As you read last week in this post, I got to attend the Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival a few weekends ago! Scroll through some pictures from the event below, as well as some fun facts about Rioja Wine that I picked up from chatting with Carrie Schuster, Rioja’s Regional Specialist based here in Chicago. I had done a little bit of research before the event, but she had so much knowledge to share with me about the DOCa Rioja wine region. Located in north central Spain and known for the Tempranillo grape, it is has an extremely vibrant culture, including a special relationship with food and wine.
I knew Rioja wines were special when I tasted them, but it was so fun to hear why from someone who is so passionate about them. Carrie explained that their quality, authenticity and history are what really set them apart. There is so much love put into each wine, and the Spanish culture encourages you to enjoy them with the people you love. When I asked her if she has a favorite, she said “Absolutely not!”
She did however, give me a little bit of insight on some of their best sellers. The Viura Blanco is perfect with sushi or just as an aperitif. If you are enjoying a grilled meal, a Reserva is a good match. And if you are celebrating a special occasion, pull out the Gran Reserva. This wine is only made from top quality fruit in the best growing conditions. They follow strict standards, so you can guarantee that every bottle will be incredibly delicious and special.
If you’ve never tried Rioja wines, there are a few fun opportunities going on in Chicago! This month is Rioja Month at Bin 36. There will be a pre-fixe Spanish influenced menu complete with wine pairings. Plus, if you fall in love with any of the wines, you can buy bottles right there at the restaurant to take home!
Bascule Wine Bar is also having some fun this month! Their sommeliers will take you through an educational wine flight showcasing Rioja’s range of modern and traditional winemaking.
This post was sponsored by Rioja Wines, but (as always) all opinions are my own! All of the photos are also my own, except for this last one which I stole from my good pal The Kittchen. Isn’t it such a beautiful shot?!