opinions and written about the delicious dining and drinking experiences at Zagat.com. We would highly recommend each of these places for their hospitality, food, wine and the education to be had at the tours and museums. While at Dinastía Vivanco we received an impromptu tour from Jesus, even though the museum there was what they were known for. He took us around and made sure we understood and enjoyed the wine making process as much as he did - he was beaming and was having as much fun as we did. It was great to witness, and we were happy that we were a part of his fun.

VR: Was there one particular tour/tasting/location that was your favorite?
CF: Our favorite would have to be at Heredad Ugarte, where we were served three different wines during our lunch for each specific course; we enjoyed each one. We were able to leave with what we hadn't finished during the meal and finished them that night at the hotel. Wonderfully delicious wine!

VR: Any new favorite wines that you have as a result of the trip?
CF: The Crianzas were our favorites at each place. My mom used to be strictly a white wine drinker but has since changed her mind and enjoys the Spanish red wines. She says that they are fabulous and we have shared a number of bottles of Crianza since we have been home -- specifically, the Crianza 2006 from Marques de Arienzo that we had while at Marques de Riscal.

VR: Did you visit any other sites in Rioja?
CF: While we were in Logrono we did the walk of St. James and explored the churches and sites of the trail. Each morning we walked around prior to our wine tour of the day; we walked to the city park and enjoyed watching the storks nesting - what a way for us to welcome and appreciate spring! We found a local market and watched the local custom of the meats and vegetables, we also saw that there was a casino, which we did go to one night while in Logrono. The timing of our trip was extra special since we were able to witness the many processions and observances during Holy Week.

The city was such a beautiful and clean place to visit, and we felt very safe walking around at all times of the day. The hotel that was chosen for us (Hotel Portales) was perfect, so friendly, welcoming and accommodating. It was in an ideal place, right outside of a tourist information center and right on the main street within town. After our days at the wineries, we cleaned up and rested and then enjoyed tapas at the local restaurants. We loved the fact that each place was known for a specialty, and were thankful that most places had pictures showing us what we could eat! Our Spanish was limited at the beginning, but I picked up and remembered a lot of what I had studied in school by the end of our trip.

VR: Any other comments about the trip?
CF: We were so happy that we had a car and driver taking us to the bodegas. We were able to enjoy each wine tour without any concern. We would have had to limit our tasting and sampling as well as our local morning excursions before the wine tours if we had been forced to drive to find the locations. The drivers allowed us to choose when to be picked up so we could properly enjoy our time at the bodegas, shopping and walking around while there. Alfredo, our second driver, enjoyed showing us his area and knowledge of the region to a degree that was above and beyond what weever could have hoped for. He took us to Laguardia, a small romantic village on top of a mountain where there were many bodegas and hotels cut right into the rock of the mountainside. He walked us around the village and into a hotel, restaurant and home-style bodega where we met the owner and she gave us a mini-tour (in Spanish) of her home. It was incredible to see and experience and we learned exactly how the community thrives and depends on wine for their livelihood. He also took us to a scenic overlook in Bilbao to show us the Guggenheim museum since it was designed by the same person who did the Marques de Riscal!

Rioja in the News

The popular blog “The Foodinista” features two posts by Heather John entitled “Red is the color of my true love, Rioja” and “The Doors.” In the blog, she says, “Back from a week in Rioja, Spain. I went for the wine—and more on that later—but fell in love with the place. And if there is one color that defines the region, it’s red.” The posts include some beautiful images of the region, including winery shots from Lopez de Heredia’s cellars and Bodegas Bilbainas’ vineyards. Enjoy!

Consumer Tastings

Mountain Region

Rioja Wine Tasting Dinner hosted by Applejack
Abrusci’s Restaurant
3244 Youngfield St.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
July 30, 5-7pm
$50 per person
RSVP to Max Suiter at 303-233-3331 or msuiter@applejack.com


In-store Rioja Wine Tasting
Roger Wilco Wine Warehouse
700 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd.
Vorhees, NJ 08043
July 8, 4-8pm

I“Rioja Weekend Pack”: Rioja gift bag with purchase of Rioja Rosados & Blancos + 10% off
Roger Wilco Wine Warehouse
700 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd.
Vorhees, NJ 08043
July 8 – July 15

In-store Rioja Tasting & Cheese Pairing: Taste 6 Riojas along with cheese pairings from Lucy's Whey NYC
Shoppers Vineyard
875 Bloomfield Ave.
Clifton, NJ 07012
July 15, 4-8pm

In-store Rioja Wine Tasting
Jersey Wine and Spirits
92 Jersey Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07302
July 15, 2011, 4:30-7:30pm


UnWine with RIOJA tasting
Sanford Wine Company
114 South Palmetto Ave.
Sanford, FL 32771
July 8, 5-7pm
$15 per person

Rioja Sampling
Whole Foods
8003 Turkey Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819
July 9, 12 noon–3pm

Rioja Rosado Sampling
The Vineyard Wine Company
1140 Townpark Ave.
Lake Mary, FL 32746
July 15, 5-7pm
Rioja Tasting
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
2726 South Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
July 20, 6-8pm
$10 per person

Rioja Tasting
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
980 Rinehart Rd.
Lake Mary, FL 32746
July 24, 6-8pm
$10 per person

Southern California

Rioja Wine Tasting
Hi-Time Wine Cellars
250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
July 8, 3-8pm

Consumer Events

Celebrate Summer with Rioja at Bottles & Corks!
Bottles & Corks have both partnered with the most diverse wine region on earth: Rioja! Please join us for a memorable shopping experience featuring in-store educational materials and a giveaway with Rioja purchases from July 1 through July 31. Complimentary tastings of select Riojas -- ideal for warm-weather entertaining -- will be held on July 1 and 2.

For Long Islanders on the South Shore:
Corks Wine & Spirits
3533 Long Beach Rd.
Oceanside, NY 11572
(516) 442-3195
July 1, 4-8pm

For Long Islanders on the North Shore:
Bottles Wines & Spirits
63 Shore Rd.
Pt. Washington, NY 11050
(516) 883-1634
July 2, 12 noon-5pm

Rioja White and Rosé Celebration with Bar Ferdinand
On July 9, enjoy an Afternoon Outdoor Family Style 'Comida Riojano' from 3-5:30pm at Bar Ferdinand in Philadelphia. Food served includes Gazpacho, Tomato Salad, Roasted Pig, Paella, Flan and two flights of three half glasses of wine. The cost is $45 per person, all inclusive.

For the evening, a special five course chef's tasting menu will be served, along with reception wine plus two flights of three wines (each flight on table for two courses). There are two seating times: 6:30pm and 9:30pm. The cost is $78 per person, all inclusive.

Bar Ferdinand
1020 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
For reservations, call 215.923.1313

Extra Information

Vibrant Rioja Celebrates the World’s Best Culinary Events
For the second time in a row, Vibrant Rioja co-sponsored the prestigious FOOD & WINE Classic in downtown Aspen, Colorado, June 17-19. Vibrant Rioja splashed onto the scene by sponsoring five consumer Grand Tastings and a VIP mansion party hosted by Spanish celebrity chef and James Beard Award Winner José Andrés. For the past 28 years, the FOOD & WINE Classic has been a premier culinary and wine event in the U.S. About 5,000 consumers, industry professionals and media participated in exciting cooking demonstrations and wine tastings over a three-day weekend. World-class seminars were led by wine and food celebrities including Mario Batali, José Andrés, Jacques Pépin and Gail Simmons, among many others.

Earlier this season, Rioja co-sponsored the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, the most prestigious international culinary awards ceremony (commonly known as “The Oscars of the Food World”). Vibrant Rioja poured wines for over 2,000 guests during the reception at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. This year’s event celebrated the rich, diverse cultures currently inspiring American cuisine.

Rioja Press Trip
Vibrant Rioja had the pleasure of hosting five California-based wine and food writers in Rioja in May, visiting a wide range of wineries, from historic to modern to boutique. A trip to Rioja would not have been complete, of course, without a lively visit to the famous tapas street on Calle Laurel, in the old section of Logrono. Somehow, the wines always taste best with a bite of delicious Iberico ham or Manchego cheese, enjoyed over good conversation!

Gary Vaynerchuk Digs Rioja!
Gary Vaynerchuk, wine social media guru, recently opened as keynote speaker for New York’s Blog World Expo. At a book signing on opening night for his newest book release, “The Thank You Economy,” he toasted with a glass of Cortijo Blanco 2010, and gave the Spanish wine region a major shout-out. “Rioja is one of the few regions that have stayed true to their style and make real-world wines,” said Vaynerchuk. Watch what Vaynerchuk had to say about Rioja back in 2007 on one of his “Wine Library TV” episodes here.

Gary Vaynerchuk and the Vibrant Rioja Team at The Blog World Expo’s Opening Night
Rioja Recipe: Grilled Asian Duck with Asian Pear and Persimmon Slaw

This month’s recipe is the runner-up submission from our Rioja Recipe Contest. Congratulations to Cindy F. from Summit, NJ for her recipe for Grilled Asian Duck with Asian Pear and Persimmon Slaw! Cindy won a case of Rioja wines to enjoy ¡Salud, CIndy!

Grilled Asian Duck with Asian Pear and Persimmon Slaw
(2 servings)
Ingredients for Duck:
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon whole coriander, grounded
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon whole Szechwan peppercorn, grounded
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon grated ginger
2 duck breast
Hickory woodchips

1. Take woodchips and soak in water for 1 hour. Place ducks skin side up on cutting board. Score crosshatch pattern all across the skins.
2. In bowl, combine the five spice powder, coriander, ginger powder, salt, and peppercorn. Spread spice rub on the skin side of the ducks. Season breast side with salt and pepper and olive oil.
3. Place in bowl, orange juice, honey, and grated ginger. Stir to combine.
4. Add the wood chips to the grill and heat grill to medium high heat. Place duck breasts skin side down. Brush duck breasts with some of the orange juice mixture. Grill until skin is crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn over and grill until medium rare, about 4-5 minutes.
5. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on cutting board then cut into slanted diagonal slices.

Ingredients for Asian Pear and Persimmon Slaw:
2 Asian pears, julienne into thin matchsticks
2 persimmons, julienne into thin matchsticks
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon soy sauce

1. In bowl, add the julienned Asian pears and persimmons. Add salt. Let sit for 5-8 minutes.
Rinse with water.
2. In another bowl, add sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir together until
combined and sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour the sauce mixture over the Asian pear and persimmon mixture. Mix until well
incorporated. Season with more salt if needed. Let the slaw sit for a few minutes to marinate in
sauce. Serve alongside the sliced duck.