As the weather threatened all day to put a damper on our Rioja celebration on October 1st, we could only sit back and wait. I looked nervously outside every few minutes while I set-up all afternoon. Dark skies looked ominous and the store was quiet. Uh-oh. Tonight’s going to be a dud I thought to myself.
Would the rain or the threat of rain keep people in?
As it turns out, my answer was no. The rain held off and the Back Bay showed up to help us celebrate our month long promotion of Rioja. Known as the “little black dress” of wine, Rioja is one of the most food-friendly wines on the market. Winemakers in the Rioja region of Spain only release their wines to the public when they feel that they are truly ready for consumption, so when you purchase a bottle you can open it with confidence that night. They also age well, so buy the Gran Reserva to save for a special occasion and know that you can store the wine until you are ready to open it.
Because we wanted to feature as many wines as possible we set up two tasting areas. One right in the front of the store and was manned by Kristen Butke of European Cellars, Eric Solomon Selections. Kristen poured for the eager crowd two high-end Riojas and two other Spanish wines. She started everyone off with the 2010 Gessami Gramona (a muscat blend), then a 2006 Izadi Reserva Rioja, 2006 Orben Rioja and 2008 Black Slate Priorat for fun.
The second tasting area had both Marco Dreary of Winebow Boston and Coleen Noonan from Tapeo Restaurant. Marco was pouring for the crowd a 2007 Juve Y Camps Gran Reserva Cava, 2009 Muga Bianco, 2009 Sierra Cantabria Tinto, 2007 Sierra Cantabria Crianza and the 2007 Muga Reserva. Coleen’s adjacent table, for the tapas, was set up with a Spanish flair with flamenco dancer figurines and a shawl to decorate the table full of goodies. And by goodies, I mean Chorizo y Apricot Skewers, Croquettas de Pollo (chicken croquettes) and Gorditas (prunes Stuffed with goat cheese). The food went fast as no one could resist the delicious tapas that went perfectly with Marco’s wines.
All in all, it was a great night for us all! Thank you everyone who came to kick off this great month dedicated to all things Rioja, from our staff to our guests to Marco and Kristen for pouring amazing wines. I especially thank Tapeo Restaurant for spending a couple of hours with us and offering something delicious for Bauer’s faithful to try.