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27 September 2006

Rioja rocks

The Rioja wine people have been heartened by the findings of a recent survey conducted in three of its top export markets - the UK, Germany and USA - carried out by AC Nielsen. The study, which targeted 35 to 50 year old men and women, focused on "regular wine drinkers" in London, Manchester and Nottingham, i.e. those who consume at least one bottle of wine per week (average spend per bottle £5.27). In the UK, where shipments came to more than 2½ million cases last year, 'brand Rioja' has one of the highest recall rates amongst all wine producing regions, coming in 7th after Australia, California and Bordeaux. Among those questioned, 54% who “know Rioja” consume it, and of this group, 29% are regular drinkers. The reasons why included: they like the taste more than other options such as “full bodied, affordability and consistent quality.”
Hence the launch of their 'Rethink Rioja' campaign featuring lots of promotions and tastings. 'Dine with Rioja for £10' will run in The Daily Telegraph from 8th October into November; from 23 - 29 October independent wine shops will be participating in a Rioja week; tastings and daily seminars in the wine theatre from 22 – 26 November at the BBC Good Food Show, NEC Birmingham (www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com) stand number J51. And on 30th November, there's Decanter Magazine's Rioja tasting at Lloyd’s of London; tickets priced at £20, see their website: www.decanter.com. Rioja producers have also launched a 'lifestyle' website for UK: www.winesfromrioja.co.uk, which has full details of these events, where to buy Rioja and tips for travelling in the region. Further information from the Rioja Wine Information Centre, 58 Grosvenor Street, London WIK 3JB; tel 020 7409 0494 or rioja@spearcommunications.co.uk
Tasting report on some new Rioja releases and vintages coming soon... By the way,
the "exceptional" 2005 vintage has been awarded an “Excellent” rating by the Rioja Regulatory Council, the 13th vintage to be called this in the history of the region. Of course they're obviously totally unbiased! Posted 27/9/06.

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