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News & Press Releases


June 2015





Spain’s flagship wine region Rioja has been named most popular still wine amongst UK restaurant-goers, ahead of big names such as Bordeaux and Burgundy, according to a recent study by Wine Intelligence[1].


The study of 1,000 regular wine drinking adults revealed that in the last six months more wine drinkers had ordered Rioja in a restaurant (23%) than any other region including Burgundy (7%) and Bordeaux (13%).[2]  The quality and gastronomic culture of the region were reflected in the key drivers to purchase Rioja in the on-trade, with more consumers naming suitability for pairing with food (48%) and taste (53%) as key factors in choosing Rioja than for any other region[3].


A separate study commissioned by Wines from Rioja also revealed that UK diners are shunning formal traditions, and embracing the casual spirit of Spanish food and wine culture more than ever before with 66% of those polled reporting that a relaxed atmosphere when dining out is more important to them than things like a “fine dining” environment (19%) and formal service (12%)[4]. This is reflected in Wine Intelligence research, which saw consumers name Rioja as their number one choice in bars, pubs, gastropubs, and casual dining restaurants – significantly ahead of Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, and Bordeaux[5].


Noelia Rojilla of famous London jamόn bodega Bar Tozino - partner in Wines from Rioja’s consumer campaign “Summer of Tapas Fantasticas”, has noticed the nation’s taste for all things Spanish. “Our patrons come in to experience a little slice of Spain here in the UK.  They keep coming back because of our casual environment and the fact that we place a large emphasis on dishes made with authentic ingredients that they can easily recreate for family and friends at home.” She goes on to say, “We’ve noticed more and more of our guests asking where they can buy the Spanish ingredients they are tasting at the restaurant which isn’t surprising given these types of foods are simple to prepare, don’t overpower and will ultimately pair really well with wine.” She adds, “Food and wine brings people together. Our customers would much prefer to open a bottle of Rioja and share some plates with their friends rather than visit a formal restaurant where they are intimated by the menu or atmosphere.”


And it’s not just when eating out that British consumers are recreating the Spanish dining experience. UK shoppers are purchasing more Spanish produce than ever before with sales of items such as Jamόn Ibérico, Manchego cheese, paella rice and chorizo – which has tripled in sales over the past 10 years[6] – all on the rise according to research commissioned by Wines from Rioja. Recent Nielsen figures revealed continued success for Rioja, which has seen compound annual growth of 10.5% in value in the last five years[7].


Wine expert Jane Parkinson, one of Wines from Rioja’s Summer of Tapas Fantasticas spokespeople added, “With so much high-quality, affordable Spanish food and wine around these days we don’t have to slave over putting together a high maintenance meal when hosting friends and family anymore.” She goes on to say, “Rioja wines are very versatile with food and complement a whole range of meats, cheeses and seafood, which makes menu planning pretty simple. Those days of last minute panicking about what to make are gone because tapas is easy enough to pull together, and if you open a good bottle of Rioja to have with it then everyone’s happy."




For more information on or for images please contact Phipps on 0207 759 7400 or email


Notes to Editors:


  • Wines from Rioja is the UK marketing arm of The Rioja Regulatory Council or Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa, the body responsible for the application and monitoring of legislation relating to the quality and standards of wines produced in the region, promotion of the image of Rioja wines and defence of interests of the sector.
  • The Rioja Summer of Tapas Fantasticas consists of a series of activities designed to bring a taste of Spain’s flagship wine region to the UK. Sip, swirl, taste and learn from now until the end of September alongside some of the best wine experts, chefs and restaurants in the country. Whether you’re a wine expert or just an enthusiast, there is an unmissable Wines from Rioja event or activity for you.
  • Famous London jamόn bodega Bar Tozino is Wines from Rioja’s official catering partner on the Rioja Summer of Tapas Fantasticas Tour happening from June to August throughout the UK and Ireland.
  • Wine expert Jane Parkinson is acting as a spokesperson for Wines from Rioja’s Tapas Fantasticas Sessions and Tapas Fantasticas on Tour this summer.



[1] Wine Intelligence Vinitrac March 2015 (49% have consumed wine from this region in the last 6 months. Base=All UK regular wine drinkers who are aware of the regions)  

[2] Wine Intelligence Vinitrac March 2015 (49% have consumed wine from this region in the last 6 months. Base=All UK regular wine drinkers who are aware of the regions)  

[3] Wine Intelligence Vinitrac March 2015 (% who think the following factors matter when ordering wine in a bar, pub or restaurant)

[4] CensusWide May 2015 (66% of 2,000 consumers polled prefer a relaxed atmosphere when dining out)

[5] Wine Intelligence Vinitrac March 2015 % who feel comfortable buying wine from the following regions in the following settings (bars 42%, pubs 42%, gastropub 46%, casual dining 53%)

[6] CensusWide May 2015 (33% of 2,000 consumers polled buy chorizo now versus 19% five years ago and 10% 10 years ago)

[7] Nielsen MAT to 08.12.14