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In This Issue:

Heat vs. Rioja

Spotlight on Rioja

Rioja in the News

55th Anniversary of Hemingway’s Visit to Bodegas Paternina

Consumer Tastings

Remembering Enrique Forner and Fred Koehler

Vibrant Rioja Celebrates International Tempranillo Day on September 1!

Rioja Recipe

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  THE MAIN EVENT: Heat vs. 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

While writing this, we are trying our best to beat the heat, like everyone else. We have tried endless remedies against the overwhelming heat wave dominating the East Coast: soaking our feet in buckets of ice, installing an in-office slip-n-slide, hypnotism, water mist fans…you get the idea! We found nothing beats the heat better than a cool, fruity and delicious Rosado (Spanish for rosé) and a crisp and refreshing white Rioja. Top it all off with a tasty traditional or modern red and at the very least, you’ll forget about the heat for a little while!

Please tell us your own stories on how best to beat the heat by emailing us at or telling us on Facebook or Twitter.

Spotlight on Rioja: New Global Rioja Website

Check out our new global Vibrant Rioja website at You can now access Rioja information from the educational campaigns around the world, including Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK and the US. On the site, you will find Rioja wine types, classifications, harvests, vintages—everything you need to become a Rioja expert. You’ll also find links to our various social media pages, our newsletters and helpful information on Rioja travel, events, architecture and much more. For the trade, there are downloadable POS items, brochures/guides and tips. Visit us today!
Rioja in the News

Check out some recent articles written about Rioja. We love spreading the word!

Imbibe Magazine focuses on the BBQ-friendly Tempranillo grape in “Bueno Tempranillo”
“With grills, smokers and coal-stoked hibachis operating on all cylinders, we find our taste buds salivating for something a little lustier; a little more apropos for skin-baring, under-the-stars, sizzling summery feasts—like the soft and lovely signature grape of Spain: Tempranillo. From the younger, cheery fruit in joven versions to easy-going, affordable crianzas and savory, serious reservas, Tempranillo isn’t just one of the most food-friendly wines—it’s also one of the best values you’ll find; and come summer, it’s one of the most reliable reds around.” Read the full article.

iSante looks at the past, present and future Rioja region in “The Once and Future Rioja”
“Against the background of the Rioja village of Elciego, the violet-blue-silver tumble of the Frank Gehry–designed hotel-restaurant at Marqués de Riscal declares, ‘Rioja is transformed.’ Three miles away, at the feet of the Sierra Cantabria, the Santiago Calatrava–designed Ysios winery spreads out in an undulating yellow wave. It sings, ‘Rioja is this land.’ Rioja wines have been synonymous with unchanging tradition. These striking architectural symbols proclaim that style—and change—have arrived in Rioja.” Read the full article.

Rioja Wine on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Daily Grape
Gary Vaynerchuk, Host of Wine Library TV and Rioja fan, samples two Rioja wines, 2005 Finca Allende Rioja and 2001 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial, in this episode of Daily Grape. He calls Rioja “Spain's most historically significant, classic and noble wine producing region” and says that “Rioja’s a place that needs to be discovered.” Watch it here.

55th Anniversary of Hemingway’s Visit to Bodegas Paternina

Bodegas Paternina, in Haro, Rioja, celebrates the 55th anniversary of Hemingway’s visit to the bodega in 1956, two years after winning the Noble Prize in literature. To honor both this visit and coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death, Bodegas Paternina is planning an exhibition about his life, his relationship with wine, literature, Spain and Rioja.

The exhibition will be open for 7 months – from mid-September to April of next year. For more information, please visit

Consumer Tastings


In-store Rioja Tasting at Le Dû’s Wines
August 13, 4-7pm
600 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014

Spanish Tapas Fest & Wine Tasting at Union Square Wines 
August 20, 2-5pm
140 Fourth Avenue, New York, NY 10003


In-store Rioja Tasting at Ray's Wine and Spirits
August 6, 1-4pm
8930 W. North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53226

Rioja Road Show at Lush Wine Spirits (All 3 Locations)
August 13, 2-8pm
Store 1: 1412 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 312-666-6900
Store 2:  1257 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL, 312-738-1900
Store 3:  2232 West Roscoe Street, Chicago, IL, 773-281-8888

Rioja Summer Festival at Participating Chicago Restaurants
August 15 - September 15
Restaurants will offer a flight of 3 glasses of Rioja Rosé & White wines
Stay tuned for more information
Email for details:

Naperville Wine Festival
August 19 from 4-10pm
August 20 from 3-9pm
Wine Tasting Ticket - One day admission
$27 in advance or $35 at the door. Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.

Designated Driver Ticket - One day admission
$10 in advance or at the door. Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes two non-alcoholic drinks, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, souvenir wine glass upon departure. Under 21 admitted free when accompanied by paid adult.


Rioja Wine Dinner at Cypress Restaurant
August 11, 7pm
320 East Tennessee Street , Tallahassee, FL 32301
$85 per person

Tapas and Rioja at Wine Styles Wines
August 12, 2011, 7 pm
Towne Center, Winter Springs, FL 32708

Rioja Tasting at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
August 24, 2011, 6-8pm
14729 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618
$10 - no reservations needed

Remembering Enrique Forner and Fred Koehler

We would like to honor one of our own Riojaphiles, Enrique Forner, founder of Marqués de Cáceres, who passed away July 21st at the age of 86. Described by some as the father of modern Rioja wines, Forner is depicted in John Radford's book The Wines of Rioja as "the latest in an honorable tradition of reformers in Rioja," due to his bold moves to install stainless steel tanks in the winery and to reduce aging time while using more new oak. These practices, along with stainless steel fermentation, are now common practice in Rioja.

We would also like to pay tribute to Fred Koehler, founder of Lynfred Winery, who died on July 16th. We’d like to again raise a glass in remembrance of another pioneer wine-maker. We fondly recall Fred and thank him for all he did to raise wine awareness and to improve wine-making in the U.S.

Vibrant Rioja Celebrates International Tempranillo Day on September 1!
On September 1st, Vibrant Rioja will celebrate the First Annual International Tempranillo Day! TAPAS – the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society ( – has declared September 1, 2011 Tempranillo Day, a celebration of the Tempranillo grape. TAPAS and Vibrant Rioja encourage everyone to open a bottle of Tempranillo, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online using the hashtag #tempranilloday. If you find a great bottle of Rioja for the special day, join in the conversation with #riojabuzz.

Tempranillo, indigenous to Spain and made famous by Rioja, is planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, making it the fourth most planted wine grape. Until recently, its entire acreage was almost all in Spain. Today, however, knowledge of this noble grape is rapidly spreading, creating excitement and a spirit of cooperation among vintners both in the Old World and New. Tempranillo today is grown in the US, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China, Thailand, and more. And that’s why TAPAS has established International Tempranillo Day. You can register your support at

Vibrant Rioja and TAPAS are sponsoring regional events around the world, leading up to and around September 1. Stay tuned to Vibrant Rioja on Facebook and Twitter for event updates.
Rioja Recipe: Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz

Enjoy this recipe from Penelope Casas, a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Fine Cooking. She is also a consultant and lecturer on Spain, a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society, as well as an adjunct professor at the New York University.

Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz
(Red Pepper, Tomato, And Tuna Salad, Andalusian Style)

This version of Andalusian red pepper salad comes from the Cazorla restaurant In Madrid and is an especially delicious rendition. It includes tomato, white-meat tuna and mild bright green olives, and is served in a bowl with lots of liquid from the peppers and tomatoes. More than salad, this can serve as a great side dish to Andalusian fried fish and grilled shrimp. Serves 4.

6 medium-large, deep red bell peppers
1/2 pound good-quality white-meat tuna, preferably imported from Spain
1/2 pound ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then halved
12 mild bright green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar, preferably mild white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 550'F. Place the peppers in a roosting pan and cook until charred, turning once, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a deep dish. Cover with foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin, core, and seed the peppers, reserving the juices.

Slice the peppers into 3/4-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add the tuna, broken into chunks, the tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Fold in the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Serve with...
Un-oaked white Rioja
Light and crisp, these wines are fermented in stainless steel and are usually released after only 6 months of bottle aging. Not meant to be showstoppers but they are often the most surprising in tastings. I can think of no other white wine produced anywhere else in the world that delivers this kind of value and consistency.

Clean and citrusy with aromas of fresh apples and pears.

When to Enjoy
Enjoy as a pre-meal aperitif, alongside a grilled chicken salad with arugula and tomato, shrimp kabobs, ginger and lemon roasted chicken served at room temperature.

View or print complete recipe