Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

June 24, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,

We’re very happy to introduce three new cheeses, this week, at Paris Grocery.

Le Somport Fermier $24.99/lb
A farmstead Tomme made from raw cow’s milk in the mountainous Basque Pyrenees of France. This semi-soft cheese is aged for five months. Mild and creamy with delicate mushroom notes and a long hazelnut finish. Truly TASTY! Pairs well with a Basque Irouleguy red wine.

2011 Brana Ohitza Irouleguy Rouge $26.99
This is an incredible, full-bodied, but not massive, red wine that’s driven by tannins and black fruits. Lots of character and flavor here with mineral, game meat, fresh thyme, rosemary, and mint, as well as dark chocolate, black cherry, plum and blackcurrant.

Tomme Corse Brebis $31.99/lb
We love Tomme Corse Chevre, and now we carry itsbrebis counterpart. This Tomme is made from pasteurized sheep’s milk on the island of Corsica. Rich, savory, and slightly salty with a peppery tang. Described to us by our French cheesemonger as “à mourir d’envie”, a cheese to die for. Pair this Tomme with a Corsican red.

2010 Domaine Maestracci ‘E Prove’ Corse Calvi  $17.99
“Something about its tannin, black fruit, herbs, and spices makes it almost as fundamental as olive oil at any Mediterranean meal.” – Kermit Lynch.

“Schlossberger” Cave Aged Gruyère $27.99/lb
Schlossberger Gruyère is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, and aged in caves near the Schlossberg castle in Switzerland. After its aging period of 18 months, bits of salt crystal begin to form, giving the cheese a pleasant crunch. A firm and creamy gruyère, with butter, herb, and hazelnut notes.

From time to time we like to shine a spotlight on outstanding wineries and winemakers. There are only a handful of truly worthy Muscadet producers, and Domaine de la Pépière is most certainly one of the greats. Marc Ollivier has more than done his fair share in insuring Muscadet’s meteoric rise to the top. His insistence on clean vineyard practices in a region where that can be very difficult, as well as concentration on single terroir bottlings, has set a quality standard for Muscadet that is very high.

Domaine de la Pépière

When Marc Ollivier is on, these are the top wines of the AOC – wines that are not only delicious young, but that can also age 10, 20 or 30 years. Ollivier’s Muscadet-sur-Lie is the authentic item — it has lees contact until the time of bottling, generally in late May. This extended contact gives it the crispness that makes Muscadet so refreshing, and the classic wine match for seafood. It is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception as growers and shippers rush to bottle “technically correct” wines by early January.

In this rush to bottle, Muscadet producers use special “starter” yeasts (which often also add flavors and aromas) to accelerate fermentation and enzymes or other techniques to finish the wine early. Sterile filtration is in rampant use. Ollivier takes his time. He hand harvests (also a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are in old vines (40 years and older) with a particularly good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. All the vineyards are from original stock: Ollivier is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.

The vinification techniques are traditional for the area: no skin maceration but direct pressing within 2 hours of picking, racking of the must after 12 hours to remove the solid matter, and controlled temperatures, not to exceed 71.6 degrees F, for the fermentation. The aging of the wine, on its lees in stainless steel vats, lasts until bottling, about eight months later.

–Notes adapted from the Louis Dressner website, Domaine de la Pépière’s importer.

2014 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur Lie $13.99
The white labeled regular 2014 Muscadet des Sèvre et Maine “sur lie” has a yeasty aroma of fully ripe yellow-fleshed fruits mixed with citrus flavors. It is a medium-bodied and minerally structured, fresh and salty Muscadet of great purity with a good aftertaste. It’s already drinkable, but can age for ten years or more, although it should be consumed sooner rather than later, due to its attractive fruit and vibrancy.

2013 Domaine de la Pépière ‘Clisson’ Muscadet Sévre et Maine $22.99
One of Ollivier’s most famous bottlings, Clisson is largely a granitic site that has been recognized for its unique terroir. Clisson  produces a tightly knit, mineral driven Melon de Bourgogne that while delicious when young, can be a revelation when allowed to age for a few years.

“A remarkable, high-toned nose of pear, peach, almond extract, basswood (a.k.a. linden, a.k.a. tillieul), and pungent citrus oils and buckwheat leads to a palate of subtly oily texture; expansive richness and northerly orchard fruit ripeness unexpected from Muscadet; as well as deep saline, and crustacean minerality. Piquant nuttiness, sizzling citrus oil, and licks of salt offer counterpoint to the fruit in a finish of vibratory intensity.” – Wine Advocate.

2013 Domaine de la Pépière ‘Monnières-Saint Fiacre’ Muscadet Sévre et Maine $22.99
This is a new labeling for Pepière, but Ollivier has worked this vineyard for some time now- these grapes previously went into his ‘Gras Moutons’ bottling. Monnières-Saint Fiacre was recently recognized as part of the “cru communaux” system which includes 9 different vineyards, all with with special terroirs and qualities. The Monnières-Saint Fiacre is softer and more creamy than the Clisson Muscadet, and perhaps a better candidate for early drinking, although there is no doubt this will age more than gracefully.

Note: Paris grocery also regularly stocks  the superb Domaine de La Pépière ‘Clos de Briords’ Muscadet, when available. $18.99

A Bientôt!
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

June 16, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,


North Africa has long been part of the Francophone world, and as such, has had an influence on French cuisine and food tastes. Perhaps, the most popular has been the one-pot, slow-cooking method employed by Morrocans and Tunisians that utilize the famous tagine vessel. Tagines are rich and aromatic casseroles that form, particularly, the basis of traditional Moroccan cooking. Flavored with fragrant spices, they are cooked and often served from an attractive lidded cooking vessel, also called a tagine. Here at Paris Grocery, we are proud to carry a broad selection of tagines from Le Souk (Tunisia), Emile Henri (France), and Graupera (Spain). Stop by and check out these beautiful, utilitarian cooking vessels, and discover the savory world of tagine.

Tagine Essentials
Preserved Lemon $12.99
Harissa $9.99
Couscous $6.99
Rose Water $4.49
Orange Blossom Water $4.49
Ras-el-Hanout $22.99/lb
We carry many more spices at our sister store The Spanish Table!

Wines for Tagine!
I’ve selected four wines that would pair exceptionally well with lamb, chicken or beef tagines. All are Grenache and Syrah blends that bring out the savory, spicy elements of tagine cookery, enhancing the meal and lending a note of distinction to your entertainment.

2012 Pierre Usseglio & Fils Côtes du Rhône Rouge $21.99
An estate that continues to release outstanding wine after outstanding wine, regardless of the vintage, Domaine Pierre Usseglio is obviously in fine hands with brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio at the helm.  The 2012 Cotes du Rhone (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre aged all in concrete) is a big, fruit-loaded effort that’s loaded with character. Big berry fruit, licorice, ground herbs and hints of pepper flow from a medium to full-bodied, supple and beautifully textured wine that has fresh acidity and a clean finish. It will impress for 3-5 years. Drink now-2018. – 89 points, Wine Advocate.

2014 Clos de Caveau ‘Fruit Sauvage’ Vacqueyras $29.99
This 50-acre estate lies along the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail and overlooks the Rhône Valley. At an altitude of 650 feet above sea level, the estate is situated 20 km east of Orange and 35 km to the northwest of Avignon. The vines are not only grown at higher altitudes than regular Vacqueyras, they are also naturally isolated into a single plot, making the location exceptional; a belt of Mediterranean forest protects the environment and renders it well suited to organic farming under ideal microclimate and geographical conditions.

“A step up over the 2013 (although still in barrel), the 2014 Vacqueyras Fruit Sauvage offers beautiful notes of plums, black raspberries, violets and licorice to go with a forward, mouth-filling, sexy and voluptuous style on the palate. It still has some tannin to integrate, but this beauty will drink nicely on release and hold through 2022.” – (89-91) points, Wine Advocate.

2013 Domaine Grand Nicolet Rasteau Vieilles Vignes $22.99
Domaine Grand Nicolet possesses parcels in two different communes, Rasteau (20ha) and Sablet (10ha). Planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault, the average age of the vines is 40 years, with some of the older Grenache plantings exceeding 80 years. The estate practices sustainable agriculture and is awaiting organic certification.

“A hidden gem in this challenging vintage, the 2013 Côtes du Rhône offers classic dark fruits, leather, peppery herbs and meatiness in its medium-bodied, focused and nicely textured personality. Made from 70% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre, brought up all in concrete, it’s a wine to buy by the case and drink over the coming 3-4 years.” – Wine Advocate.

2014 Mas Foulaquier ‘L’Orphée’ Pic Saint-Loup $24.99
One of my favorite wines! Mas Foulaquier was founded in 1998 by Swiss architect, Pierre Jéquier. There are 11ha in total, 3 of which are owned by Pierre’s business partner and fellow winemaker, Blandine Chauchet, who added her parcels of 50 year-old Carignan and Grenache vines in 2003. The estate is situated in the increasingly fashionable Pic Saint-Loup region, Languedoc’s most northerly appellation, and all the wines are certified biodynamic. ‘l’Orphee’ is named after The Orphean Warbler, a migratory bird from Africa that crosses the Mediterranean and settles in southern France.

A blend of 50% each of Grenache and Syrah and from 20 year old vines, this is a complex and satisfying red whose aromas sing of the garrigue. Deep cherry red in the glass. A delightful nose of rich dark fruit and sous-bois (forest floor) with a touch of black licorice. Medium-bodied on the palate with a definite mineral streak running through the earthy, black fruit flavors. A very well-structured wine with fine, dusty tannins and a lingering finish. 

Spicy Kefta Tagine with Lemon
Recipe from Tagines & Couscous by Ghillie Basan $24.95
Serves 4-6

For the Kefta:
1 lb finely ground beef or lamb
1 onion, finely chopped or grated
Leaves from a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, halved and crushed
a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chile, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
leaves from a small bunch of cilantro, chopped
leaves from a small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges, pips removed
Plain buttery couscous, tossed with finely chopped red chile and fresh green herbs

To make the kefta, pound the ground meat with your knuckles in a bowl. Using your hands, lift up the lump of ground meat and slap it back down into the bowl. Add the onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together and knead well, pounding the mixture for a few  minutes. Take pieces of the mixture and shape them into little walnut-size balls, so that you end up with about 16 kefta. (These can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.)

Heat the oil and butter in a tagine. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile and saute until they begin to brown. Add the turmeric and half the cilantro and mint, pour 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Carefully place the kefta in the liquid, cover and poach for about 15 minutes, rolling them in the liquid from time to time so they are cooked well on all sides. Pour over the lemon juice, season the liquid with salt and tuck the lemon segments around the kefta. Poach for a further 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and mint and serve with plain buttery couscous tossed with chile and herbs and leafy salad greens, if liked.

Bon Appétit!
Kelsey & Manuel

Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

June 9, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
Take a look at what’s new at Paris Grocery and what’s on our cheese plate this week..

Pico Affine 100g $10.49 each
These adorable rounds of goat cheese hail from the Perigord Region of France. While most people think of the Loire Valley when they think of French goat cheese, the Perigord region, famous for its truffles, is also known for producing a variety of exceptional goat cheeses.  These palm-sized discs are made from pasteurized goat’s milk and allowed to mature for 10 days, becoming more complex and aromatic the longer they age. Beneath its wrinkled rind lies a lush, creamy layer followed by a soft chalky interior. Notes of butter, mushroom, and hay make this soft cheese a stunning addition to any meal. Pair with a dry white from southwestern France, such as a Jurancon sec.

A Year In Cheese by Alex and Leo Guarneri $29.99
Expand your knowledge of fromage with this seasonal cheese cookbook by authors Alex and Leo Guarneri. ‘A year in cheese celebrates the pleasure of eating seasonally, with over 55 classic and inventive recipes using seasonal cheese. […] In this unique cookbook, the team at Androuet share their passion and knowledge with tips, recommendations and dishes for every time of year.’

Carpano Antica Formula: The Legendary Vermouth
Carpano Antica Formula was created in 1786, in Turin, Italy, by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, an Italian distiller credited with having invented Vermouth, and consequently, the aperitif.

Carpano Antica Formula is the Italian vermouth par excellence, made from white wine, Piedmontese muscatel and the rich wines of southern Italy. Its taste comes from carefully selected brewed mountain herbs, although its most prominent feature is its vanilla bouquet, matched by notes of spices and dried fruit such ass star anise, orange peel and dates.

Its unique, inimitable recipe remains unchanged to this day, and legend has it that, ever since it was first invented, three people, each of whom knows his or her own part of the formula but not the formulas of the other two, must always be involved in the preparation of the formula; this has helped to keep the Carpano formula a secret for more than three centuries.

Perfect for drinking cold as an aperitif or after a meal and as an ingredient in reined cocktails, adding a special touch in such classics as the renowned Negroni, the classic Americano, or the ever-popular Manhattan.The Carpano brand is now produced and distributed by Fratelli Branca Distillerie of Milan.

Two sizes available at Paris Grocery.
Carpano Antica Formula (750ml) $44.00
Carpano Antica Formula (375ml) $21.99

Crottin de Chavignol Salad with Caramelised Walnuts
Recipe from A Year In Cheese by Alex and Leo Guarneri
Serves 2
2 Crottin de Chavignol
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp thyme leaves
Handful of mixed leaf salad
2 tbsp sundried tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Caramelised Walnuts
100g walnuts
1 tsp demerara sugar
1 1/2 tbsp clear honey
Pinch of dried Herbes de Provence
1 tsp unsalted butter, room temperature

For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Then mix together the walnuts, sugar, honey, and herbes de provence before spreading on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until the nuts are a caramel color. Remove from the oven and mix with the butter. Leave to cool, taking care that the walnuts stay separate. Set aside.
For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil and vegetable oil, the vinegar, honey and mustard, and then season with salt and pepper.
Slice the Crottins de Chavignol, drizzle with a little honey and put under a preheated grill until the cheese has caramelised. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Toss the salad in the dressing and divide between the serving plates. Add a caramelised crottin to each plate. Crumble over some caramelised walnuts and sprinkle with sundried tomatoes.

A Bientot,
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

June 3, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
This week we are excited to start carrying local treats, King Caramel. Hedy Anderson, the ‘Queen’ of King Caramel, hand makes and hand wraps her caramels on Vashon Island, Washington. Sweet, soft, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth morsels that will make you want to sit back and savor their chewy deliciousness. We carry two exquisite flavors: Sea Salt and Black Licorice.
Read here for an interesting article on Hedy Anderson and King Caramel.

Pont L’Evêque  $10.99 each (220g squares)
Cistercian monks created this washed rind cow’s milk cheese in Normandy, France. Flavors of butter and hazelnuts compliment the cheese’s long fruity, tangy finish. These small squares come in wooden boxes and look exceptional on a cheese platter! We recommend pairing this with Viognier or Cider.

Mixologist Alert!
“Gone are the days when a lonely bottle of Angostura bitters held court behind the bar. A cocktail renaissance has swept across the country, inspiring bartenders and their thirsty patrons a new fascination with the ingredients, techniques, and traditions that make the American cocktail so special.”  –Brad Thomas Parsons, Bitters.

Absolutely right.  Aromatic cocktail bitters, not the kind made for sipping such as, Italian amaros, but the kind added in dashes to enliven a cocktail are back and bigger than ever. No self-respecting mixologist, professional or amateur, would be caught without them in their arsenal of tricks, and tracking down exotic bitters can become a mild obsession. Did you know Paris Grocery stocks an impressive selection of bitters for all your cocktail needs? Whether it’s a bottle of orange bitters or something a tad more exotic, like say, Xocolatl Mole or Jamaican Blackstrap, this is the place to come for Fee Brothers, Scrappy’s, Peuychaud’s, Regan’s, and more. We also stock Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. cocktail cherries, tonic and small batch grenadine, as well as Amarena and Morello cheries from Italy and France. Look no further for bitters to add flair and a dash of spice to your latest creations!

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about bitters; their history; what they are; how they are made, with recipes for you to try, and which ones to buy.
Bitters, Brad Thomas Parsons. $24.99, availabe at Paris Grocery.

The French Blonde 
(Recipe from Saveur)
This cocktail combines lillet, lemon bitters, fresh squeezed grapefruit,  elderflower liqueur, and gin to create a fresh and citrusy libation that is sure to refresh on a hot day!

1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur, like St. Germain
1 oz dry gin
2 oz Lillet Blanc
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
A few dashes Lemon Bitters
Shake together all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker for at least 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Bon Apéro!

Two New Wines To Try

Domaine de Fondrèche Ventoux Rosé 2015  $15.99
A Ventoux rosé from the Rhône Valley, made from 50% Cinsault, 25% Syrah and 25% Grenache. A taut and light rose with hints of savory herb and thyme, followed by a light core of strawberry and watermelon rind. Refreshing and delicious!

Domaine Poli Ile de Beauté Niellucciu Rosé 2015
A fine rosé from the Ile de Beauté, aka Corsica! Niellucciu is thought to be a Corsican clone of  Italy’s famous Sangiovese grape.

Penetratingly pungent herbal scents including thyme and lavender link up with white peach and pink grapefruit on a luscious and refreshingly juicy palate, leading to a long finish replete with reprises of high-toned and pungent herbal essences that already lent the nose such striking distinction.

A Bientôt!
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

May 26, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
There is something about sitting down to a true French breakfast that seems so quintessentially French. Coffee, baguette, confiture, beurre; the French make something so simple so magnificently délicieux. It is one of those special traditions I love most about French culture, and I like to recreate it when I am feeling wistful for France. Lucky for us French breakfast lovers, Paris Grocery now carries café bowls and egg cups! Soft boil an egg, top toast with your favorite confiture, wrap your hands around a bowl of freshly brewed coffee, and transport yourself to France with a leisurely French breakfast.

Latte Bowl $14.99
Egg Cup $7.99

New Chocolat! Leonidas Belgian Chocolates
Leonidas produces 100 different varieties of chocolates, each made with 100% pure cocoa butter, and using only the highest quality and freshest ingredients. Roasted hazelnuts from Turkey, salted butter from Isigny in Normandy, and smooth white, dark, and milk chocolate make these luscious bars a truly unique treat for chocolate fanatics.

Milk Chocolate Baton with Salted Caramel $2.99
Milk Chocolate Baton with Hazelnut Praline $2.99
Dark Chocolate Baton with Coffee Praline $2.99
Milk Chocolate Bar with Salted Caramel $4.99
White Chocolate Bar with Crunchy Puffed Rice $4.99

Spotlight: Domaine de la Janasse.

One of my absolute favorite Rhône producers! Making wines in a decidedly modern style, Domaine de la Janasse crafts wines with great purity and concentration. This estate is at the forefront of Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers, and an estate that should become known to you, if you have missed their wines.

The story of Domaine de la Janasse’s rise to the top echelon of Rhone producers begins in 1967, when Aimé Sabon returned home from military service. He took over his father’s vineyard, who used to sell his grapes to the local wine cooperative. A few years later, Aimé built his own cellar; it was then that Domaine de la Janasse was born, and named after the family farm that was in Courthézon, in the locality of “La Janasse”.  Aimé had ambitions for his estate; he knew the estate had fabulous soil, and he wanted to expand its size by acquiring additional plots. From 15 hectares at the beginning, La Janasse, today, has grown to more than 90 hectares.
Domaine de la Janasse is very much a family affair. Aimé’s son, Christophe, who received a technical diploma in viticulture and oenology in Beaune in 1991, and a further degree in marketing in Mâcon, returned to the domaine to take over day-to-day duties.  By adding new cuvees, and developing new markets for his wines, the domaine saw an increase in the availability and renown of the estate. In 2001, Isabelle –Aimé’s daughter– graduated as an oenologist from the University of Toulouse, and joined the team. Today, the entire family is involved in the estate’s operations.

Domaine de la Janasse ‘Réserve’ Cotes du Rhône 2013  $15.99
The entry level Rhône wine from Domaine de la Janasse. The fruit is sourced from one of the estate’s plots, located to east of Châteauneufdu-Pape, in the city of Courthézon. The wine is aged between 6-9 months in concrete tanks.

“The 2013 Côtes du Rhône (40% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 20% Carignan and the balance Syrah and Cinsault) is superb in the vintage. Medium-bodied, juicy and peppery, with plenty of spice and character, drink it over the coming couple of years.”  —Wine Advocate

Domaine de la Janasse ‘Terre d’Argile’ Cotes du Rhône Villages 2013  $24.99
At a stone’s throw from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this wine comes from the beautiful land of pebbles and red clay north of the city of Courthézon. It’s a blend of 25% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre, and 25% Carignan. The wine is aged for 12 months in a combination of oak barrels, including the use of large barrels, foudres, used exclusively for the Grenache.

“Since there was no Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues in the vintage, the 2013 Côtes du Rhône Villages Terre d’Argile got the grapes that are normally designated for that cuvée. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre raised in foudre, it offers lots of black cherries, crushed violets, loamy earth and pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied, elegant, and seamless with fine tannin, it’s a rock solid Côtes du Rhône from a difficult vintage. Drink it over the coming 3-4 years.” — Wine Advocate.

Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013  $60.00
This wine is made from grapes sourced from a plot in the famed La Crau vineyard in the northern part of the appellation. It’s a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault. As most Janasse wines, it’s aged for 12 months in a combination of concrete tanks (80%) and oak barrels (20%).

“A great wine – from a difficult vintage – that shows the talent and hard work of this brother/sister pair, the 2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reveals a healthy ruby/purple color to go with perfumed notes of black and red raspberry, pepper, licorice and violets. Medium plus in body and elegant, with gorgeous purity and fine tannin, drink this terrific 2013 over the coming 8-10 years.”
91 points, Wine Advocate

Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Chaupin’ 2012  $90.00
The grapes are sourced from three distinct plots: Chapouin, La Crau and La Janasse. This wine is made from 100% Grenache, of which, the oldest vines were planted in 1912. The Chaupin is aged in a combination of
foudres and the 600-litre barrels, known as demi-muids.

“The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin, which I was able to taste (and drink) from multiple bottles, is a beautiful Grenache that comes from the cooler, northeastern edge of the appellation. Coming almost all from the Chapouin lieu-dit (it gets a small bit from La Janasse), it gives up the classic notes of black berries, spring flowers, violets, and licorice that I always seem to find in this cuvee. Building nicely on the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, has tons of sweet fruit and solid, if not firm, tannin that come out on the finish. It will be better in another couple of years and have 15+ years of overall longevity.”
94 points, Wine Advocate

Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Vieilles Vignes’ 2013  $120.00
This cuvée comes from four plots located on different soils that perfectly complement each other when the final blend is assembled. Firstly a southern pebbly soil that brings body and power. Secondly a Chaupin-like soil for freshness and acidity. A third red clay pebbly soil in the north of the appellation that brings structure and body. And finally a sandy-limestone soil for smoothness.  The final blend comprises 64% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 6% diverse varietals. 75% of the wine is aged in concrete tank, with the remaining 25% demi muids. This is the flagship wine of the estate, garnering the highest scores and accolades in the international press.

“While the cuvée Chaupin comes mostly from sandy soils, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes comes more from the rolled pebble soils the region is famous for, and always shows the richer, more powerful profile imparted from these soils. Mostly foudre-aged Grenache, it incorporates 20% Mourvèdre and roughly 10% Syrah (slightly more Syrah in 2013) that’s raised all in barrel. Exhibiting a deep purple color, it offers fabulous dark berry fruits, licorice, Provençal herbs and earthy/stony minerality on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, ripe and with impressive sweetness to its tannin, it’s a fabulous wine that will have 10-15 years of overall longevity.”
94 points, Wine Advocate

Back in stock! 2014 Domaine Lafage “Tessellae” Carignan Vieilles Vignes Cote Catalanes$13.99

A Bientôt,
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

May 20, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
One of the most beautiful regions in the south of France, the Dordogne, is known for its fine food, particularly foie gras, walnuts and truffles, and a bucolic landscape dotted with more than one thousand castles. Located in the area known as the Perigord, the Dordogne is a fascinating region with a lot to offer!

Cuisine of the Dordogne
A common dish in the Dordogne is Pommes Sarladaise, a mouthwatering dish of sliced potatoes cooked in garlic, parsley and duck fat. Pick up duck fat at Paris Grocery and whip up a batch of this delicious French comfort food.

Cabecou is a popular cheese of this region. The young goat cheese is typically wrapped in walnut leaves and is fresh and creamy with a slight piquant finish. Try our Picandou, an altered version of this cheese!

Monbazillac, the Sweet Wine of the Dordogne.
Monbazillac is a French dessert wine, largely unknown in the U.S. until recent times. Exporting no more than roughly 25 percent of its total output, mostly destined for Europe, and with less than seven percent coming to the United States, it stands to reason. Yet, Monbazillac is France’s largest late-harvest sweet wine area as defined by  acreage and production. Sauternes, France’s best-known late-harvest dessert wine, covers less acreage and has smaller production, but is far better known, and certainly more prestigious (Chateau d’Yquem, anyone?). While soils differ from those of the Sauternes region, Monbazillac is made from the same grapes as Sauternes: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The grapes that go into making Monbazillac are grown about 60 miles to the east of the Sauternes region, in five communes clustered around the town of Bergerac. Like a good Sauternes, a fine Monbazillac can be laid down, becoming a deep gold, concentrated wine, but it tends to be somewhat less voluptuous, with a spicier, less floral nose. On the palate, Monbazillac delivers exotic touches of honeyed mango, quince, passion fruit and citrus, often with a distinctive nuttiness on the finish. Also, there’s a big difference in price. You can purchase an outstanding bottle of Monbazillac for what you’d pay for a middling bottle of Sauternes. Besides offering real drinking pleasure, the reasonable price also makes it an ideal choice for cooking; for poaching pears, or making a jelly to serve with a pâté. In the Dordogne and Bergerac regions of France, a glass of Monbazillac is likely to accompany the local foie gras; the  slight whiff of smokiness, the nutty aromas, and viscosity, make Monbazillac a perfect complement for foie gras. You should try some!

Chateau Tirecul La Gradiére     Mobazillac ‘Les Pins’ 2013  $19.99 (500ml)
Owned by Claudie and Bruno Bilancini since 1997, Chateau Tirecul la Graviere is recognized as the top property of the AOC. The fame of Chateau Tirecul la Graviere has spread far and wide over the last several years. Most notably, Robert Parker has awarded the property two 100 point scores, and compared its top wines with Sauterne’s Chateau d’Yquem. With good acidity and a solid backbone, these wines can last for decades under optimal storage conditions, a rarity for wines from this area of Southwest France. These wines are magical, defining examples of the best that Monbazillac can offer and more. The ‘Les Pins’ Monbazillac is the second label of this prestigious estate.

“Viscous and unctuous, showing flavors of honeycomb, mineral, tea and butter, with plenty of spice. The long finish echoes the flavors, with golden raisin and dried apricot notes.” Wine Advocate

Signeurs de Monbazillac Monbazillac 2007   $10.99 (375ml)
North of Gascony and east of Sauternes you can find the small appellation of Monbazillac. Like Sauternes, the wines produced here are sweet, botrytized wines that are incredibly balanced. The fungus, botrytis cinerea, that covers the grapes after they begin to ripen not only imparts lovely aromas, it preserves the natural acidity of the grapes even while the sugar content rises. Like clean honey, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc (30%), Semillon (60%), and Muscadelle (10%) has a vivid nose, with delicate floral notes, ripe apricot and honeysuckle. Surprisingly fresh, it is phenomenal with foie gras and blue cheese.

…and Two Bergerac Wines.

Chateau du Bloy Bergerac 2010  $13.99
Dating from the early twentieth century, Chateau du Bloy was sold to new owners in 2001. The new owners, M. Lambert and M. Lepoittevin-Dubost, are working to place Chateau du Bloy among the top producers in Bergerac. The vineyard is situated on a hillside overlooking the Dordogne river east of Castillon La Bataille. These hills are a continuation of those found in Saint Emilion and Cotes de Castillon. The vineyard has been farmed organically for several years and will be certified with the 2014 vintage.

The Bergerac is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. The wine is deeply colored, perfumed and marked by an abundance of black fruit flavors; the wine’s earthy and mineral rich flavors typify this appellation and distinguish it from its neighbor Bordeaux. The Chateau du Bloy Bergerac is aged in tank for one year prior to its release.

Chateau du Bloy Bergerac Rosé 2015  $14.99
“The Chateau du Bloy Rosé is produced 100% from Cabernet Franc. The grapes are harvested a few days ahead of those destined for red wine, giving the rosé a natural lightness both in alcohol, which is 12%, and in color. The grapes are pressed as soon as they enter the vat house and the wine stays on its lees until bottling. The wine is light and delicate but with an underlying structure that adds contour to the palate.” –Wine Traditions, importer notes.

Walnut Wine
A common aperitif you might find in the Dordogne is vin de noix, walnut wine. It is a sweet, dark wine that is made from immature green walnuts, red wine, and brandy. The walnuts are usually picked between June 24th and July 14th, Bastille Day. The longer the wine is left to sit in its container, the better! This aperitif is usually served before a meal, but it is also fantastic with Foie Gras.

Vin de Noix (Walnut Wine)
Recipe from Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves by Kimberley Lovato $29.95

Makes 8 Liters
40 young green walnuts, quartered
5 quarts (4.74 liters) dry red wine
2 pounds (1 kg) sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
4 cloves (optional)
1 vanilla bean, split in half (optional)
Zest of 1 small mandarin orange (optional)
1 quart (1 liter) brandy

Place the quartered walnuts in a large glass container. Add the red wine and sugar. If using nutmeg, clove, vanilla bean, and zest, add them here. Be careful not to add too much spice as you don’t want to overpower the wine’s flavor. Cover the container tightly and store in a cool dark room or cellar. After six weeks, strain the mixture and add the brandy. Pour into bottles and seal tightly. Let the wine rest for at least six months. Serve in small aperitif glasses before your Dordogne feast.

A Bientôt!
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

May 14, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,

Les Vins Rosés Sont Arrivés!

A sure sign that Summer is right around the corner is the arrival of rosé wines from across the globe! Rosado, rosato, rosé, the language doesn’t matter, it’s the delicious, light pink nectar in the bottle that makes these wines tailor made for the season. This being the Paris Grocery, we feature rosés from all the corners of La Belle France: Provence, Cabardès, Fronton, Corbierès, Costierès de Nîmes, Côtes du Roussillon, Corse, etc. Be sure to stop by check out our selection; we have plenty 0f chilled bottles on hand, ready to go. We also stock a wide variety of cheeses and charcuterie to complement your wine selection.

Les Vins Rosés

2015 Chateau Beaulieu Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence  $14.99
An exemplary, traditional Provencal rosé, Chateau Beaulieu is bright and fruit-forward with exotic fruit that reminds one of guava, papaya and white floral aromas on the nose. It has body and structure, yet is fresh on the palate and possesses beautiful minerality. Each varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault) is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures to preserve its natural characteristics. A versatile wine that pairs beautifully with a wide variety of seafood.

NV Chateau de Campuget Rosé Costieres de Nimes (3L Box)  $27.99

2015 Chateau Grande Cassagne Rosé Costieres de Nimes  $9.99

2015 Chateau de La Clapiere Rosé Cru Classé ‘La Violette’  $15.99
Chateau de la Clapiere consists of 53 hectares, including 32 hectares of Cru, located in foothills of the Massive des Maures, at the crossroads of the fertile valleys of Sauvebonne and the Borrels, where the vines flourish among citrus and palm trees in a unique microclimate. The Chateau was designated as a Cru Classé rosé in 1955. The wine is an elegant blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, that offers an expressive nose brimming with fresh notes of raspberry, cherry, watermelon, and green tea. The palate is firm and focused, with generous acidity. Bright fruit notes are complemented by hints of sandalwood and mineral undertones. Highly recommended.

2015 Chateau Jouclary Cabardes Rosé $11.99

2015 Chateau L’Ermitage  Rosé Costieres de Nimes  $9.99

2015 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris  Corbieres  $13.99, $30.00 (1.5L)
Domaine de Fontsainte is in the heart of the Corbieres’ celebrated ‘Golden Crescent’ – one of the appellation’s most beautiful and beneficent terroirs.  Fontsainte’s vineyards, just 295 ft. in altitude, benefit from a pristine environment (far from industrial or urban developments), plus alternating Mediterranean and oceanic influences.
A Rhone-style blend with 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, and the balance equal parts of Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault, this fruity and delicious rose offers up aromas and flavors of fresh-picked strawberries and cherries, with tropical fruit accents.

2015 Domaine des Lauribert Vaucluse Rosé ‘La Cuvee Lisa’  $9.99

2015 Domaine Le Clos des Lumieres Grenache Rosé Pays d’Oc  $7.99

2015 Domaine Roumagnac Fronton Rosé ‘Authentique’  $14.99
The Domaine Roumagnac Rosé Authentique is a blend of 50% Negrette, 30% Syrah, and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Negrette brings its highly aromatic qualities to the wine, as well as its beautiful color; while the Syrah and Cabernet Franc add complexity and spice to the blend. The nose is one of red berry and citrus fruits (red currants and grapefruit), while the palate is rich, persistent and beautifully balanced,

2015 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Corbières Rosé  $10.99

2015 Domaine Santa Giulietta Rosé Corse  $10.99

2015 Domaine Sorin Rosé ‘Terre Amata’  $11.99

2015 Lafage Miraflors Cotes du Roussillon Rosé  $14.99 

2015 Mas Carlot Rosé Costieres de Nimes  $10.99
Constructed around the seventeenth century, this old Provencal Mas was brought back to life by the Blanc family, who purchased the estate in the 60s. Located on the western edge of the Rhone River, in the village of Bellegarde, southeast of the city of Nimes, the vineyards are in the heart of the appellation’scailloux-based soil. In the old Provençal dialect, “Mas” means farm, and Nathalie Blanc-Marès is beautifully managing this 75 hectares farm with the aid of her husband Cyril Marès, owner of the neighboring property Mas des Bressades.
Vibrantly clear and raspberry in color, the 2015 Mas Carlot Costieres de Nimes Rosé (50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre) delivers loads of wild strawberry, cherry, flowers and hints of minerality in a medium-bodied, classically dry, yet textured and rich package. This rosé is made by the saignée method.

2015 Joseph Mellot ‘Sincérité’ VdP du Val de Loire  $9.99

2015 Chateau La Mascaronne Cotes de Provence ‘Quat’saisons’  $17.99

2015 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé  $14.99
Commanderie de la Bargemone is among the foremost estates of the Coteaux d’Aix  Provence. A benchmark producer of the delicious, dry rosé for which Provence is famous, the Commanderie was founded by Templar knights in the 13th century, and is home to a proud viticulture tradition and more than 160 acres of sustainably grown vineyards.
Offers classic aromas of wild strawberries and red currants, with a light, floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate.

À Bientôt,
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

Bonjour Mes Amis,

Quoi de neuf à Paris Grocery?
What’s new at Paris Grocery? Part of the fun of working here is that we get to introduce new and interesting products to our customers. Some are whimsical and others are practical and utilitarian. We also like to search out values and offer food products that are off the beaten path; wines and cheese from lesser-known appellations, and charcuterie from the ever-growing number of domestic, artisanal producers, from the Pacific Northwest, and New York. Here are some of the new items that are available this week.

Domaine du Vallage $24.99/lb
I have heard this rich, triple creme cow’s milk referred to as “a cheese you’d leave your boyfriend for”; it truly is a showstopper! Decadent and densely creamy with a hint of saltiness, and a sweet, buttery finish. Hailing from the Champagne-Ardenne region, this triple creme is extremely wine friendly, but we love it best with champagne.

Fougerus $20.99
A cousin to Coulommiers with a bit more depth. This cow’s milk cheese has a sweet and milky flavor with forest aromas that are enhanced by its decorative fern leaf. The creamy texture is balanced by just the right amount of saltiness.

Ceramic Butter Bowl $22
This ceramic butter dish is equipped with a bowl-shaped insert, designed to hold a stick of butter and keep it at the perfect consistency for spreading. Once filled with a little bit of water, the crock creates an air-free seal whilekeeping the butter at room temperature. Indispensable!

Chalkboard Serving Bowls $22
The ideal serving bowls! This box set includes a trio of stackable ceramic chalk bowls. Their chalkboard exterior allows you to label and decorate each bowl for a personalized and creative way to entertain.

Pacific ‘Sensation Anis’ from Ricard. $21.99
Looking for a refreshing Summertime drink that won’t slow you down? What could be more French than a refreshing glass of pastis? The natural extracts of anise…without sugar, alcohol, and zero calories! Enjoy it at every moment, and with everyone! The original version of the famous aperitif without alcohol! Just add five parts chilled water to one part of Pacific ‘Sensation Anis’–it’s that easy. Enjoy!

Three Off The Beaten Path.

This week I’d like to introduce you to three very different wines; one is a terrific Champagne value; the other is a distinctive Provençal rosé–definitely not your every day rosé! Last is a wine from the Languedoc; from Pic Saint-Loup to be specific–long a source for great Grenache-Syrah-based wines!

NV Champagne Baron-Fuenté Brut ‘Tradition’  $30.00
Baron Fuente is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres sur pied,  meaning that they pick the grapes, which gives them a lot more control over the quality of the finished wine. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy sur lattes, meaning in bottle. The Brut ‘Tradition’ is a blend of 30% Chardonnay and 70% Pinot Meunier, which perfectly illustrates the capabilities of this grape from the Marne Valley. It’s grown in vineyards along the banks of the Charly-sur-Marne, and is responsible for imparting the flavor of the Brut ‘Tradition.’
“The wine possesses a light yellow cast, with a very fine mousse. The bouquet is discreet and elegant with notes of brioche and candied or stewed fruits, with a light honey aroma. The mouth is supple and well balanced. Unctuous, with a good length on the finish.” –Winery notes.

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tibouren ‘Cru Classé’ 2014  $26.99
Having undertaken a complete renovation project in the early 90s, this historic estate is once again making terrific wines, and has regained its rightful place as one of the 18 Cru Calssés in the Cotes de Provence.
Clos Cibonne’s regular rosé bottling is 90% Tibouren, a highly valued but not widely-planted grape from Provence, and 10% Grenache, sourced from 30 plus-year-old vines planted in schist soil. The wine is aged on the lees and under a fine veil of flor for one year in 100-year-old foudres before bottling, so it hits the market the year after rosé wines from other estates.
The wine possesses aromas of orange peel, with spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant, with fruit tones and saline notes. Unique and distinctive!

Mas Foulaquier ‘L’Orphée’ Pic Saint-Loup 2014  $24.99
The Mas Foulaquier vineyards are located at the foothills of the Cevennes in Pic Saint-Loup, the largest of the Northern Languedoc appellations. Being located inland and at a higher elevation allows for fairly large temperature differences between day and night, which ensures freshness and finesse in their wines. The estate has been organically and biodynamically-certified since 2005.
A blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. It opens with earthy and floral aromatics that are balanced by rich dark blueberry, plum, pepper and violet flavors on the palate. The finish is soft, with a stony minerality. The Mas Foulaquier L’Orphée has plenty of concentration to stand up to a hearty meal. A great find!

À Bientôt!
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Thursday, Jun 9 2016 

May 6, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,

La Fête des Mères s’approche, Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Need some inspiration for that special gift? Paris Grocery has French cookware, Tunisian ceramics, teas, chocolates, French linens and, of course, sparkling wine to commence the celebration. Impress Maman by baking a Tarte Tatin in one of our Emile Henry Tarte Tatin dishes, present both the tarte and the dish as a gift! See our Tarte Tatin recipe below.

Emile Henry’s French cookware is handcrafted from Burgundy clay in Marcigny France. The natural, high-fired clay excels at retaining and distributing heat evenly, allowing you to bake your pie or brown your quiche to perfection. Emile Henry’s durable ceramic cookware is also freezer, oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. What’s not to love!

Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish $40
Emile Henry Quiche Dish $50
Emile Henry Tarte Tatin Dish $120
Emile Henry Pizza Stone $60
Emile Henry Ramekins 6oz $7.99
Emile Henry Souffle Dish $44.99 

Crémants pour la Fête de Maman.
What better way to show your appreciation for all the fine things that maman does for you than by giving her a bottle of fine, French Crémant. Guaranteed to complement a delicious meal, or to help celebrate this special day, there are many wines and styles to choose from. Many French regions (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Loire, etc.) produce distinctive sparkling wines that, in some cases, are as interesting as anything from Champagne. Here are a few of our favorites to give for Mother’s Day.

NV Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé $22.99
A celebratory taste of joie de vivre, this Burgundian Crémant has fine, delicate bubbles. Raspberries and black currants are present on the nose, followed by fresh fruit flavors that seduce the palate. The Pinot Noir leaves its mark with its lovely earthy qualities while Chardonnay and Gamay lend richness and roundness. A luxury one can afford!

NV Domaine Rieflé Crémant d’Alsace ‘Bonheur Festif’ Brut Rosé  $21.99
Viticulture has been a Rieflé family affair for six generations, since 1850. Soft and fresh, this wine displays delicate hints of red berries and fruits, enhanced by beautiful tiny bubbles. Guaranteed to make a statement and to please.

2012 Soucherie Crémant de Loire Brut $29.99
A blend of 70% Chenin and 30% Chardonnay, the Soucherie Crémant is fine, delicate and very pure. Opening aromas of brioche, followed by scents of white flowers and white fruits. On the palate it is intensely aromatic, with stone fruits. Both harmonious and powerful overall, with some acidity, creating a pleasant sense of freshness and vivacity.

Jo Landron ‘Atmosphères Crémant de Loire $21.99
A blend of 80% Folle Blanche, 20% Pinot Noir, grown in the Muscadet region (but can’t be called Muscadet as it’s sparkling.) Folle Blanche is widely used in the Loire Valley to make Gros Plant du Pays Nantais, a very dry, tart wine that pairs well with shellfish. Here, it’s blended with Pinot Noir to make a delightful sparkling wine, vinified in the traditional method. Jo landron is a well-regarded biodynamic grower. The Atmosphères shows richness (more than you’d expect from a low-dosage, sparkling wine from Muscadet). Aromas and flavors of red apples, ripe lemons, peaches and pears, with a dark, toasty note on the long finish. Intriguingly different!

Traditional Tarte Tatin
Recipe from Sweet Paris by Michael Paul $29.95
Serves 6

350g (12 1/3 oz) ready-made puff pastry
5 medium Granny Smith apples
100g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
160g (5 3/4 oz) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Whipped cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 400F. Roll out the pastry until it is 3mm (1/10 inch) thick and cut it into a round disc to fit as a lid a little bit wider than the Tarte Tatin pan. Cover the pastry with cling flim so that it doesn’t dry out and put it in the fridge. Peel and core the apples and cut into halves lengthwise.
Melt the butter and sugar together in the pan until they start to foam and begin to lightly caramelize.
Quickly place the apple halves cut side up in the caramel mixture, arranging them tightly together with a few small gaps, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Put a lid on the pan and cook over a low to medium heat for around 5-8 minutes, allowing the caramel to bubble up and over the apples until they are slightly soft, the caramel has started to turn a darker brown and you get a lovely toffee sauce.
Place the pastry circle on top of the apples, firmly tucking down the sides with a knife so that the edges reach the caramel in the pan.
Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden-brown and well puffed up.
Remove from the oven and leave for an hour for the flavors to infuse. When ready to serve, put the pan back on the hob and gently reheat. Then put a serving dish over the pan and, holding it firmly in place, quickly flip upside down so that the pastry is underneath.
Serve with whipped cream.

Bonne Fête!
Kelsey & Manuel

Paris Grocery Seattle Thursday, Jun 9 2016 

April 28, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
Continuing with our introduction to the various regions of France, we offer a brief tour of the Roussilon, mainland France’s southernmost, and some would say, most savage region. Enjoy.

Catalan France: The Roussillon 
The Roussillon is my favorite region in France. Perhaps, it’s the wild, untamed landscape where wild boar and wolves still roam freely, or the picturesque, remote villages, nestled deep in its hills, or it may simply be that the Roussillon’s deep cultural roots lie in Catalunya. The Roussillon is, undeniably, a region steeped in history. One inescapable fact, though, is that it is distinct from the many other regions of France, possessing its own customs, cuisine and, more recently, outstanding wines. Simply put, the Roussillon is always well worth the visit!  

Formerly known as the administrative region of Languedoc-Roussillon; since the first of this year,  it has been re-christened as the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées (the French, always tinkering with their administrative departments, and appellations!). The region comprises five departments, including the Roussillon (Rosselló in Catalan), which is the southernmost department in mainland France. In fact, it was part of Spain at one time and ruled by the Counts of Barcelona, until it was ceded back to France in 1659. A recent study showed that 65% of adults, over the age of 16, could understand Catalan, and roughly 40% could Roussillon Coat of Armsspeak it. In recent years, there has been a push by Catalan nationalists towards secession from the Languedoc and for greater autonomy for the region, including the revival of the Catalan language, and even the creation of a political entity, Catalunya Nord (Northern Catalonia), but this move seems to have minimal support. The arms of Roussillon, depicted in the lower half of the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées coat of arms, pictured right, is the Senyera, the flag of Catalunya, vertically disposed.

Catalan Cuisine of the Roussillon
Catalan cuisine was the subject of one of the earliest known cookbooks in the world, the Sent Sovi, written in the 12th century. Catalan cuisine was the quintessential melting pot, with culinary influences ranging from the Latin to the Gallic and to Moorish Spain. A seafaring peoples, the Catalans also imported spices that gave their cuisine an exotic flair. Combining sweet and savory flavors also added an extra dimension, and is a tradition that survives to the present–for example, adding dried fruit, or other fruits and semi-sweet chocolate, with poultry, lamb, and game dishes to create unique flavors. The cuisine of the Roussillon also combines a variety of ingredients that reflect the topography, that is,mer et montagne, the Mediterranean and the mountains.  Ailes des poulet, langouste au citron et au gingembre, Chicken wings and spiny lobster, with lemon and ginger, or Mixed vegetables with mussels and blood sausage, Ollada de petits légumes aux moules et boudin noir, are typical of this kind of culinary thinking. The recipes can be found in Culinaria France, on sale at Paris grocery, $19.99.

The Wines of the Roussillon
Most of the wines of the Roussillon are classified as Côtes du Roussillon or Côtes du Roussillon Villages, but there are also distinct appellations included, such as Maury, Banyuls and Collioure. Despite the fact that some of the region’s westernmost vineyards can be found at altitudes of almost 2000 ft., the Roussillon is exclusively subject to Mediterranean climatic influences, which means more than 2500 hours of sunshine a year, and an average annual temperature of 60°, and frequent exposure to the famous tramontane, a mainly dry wind from the northwest that brings healthy conditions for the vines. There is light rainfall, and this occurs mostly in the fall, in the form of thunderstorms. Summers are hot and dry and winters are mild, with little frost–this means that grapes achieve ripeness with ease at harvest time, and produce wines that give intense, fruity, spicy aromas to the red wines that are the hallmark of the region. The predominant grape varieties include Carignan and Grenache–both Spanish varietals–but supplemented by the ever-present Syrah, originally from the Rhone valley and Mourvèdre. Rosés are generally made with Cinsault and Grenache Gris. Winemaking in the Roussillon has grown by leaps and bounds, with investment from wineries and individuals from outside the region. Adopting the latest wine technology, reviving centuries-old vineyards, and crafting, limited-quantity, artisanal wines, the region has undergone a renaissance, and its wines have become sought after and imported to the U.S. in record numbers. As is our custom, Paris Grocery is happy to introduce you to some stellar selections for your enjoyment.

Domaine La Tour Vieille Collioure ‘Puig Ambeille’ 2011 $27.99
“More open and evolved, which is surprising given that it’s 80% Mourvèdre, the 2011 Collioure Puig Ambeille offers plenty of spice box, licorice, dried herbs and cured meat-like aromas and flavors. Medium bodied, supple and already drinking nicely, it does gain a tannic edge on the finish.” —Wine Advocate

Famille Lafage Miraflors Côtes duRoussillon Rosé 2015 $14.99
The brand new 2015 Miraflors rosé is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Grenache Gris, all brought up in stainless steel tanks. This rosé is very bright, exhibiting ripe, yet taut, red berry flavors of cranberry and wild strawberry, along with hints of watermelon. Deeply satisfying, and an ideal wine for picnic dishes and light seafood fare. Don’t miss out on this typical Roussillon rosé!

M. Chapoutier Banyuls 2013 (500ml) $24.99

The chocolate-wine pairing made in heaven! Spread out over steep, narrow terraces overlooking the Mediterranean sea, the Banyuls appelation crafts vin doux naturel, naturally sweet,  fortified wines that are both exceptional and age worthy. 90% Grenache, with aromas of dried fruits, crystalized orange peel, and black pepper, followed by layers of dried plums, baking spices and dark chocolate on the palate. Unctuous.

Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon Rouge $16.99

After 27 years importing wine, HPS President Dan Kravitz took the plunge and purchased 13.5 acres of vineyard land in the Roussillon. Named Cabirau after the vineyard’s original designation, the domaine lies on a hill below the famed Cathar fortress of Queribus. Planted to Grenache, it includes a prized 3.5 acre parcel of 60 year-old vines. The backbone of the Syrah and Carignan ally perfectly with the opulent Grenache, giving a medium-bodied wine of intense black fruit flavors, redolent of mountain herbs. Awarded 91 points by the Wine Advocate.

Saint-Roche Chimères Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2013 $16.99
“A joint venture between Jean-Marc Lafage and Eric Solomon, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Chimeres is just another example of the brilliance of the 2013 vintage in the Roussillon. Coming all from the schist soils of Maury and a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan that spent 8-12 months in 500-liter barrels and concrete, it possesses a deep purple color to go with savory notes of kirsch and assorted darker berry fruits, pepper, truffle and damp earth. Full-bodied, thrillingly textured and with incredible purity of fruit, this knockout effort stays lively and elegant, with fine tannin, terrific length and no hard edges. It will knock your socks off over the coming 4-6 years.” —93 points, Wine Advocate

Violet Freres Byrrh Grand wine labelQuinquina $19.99
Developed in 1873 by the Violet Brothers in Thuir (Tuïr in Catalan) and registered under its trade name, this is an apéritif from the Pyrénées-Orientales, based on unfermented red grape must from the Carignan, Grenache and Alicante Bouschet varieties, grape spirits, and fortified wine. Its flavored with cinchona extract from Peruvian bark, dried orange peel , cocoa, and coffee beans. Ripe fruit, strawberry jam, balanced by bitter quinine and exotic spices notes on the palate. Deliciously different!

Remember, only 10 days left before Mother’s Day!

Rappelez-vous, seulement 10 jours
avant la fête des mères !

À Bientôt,
Kelsey et Manuel

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