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July'14 - Imbibe Live!

In 2014, Wines from Rioja launched a partnership with specialist on-trade publication, Imbibe, to offer a year-round programme of activities focused on engaging with sommeliers. 

This year is focused on introducing sommeliers and other key members of the on-trade to Rioja’s diversity, revealing the unexpected and remarkable side of Rioja in order to broaden the perception of the region and its wines. 

In July, Wines from Rioja took a stand at Imbibe Live at Olympia, London which was attended by over 9,000 members of the UK on-trade – including Michelin starred sommeliers, key on-trade buyers and bartenders.

The Wines from Rioja stand featured 5 themed pods which shone a light on the different styles of Rioja and were imaginatively titled to capture the attention of visitors: 

  • All white on the night – white Rioja 
  • Contemporary Crew – modern Rioja 
  • Age is just a number – classic styles given a modern twist 
  • G-Force – wines made from Garnacha or Graciano 
  • The Unusual Suspects – Rioja produced from lesser known varietals or made in an unusual way 

In addition to the stand itself, a masterclass was held in the ‘Taste Zone’ where ex El Bulli sommelier, Ferran Centelles, explored white Rioja’s food matching potential. Wines were paired with a selection of unexpected tapas dishes prepared by Masterchef winner Tim Anderson. 

We also ran a competition on the stand where we asked sommeliers to present us with an unusual Rioja wine and food match in order to win a place on trip to Rioja. The five winning sommeliers will be heading out to Rioja in November to learn more about the quality and diversity of the region.