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October 30, Houston

October 18-25, New York
October 18-25, Chicago

October 1-31, Chicago

October 1 – November 15, Florida

October 15 – December 31, Texas

November 12-14, Napa Valley


The Wall Street Journal, Sippin’ and Stompin’, September 18, 2009

Vibrant Rioja is a partnership between the governing body for wines from Rioja, Spain – called the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja – and Wines from Spain, under the auspices of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX).
Our goal is to raise awareness and educate consumers and trade professionals on wines from the Rioja region. Email us your questions or comments at:

WELCOME TO RIOJA BUILDS RETAIL, A NEWSLETTER FOR THE OFF-PREMISE TRADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIBRANT RIOJA. We will be presenting news, trends and ideas to help you build your business. We will cover anything in relation to the wine industry and the beverage retail business as a whole. Then, we’ll bring it straight to you in short, concise bites that are aimed to help.

Rioja Restaurant Week in New York and Chicago
Explore the vast variety of Rioja wines in some of the best restaurants in New York and Chicago. From October 18-25, Vibrant Rioja invites you to discover why some of the best chefs in the world consider Rioja wines to be some of the best food-pairing wines out there. If you’re a retailer in New York or Chicago, there are many things you can do to help your business while leveraging Rioja Restaurant Week, such as offering a Rioja tasting. We can even send you promotional materials to help you run the tasting! If you have any questions or would like to become more involved, visit or email

A Subtler Wine?
It’s no secret that consumers are trading down and finding more value in lower-priced wines. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As Dan Berger writes, “for the past 20 years or so, wines that get the big scores at tastings are big, hulking and ‘impressive.’” These are not always easy to drink. What has happened to those wines that are delicate and balanced? Those often can’t get past an 85 score, yet they are some of the best food-pairing wines out there. Many wine regions, particularly in France, have highly rated wines at very high prices. Yet, most Americans are quite happy with lower priced wines that add more value and actually are better at complementing their meals. (, September 14, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Next time a customer comes into your store, try recommending good food-pairing wines – remember that Rioja has some of the best ones in the world. Not only will your customer appreciate the wine, but they’ll be glad you’re recommending good wines at good value.

A Permanent Shift in Consumer Perception?
High-end wines are clearly faring worse than anything else in these economic times. However, will this last forever or will consumers go back to purchasing $50+ (retail) wines when the economy recovers? Some truly believe that perception really has changed in the wine business. With consumers trading down, perception of wine and value has changed dramatically. In the meantime, high-end wines are still holding up in inventory and not selling. (Press Democrat, September 7, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Rioja wines give customers more value. Many Rioja wines are priced at $7-$20 and they’re considered some of the best food-pairing wines in the world. To buy a comparable Burgundy or Bordeaux, one would pay two or three times more. Also, did you know that Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink? That means you won’t have to hold the bottle in your inventory for long!

Wine Consumption Is Still Growing
Even in tough economic times, Americans are still consuming plenty of wine. According to the 2009 Wine Handbook – released by the Beverage Information Group – this marks the fifteenth consecutive year of growth. One of the biggest factors for the continued growth is primarily thanks to the changing demographic trends in millenials (ages 21 to 30). Today, millenials account for 70 million people – and this generation is more willing to try different wines at lower price points. (Reuters, September 14, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Tailor your wines to adhere to the needs and wants of the millennial generation. Next time you see a young looking man or woman in your store, try recommending different wines for them. They’re willing to try many different wines and lower price points – allowing you to move more wine out of inventory quicker.

Robert Parker to Lead WineFuture in Rioja
The day has come! In 2004, Robert Parker predicted that Spain would emerge “as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive wine making philosophy.” (Food & Wine Magazine, 2004) Parker, along with some of the world’s most influential wine writers and educators, will be coming to Rioja this fall for WineFuture – Rioja 2009. The conference, created by The Wine Academy of Spain and supported by the CRCD Rioja (Consejo Regulador), will be held in the city of Logroño on November 12th and 13th of this year. Discussing the global financial crisis, the environment, sales, consumptions trends, on and off-trade challenges, brands, strategies and emerging markets will be Robert Parker along with Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier, Kevin Zraly, Robert Joseph, Mel Dick, Dan Jago and Troy Christense.

Blame It On Rioja
Want to read more about Rioja and wines? Besides visiting our website,, you can also check out Adrian Murcia’s blog, Blame It On Rioja. Adrian Murcia is a New York-based sommelier, writer, educator, and unreformed lifetime Riojaphile. In his blog, you can learn more about Spain’s premier winemaking region, tasting notes, travel dispatches and more. Enjoy!

Brand Profile: Vibrant Rioja and Social Media

In each newsletter issue, we’ll profile a Rioja winery, importer or distributor of interest to the wine trade or a retailer doing an outstanding job with Rioja wines (Please submit articles.) In this profile, we take a look at Vibrant Rioja and Social Media.

Vibrant Rioja is going more digital than ever! For starters, we’ll be unveiling the new trade website – especially designed for the wine industry and restaurant professionals. Click here to view the new site and make sure you take a good look around!

In addition, we’re hitting up all aspects of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

On Facebook, become a fan of “Rioja Wine” for the latest news, tasting tips, food-pairings, stories and overall information to help you build your business.

Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter, @RiojaWine, where a top notch list of Riojaphiles will be tweeting about media, Rioja wines, restaurants, market conditions and the overall industry.

Lastly, get connected on LinkedIn with our own brand ambassador, Ana Fabiano!

If there is anything that you'd like to see in the upcoming newsletters that you feel will help other businesses, write a column and submit it to us! We would like to share best practices with all of you, so if you're doing something different to grow your business or would simply like to share your knowledge, please let us know.

Those interested should email Vibrant Rioja ( for more information and guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!


• Wine Sourcing -- we can put you in touch with importers and distributors to help you develop a wine program customized to your needs
• Education -- we partner with the Culinary Institute of America to offer seminars and tasting programs that can teach your staff about the Rioja region, characteristics of the wine, and appropriate food pairings
• Food & Wine Pairing -- we can draw on our many relationships with leading chefs and food-and-wine educators to develop an outstanding set of wine pairings for your menu
• Promotional Programs -- we can design and help execute different promotional programs to help you introduce your staff and customers to the wines of Rioja. Some sample programs are: Vibrant Rioja VIP Club – special tastings, food pairings, seminars and guided trips to the region; Vibrant Rioja Winedays – Build traffic on off nights; Vibrant Match – Try a tasting and pairing event customized to your offerings.

That's great, but… what else?
Vibrant Rioja Materials – we can provide you with a wide range of educational and promotional tools --many customized to your needs. They include bottle-neckers, informational notebooks, maps, gift bags, tasting notes, food-pairing notes and much, much more. If you have an idea, we will try to work with you to produce it.