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A Rioja for Every Occasion

A Night Out on the Town

If you’re heading out and are in the mood for a red, then a glass of Crianza has your name on it. As a fresh and fruity style of wine, Crianza is often the drink of choice for Riojans to enjoy on a night out with food, fun and friends. As a younger style of Rioja, a Crianza is lighter than a fuller bodied red so can be enjoyed as an aperitif but also stands up to all types of food as the delicious flavours of cherry and blackberry are perfectly balanced with the elegant structure that Rioja wines are famed for.

 

 

Party People

Whether you’re planning a small gathering or a party for the whole neighbourhood, Rioja has you covered. For those who favour a white, a Rioja Blanco made from the Viura grape, is guaranteed to get the party started. As a grape growing in prominence and popularity, winemakers are continuing to experiment with Viura to create all different styles. Young and zippy Rioja Blancos which are often accompanied by flavours of melon, citrus fruits and a touch of tarragon, while Rioja Blanco Reservas exude richer aromas, including tropical fruit, hazelnuts, beeswax and herbs. These two styles featuring Viura demonstrate the versatility of this grape, making it one of the most adaptable varieties in the world.

 

For fans of red wine, nothing could be a more guaranteed crowd pleaser than a Tempranillo-based Rioja Reserva. A Rioja Reserva is instantly recognisable with delicious notes of red cherry, blackberry and fig to accompany a robust oaky base making this wine is the ultimate party red.

 

 

 

Adventurous Evening at Home

While Tempranillo is the dominant grape in Rioja, there are several other varietals that are becoming more prominent in modern winemaking. Graciano is a red varietal which has traditionally been used for blending, however, it is increasingly being given the starring role in winemaking production. A Rioja Graciano is a fantastic unconventional red wine to mix up an evening at home, especially when accompanied by a hearty meat dish such as bœuf bourguignon. The tender beef will soften the punchy tannins and extract rich flavours of blackberry, black cherry and chocolate while the umami flavour of the mushrooms will echo the earthy flavours of clove and cigar box in the wine.

 

 

 

Last of the summer dining

To eek out the last warmth of the late summer months, enjoy an evening in the September sun with a Rosado aperitif – the perfect way to begin a night of al fresco dining, especially when served with a simple starter of burrata, Parma ham and rocket salad as the high acidity in a Rosado enlivens a dish with natural fats and salt.

 

As the evenings lengthen, a heavier, richer red will have more appeal. Try a Rioja Gran Reserva with a main course of venison casserole with new potatoes. As a style of wine created to mature with age, a Gran Reserva style boasts deep, intense flavours of cedar, tobacco, cooked black fruit and chocolate and is best paired with flavourful meaty dishes to fully exhibit the nuances of flavour than only a Rioja Gran Reserva can provide.