This email was sent to [email]. You can instantly unsubscribe or you can forward it to a friend.

MAY 2010

Save the date!

Vibrant Rioja upcoming events:

May 13-27 – RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK in New York City and Chicago

June 1 – Wine Dinner with Sara Agos of Bodegas Riojanas 7pm. 4 wines will be featured alongside Endless Tapas Viña Albina Semi Dulce, Monte Real Crianza 2006, Monte Real Reserva 2004, Monte Real Gran Reserva 1998 (New York)

June 18 – Consumer Education Event June 18th at Young’s Fine Wines and Spirits offering 15% discounted Riojas for that night (New York)

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 RESTAURANTS, A NEWSLETTER FOR THE ON-PREMISE AND FOOD SERVICE TRADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIBRANT RIOJA. We will be presenting news, trends and ideas to help you build your on-premise business. We will cover anything in relation to the wine industry and the food-service business as a whole. Then, we’ll bring it straight to you in short, concise bites that are aimed to help.

2009 Rioja Vintage Rated ‘Very Good’
The Control Board of Rioja officially rated the 2009 vintage as ‘Very Good’ after a strict assessment process. This is the fourth consecutive vintage to be rated ‘Very Good’ despite progressively stricter rating standards over the past few years. This rigorous process is what sets Rioja wines apart from other DOs in Spain and why it holds the special condition of “Calificada.” This process includes detailed information on the quality of all wines – in fact, each tank of wine in each bodega is sampled, and the final rating is obtained through statistical calculations to ensure complete objectiveness.

Rioja & The Washington Post
The Washington Post published an article on Rioja’s Old World and New World styles of winemaking. In Spain’s Rioja wines unjustly overlooked, Dave McIntyre explores the differences in the wines produced in Riojas’ three subregions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. But Rioja doesn’t just produce old-style wines anymore. In recent years, many wineries have explored new expressions of Rioja, and these wines are simply labeled Rioja – as opposed to the more traditional Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva labels. You can read the full article here.

Vibrant Rioja Point of Purchase Programs Kick Off
Vibrant Rioja is pleased to announce its Point of Purchase Programs in Florida, Chicago and New York. In Florida, the event was held at LUMA in the historic city of Winter Park. In Chicago, the event was held at MK Restaurant. And in New York City, the event was held at the Private Dining Room at Craft Restaurant. All events included guests from all tiers of the trade and over 60 labels of Rioja represented. If you have any questions or would like to know more about these programs, please contact Ana Fabiano at

Rioja Restaurant Week in New York and Chicago
Rioja Restaurant Week is coming back to New York and Chicago! From May 13 – 27, you can experience some of these cities best restaurants featuring some of the best wines in the world. Promotions include prix-fixe lunches and dinners with a glass of Rioja. For more information, visit

Improved Results for 1Q
Restaurants are expecting good news from the first quarter of 2010 as consumer spending has increased after severe weather hurt sales in many chains in January and February. This “Spring Fever” – increased consumer spending – is just another sign that the industry has begun to recover, despite a lot of work still ahead. (, April 2010)

So, what else can we do?

This is clearly good news for restaurants everywhere, as it’s been pretty rough for a while. However, it would be childish to think that there’s no more work left to do. Now that consumers are beginning to eat out more often and spend a few more dollars, it’s time to keep rewarding them and increasing repeat visits. Offering more value by increasing your Rioja selection is sure to keep consumers coming back for more.

Beating the Recession
According to Barclays, the U.S. economy will avoid falling back into a recession. According to the Labor Department, payrolls rose by 162,000 workers in March, the third gain in five months and the biggest in three years. It seems pretty clear that the deepest recession since the 1930s might actually be over. (, April 2010)

So, what else can we do?
Even though economically the recession may be over, consumers are still not ready to start spending frugally – even if we’ve seen consumers starting to spend more on all price-points. It’s still a good time to keep showing your customers some value. And there’s not better value than Riojas.


London Lennies
Owned and operated by the Barnes Family since 1959, London Lennies has evolved from a quintessential fish n’chips shop to Queens’ premier seafood restaurant. Notorious for the best in fresh, local seafood selected daily at the world-famous Fulton Fish Market, London Lennies hosts the area’s finest raw bar. The leading seafood restaurant was honored with the 2007 and 2008 Wine Enthusiast “Award of Distinction” and 2008 and 2009 Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence.” Their eclectic wine selection features bottles of wine that pair perfectly with London Lennies’ “catch-of-the-day” menu. London Lennies is open for lunch and dinner Monday – Friday from 11:45 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., and for dinner Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (718) 894-8084 or visit

Lola Restaurant
Lola Restaurant would be a hotspot no matter where it is located. Chef/Owner Michael Ginor creates a French and Asian inspired “New American” menu, with the skills he has honed, from being in the company of, and influenced by the most talented and recognizable Chefs in the world. The vibrant restaurant with an artistically eclectic matching of wood, steel, glass, and art; sets a tone that is followed with a wine list, beer list, and cocktails that echoes the spirit of the food menu. This is a sharp, vibrant restaurant, where you walk out feeling like you have been treated well in every respect. For more information, visit

Young’s Fine Wines and Spirits
Currently co-owned by Ed Wassmer and Milan SeGall; Young’s Fine Wine & Spirits has been operating since the repeal of Prohibition. Since that time, the store has been a primary source for providing Long Island’s North Shore and beyond, with a huge inventory of great selections of fine wine and spirits. Along with the great selection, Young’s distinguishes itself by providing very knowledgeable staff members who are thinking of the customers’ needs first.

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.