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Sip & Snack at Rioja Without Cashing Out Your Piggy Bank

Sip & Snack at Rioja Without Cashing Out Your Piggy Bank
Sip & Snack at Rioja Without Cashing Out Your Piggy Bank
John Imbergano

If you find yourself looking for a way to add some flavor to a Tuesday night, consider Sips & Snacks at Rioja on Larimer Square. Chances are you have heard of the famed chef behind the restaurant, Jennifer Jasinski, who won the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest. She and her business partner, Beth Gruitch, also own Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen.

Allright.. so back to the lowdown on Sips and Snacks. On Tuesdays from 5 to close in the bar through the month, come in for four wine tastings paired with four small bites. The wine matches a weekly theme. This past Tuesday, champagne was the name of the game. It's affordable too at $15 per person. If you need a little more food to fill up on, the bar menu is served seven days a week from 4pm until closing.

"t is a rare opportunity to delight our guests with a series of wines and flavors they may not have had exposure to before, a sort of preview of all that we offer at Rioja at a phenomenal price point," says manager Alaina Lingenfelter.

When it comes to the small bites, passion and creativity collide. Local and Mediterranean ingredients remain in focus. Sample bites included salmon mousse with a ginger vinaigrette, paired with a rose champagne complete with rhubarb and apricot notes. My favorite paring was the polenta served with poached kumquat that was served with a champagne that finished with papaya and hazlenut notes. The meal forces you to slow down, eat slowly and take note of magnificent flavors.

" We chose to kick off the series of Sips & Snacks with a night of sparkling wines to reflect our very celebratory mood! We’re coming off an exhilarating year with the James Beard Award win for our chef, Jennifer Jasinski, and her success on Top Chef Masters," says Lingenfelter.

The rest of the month's wine themes:

  • January 14 - Savory Sherries
  • January 21 - Tempranillos From All Over
  • January 28 - Muscato, Moscato, Muscatel, it’s all Muscat to Me


1431 Larminer Street


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