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Categorized | General, Spain

Spotlight on Rioja

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December 2013

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Celebrate the Holidays in Style with Rioja

Making your list and checking it twice? With endless variety, Rioja offers the perfect gift of wine for anyone, from novice to connoisseur. If your holiday meal tradition is The Feast of Seven Fishes, a festive Christmas brunch or even a Spanish-inspired menu, a bottle of food-friendly Rioja will complement any holiday fare and please a crowd.

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year, filled with cheer and good wine!

Win a Rioja Wine Dinner…
On Us!

In December, as a thank you for being a loyal member of our Vibrant Rioja community, we are offering you the chance to win a $150 gift certificate for a Rioja dinner at a restaurant near you! No matter what dish you choose, from fish to beef to pork to chicken to pasta…Rioja is the perfect pairing.
Enter now!

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Congratulations to John P. from Bel Air, MD, our October winner of a $150 dinner gift certificate!

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Spotlight on Rioja

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Rioja Named Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year!

The holidays came early in Rioja! We are thrilled Rioja’s Cune Imperial Gran Reserva 2004 was named Wine Spectator Magazine’s #1 Wine of the Year! The wine world has been buzzing with the news, and it’s no wonder, as this was the first time a Spanish wine received the top honor. In addition to Cune’s win, four other Rioja wines made the top 100 list: La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2004 (#22); R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia White Crianza 2003 (#29); Bodegas Valdemar Inspiración Selección 2010 (#34) and Viña Herminia Excelsus 2009 (#39). The Top 100 Wines list, reviews and scores can be found here. Cheers to all the winners!

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Rioja in the News

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Rioja in Condé Nast Traveler and Dr. Vino

As they say, when in Rioja… Condé Nast Traveler shares top travel trips on what to do, eat and drink in the article, “A Taste of Rioja.” In Tyler Coleman’s recent Dr. Vino post, experience his first visit to the Rioja region and magical trip to the famous Bodegas López de Heredia in “ A Visit to López de Heredia.” Read up and then come visit us!

Rioja Featured Tastings



Stew Leonard’s Fall Tasting Series – Paramus, NJ
December 7
4-8 pm

Stew Leonard’s Fall Tasting Series –
Farmingdale, NY

December 14
4-8 pm

Southern Season Chapel Hill In-Store Rioja Tasting – Chapel Hill, NC
December 14
1-4 pm

Whole Foods Mount Pleasant In-Store Rioja Tasting – Mt. Pleasant, SC
December 21
1-3 pm


West Coast

Rioja Wine Flights and Tapas at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort – Tucson, AZ
Through December 31
2-10 pm

Rioja Red Saturday at the Standard –
Hollywood, CA
December 7
7-9 pm
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
Details & Tickets

For all our upcoming events, visit our online calendar.

Recipe of the Month

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Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing

Looking for a simple-to-make, delicious side dish for your holiday meal? This stuffing combines corn bread with flavorful Spanish chorizo (a dry-cured pork sausage) and the sweetness of onions and corn kernels. Pair your meal with a luscious Rioja Reserva and check out the recipe here. Enjoy!

Photo by Chris Gentile

The Minds Behind the Wines

Ever wonder who “we” are here at Rioja wines, and what we do? Check out our team member profile. Nice to meet you, too!

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Name: Dhane Chesson
National Accounts & the Southeast
What do you love about wine?
I love all of the history: the wineries, the people the grapes, the vintage. What exactly was going on in the world when that amazing wine was created?
What’s your favorite part of working with wine?
The obvious. The people, places and cultures we get to experience.
It’s your last meal…what would you eat and drink?
Anything prepared by my Southern grandmother or by Juan Mari Arzak. Whoever got it to me first. I suspect it would be Juan Mari. For my last drinks, it would have to be Champagne followed by a great Rioja Gran Reserva. If Txomin Rokondo would let me raid his restaurant’s cellar, that would be optimal.
Share your favorite cool, but random wine fact.
Plato argued that the minimum drinking age should be 18, and then wine in moderation may be tasted until 31. When a man reaches 40, he may drink as much as he wants to cure the “crabbedness of old age.”

Last Sip

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Need some creative gift ideas for the wine lover in your life? Check out these unique finds from our friends at Food & Wine and Wine Spectator. Musical wine glasses? Wine bike rack? We’ve got you covered. Of course, we think Rioja wines always make the perfect gift!


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