Miami Food Pug Heads to Chicago — and the Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival!


Geoff here. Almost two years ago, we came up with the idea of Miami Food Pug in Chicago. Now, it’s time to head back to our roots. One-half of the Miami Food Pug team is returning to the Windy City to eat, drink and… eat and drink some more.

I’m looking forward to checking out some great spots like Girl & the Goat, Au Cheval and Lou Malnati’s while I’m in town. But one of the things I’m most excited about is the Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival. Taking place this Saturday (May 2) at Union Station, the festival kicks off the second annual Rioja Week, a week that celebrates Spain’s most famous wine region.

Attendees can sample their choice of over 200 wines and 30 plates from chefs across the country. Needless to say, there’s going to be some great #foodporn. If you’re in Chicago this weekend, make sure to swing by.

Here’s the full press release:

Rioja Heads to the Windy City
Rioja Week Chicago celebrates the vibrancy of Spain’s premier wine region

Rioja Tapas Fest

CHICAGO, March 25, 2015 – Wines from Rioja announces the 2nd annual Rioja Week in Chicago, kicking off with the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival on Saturday, May 2, followed by a week replete with festivities across the city and country. Wine and food lovers everywhere are invited to explore the largest Spanish-focused festival in the country, celebrating Spain’s most renowned wine region of the world, well-known for its excellent quality and tremendous value.

The Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, held at Chicago’s historic Union Station, includes nearly 200 vibrant wines from Rioja, from Blancos to Rosados to Gran Reservas, and everything in between. Attendees are invited to taste wines and learn directly from the best with top Rioja winemakers and winery principals in attendance.

Highlighting Rioja as the ultimate foodie travel destination, the Festival also spotlights 30 notable American chefs and their Rioja-inspired tapas creations. The jamón bar and cheese cave allows guests to savor the pride of Spain with delicious hanging hams and Spain’s finest cheeses. Wine tasting seminars, hosted by preeminent Rioja wine and cultural experts promise to enlighten guests about the depth and richness of the region.

Beyond just the one-day festival, Rioja Week celebrations will continue through the week with tasting events, flights, food pairings and special discounts in restaurants and retail shops around Chicago and in select markets across the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Orlando and Los Angeles. In Chicago, Binny’s Beverage Depot, the primary retail partner of the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, will host Rioja wine tastings in all 31 stores throughout Rioja Week, in addition to Rioja specials at restaurants and bars like Paola’s Vinum, Bin 36, Volo, Paramount Room, Salero, Bascule, VIN, The Wine Goddess, Lush, Whole Foods Lincoln Park and many others.

“With the tremendous success of last year’s Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, we are thrilled to bring the flavor of Rioja to the Windy City,” said Luis Alberto Lecea, President of Rioja DOCa. “Chicago is an amazing food town that honors Rioja with countless restaurant and retail offerings – so it makes sense to bring our Tapas Festival to such a lively market.”

To extend the celebration beyond Chicago, @RiojaWine and tapas lovers can get a taste of the #RiojaBuzz with the #ShareYourPair Photo Contest. For a chance to win a Rioja dinner for two and other tasty prizes, Riojagraphers around the U.S. are invited to tag a photo of their favorite Rioja wine and tapas pairing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #RiojaBuzz and #ShareYourPair.

Tickets for the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival are $65, with proceeds benefitting culinary scholarships at the James Beard Foundation (

To purchase your tickets, please visit For more information about Rioja Week, please visit


As you can see, it’s going to be pretty epic. I’ll be there covering the event live, so make sure to follow Miami Food Pug on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the delicious food and wine photos (and the occasional selfie). Cheers!

– Geoff