On a bizarrely bright and mild Monday afternoon in January, we arrived at Campagne restaurant for “Vin et Cassoulet.” The bar was loaded with French wines and a chance to sample them with the eternal comfort food of southern France, cassoulet. The portfolio of wines did not disappoint, and tasting them with the hearty bean and meat stew only strengthened our feelings on the importance of the compatibility between what you eat and what you drink. We have brought to Paris Grocery two wines from that tasting that delighted us. – Rachel & Abi
2007 Les Restanques de Cabassole “Roucas Toumbas ” Vacqueyras ($40.00) Between Chateauneuf-de-Pape and Gigondas lies the high and stony plain of Vacqueyras, planted with old vine Grenache and Syrah. Vinter Eric Bouletin eschews all chemicals, commercial additives and synthetic material in his 3ha vineyard and in the winery, and his passion for this terroir comes through in his wines. Roucas Toumba is pure and poetic, full of red fruit and blackcurrant, supported by silky tannins. Notes of Provence herbs and spice round out the nose and it maintains a beautiful acidity and lift. Incredible with cassoulet! Only 300 cases produced.
2008 Domaine Castera Jurançon Sec ($16.99) This dry and lively white from Southwestern France is made from two native Basque varieties- Gros Manseng (95%) and Petit Manseng (5%) and is aged on the lees. Though relatively unknown in the New World, Manseng has a storied past in France: it is rumored that the lips of King Henry the IV were rubbed with Jurançon, and Colette claimed, ” I was a girl when I met this prince; aroused, imperious, treacherous, as all great seducers are.” We certainly have been seduced by its aromatic, refreshing qualities and lovely body. Bright and tangy, with green apple, tropical fruit and limestone notes; try with scallops in a light cream sauce!
Our shelves are groaning with pleasure at the abundance of new ingredients that have arrived in the last week. At both The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery, a veritable flood of gastronomic specialties have arrived! We tasted, we slurped, we fell in love and generally worked our way around The Fancy Food Show in January and these latest products are the result. Add scrumptious new flavors to your meals with these culinary delights!
At Paris Grocery:
Riz Rouge (Camargue Red Rice) – serve this nutty Provençal rice with roast game hens or pork.
Pates and Pork Rillettes in 4.5 oz tins and 2.8 oz jars – perfect for porkaholics!
Red Pepper Chutney with Esplette Chili – the Esplette gives this Chutney a kick.
Provence Black Fig Jam – divine with goat cheese.
Lemon Curd – spread this creamy goodness on scones or use as a tart filling.
Sauce Aioli and Bernaise – great with poached eggs, wonderful with oven roasted halibut.
Truffle Mayonnaise – this will really take your sandwich up a notch!
E. Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers – use for baking or snacking.
Dark Orange Chocolat Fondue: Warm for two minutes in the microwave and then start dipping strawberries, orange slices or just your fingers into this chocolate deliciousness!