This email was sent to [email]. You can instantly unsubscribe from these emails or you can forward it to a friend.
If you are having trouble reading this email, view it in your browser.

In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Social Media Widget

Trade Events

Trade Special Events

Forward to a friend

  Industry News


About Vibrant Rioja:

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:


New Congressional Act Threatens Direct Shipping of Alcohol

Last year's House Resolution 5034 failed to gain a full vote in the committee and on the House floor, but the recently introduced H.R. 1161, a reiteration of 5034, has revived the issue of direct shipping of wine to consumers. This bill, the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act (CARE), would allow state governments to pass laws to ban direct shipping of wine and other alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Currently, 37 states allow producers to ship wine directly to consumers.
Wine Spectator, March 18, 2011

Our Thoughts
The introduction of this year's CARE Act indicates not only that wholesalers are unwilling to let the matter of direct shipping rest but also that opponents remain prepared to combat such restrictions. Support of the the bill preceding this one was bipartisan. It remains to be seen whether or not 1161 can win votes.

U.S. Surpasses France to Become Biggest Wine Market

According to the Gomberg-Fredrikson 2010 Annual Wine Industry Review, last year the U.S. replaced France as the number one wine-consuming nation. This change reflects the growing presence of wine in the American mainstream, the increased interest in wine and food lifestyle and a rising population. France and Italy still have the greatest per-capita wine consumption, but the U.S. is catching up.
Bloomberg, March 15, 2011

Our Thoughts
While the growth trend is good news for the wine industry, it also makes for a highly competitive market. Members of the trade will need to focus on how to catch and retain consumer interest.

The Restaurant Industry's Comeback

In a recent interview with CIT, restaurant industry insider Bob Bielinski discussed some of the meaningful signs of recovery for the restaurant market. While the industry is still feelings the effects of the recession, Bielinski indicates that consumers have frugality fatigue. He suggests that restaurant spending serves consumers' desire to resume spending money without breaking the bank or feeling guilty.
CIT, March 16, 2011

Our Thoughts
The industry is optimistic about growth in 2011. Casual dining firms like Panera and Chipotle are rebounding well, but sit-down restaurants still need to emphasize value and a unique experience.

Rioja in the News
Chicago Tribune wine columnist Bill St. John gave special praise for the red wines of Rioja in his February 16, 2011 article “Uncorked: Spain conquers”. St. John wrote, “Rioja remains, hands down, the best value in Spanish red wine. Although a few are in the $30-$50 range, the wines are well-aged on release, having been held back for 5-20 years by the wineries, at their cost.”
Rioja Information

April marks the official launch of the Vibrant Rioja Point of Purchase (POP) Program. Introductions to the 2011 POP team, as well as 2010 POP account work highlights can be found in the 2011 Vibrant Rioja Point of Purchase Program Kick-off Advisory.

Rioja PAL™ Social Media Widget

Tired of remembering a million different URLs and always being the last one to know current trends/news? You can download the Rioja PAL™ which enables you to monitor everything you’re interested in that’s happening on the web, including news, blogs and social media. And it’s constantly updating, so you don’t have to keep opening up your browser to check!

Trade Events

If you live in or around New York City, Orlando or Los Angeles, you won’t want to miss the Vibrant Rioja POP Kick-off Tasting taking place near you!

Southeast Vibrant Rioja Kick-off Tasting
Monday, April 4th, 6-9pm
The Imperial Wine Bar at Washburn Imports
1800 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando FL 32804
To rsvp please email:

Northeast Vibrant Rioja Kick-off Tasting
Tuesday, April 5th, 10pm-Midnight
Bar Basque
839 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
To rsvp please email:

Southern California Vibrant Rioja Kick-off Tasting
Monday, April 11th, 1-4pm
6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
To rsvp please email:

Trade Special Events

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting 2011 - San Francisco
May 2nd, 1-5pm
The Westin St. Francis
335 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting Registration

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting 2011 - New York
May 5th, 1-5pm
608 West 28th Street
New York, NY 10001
Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting Registration