We’ll happily sneeze our way through this early touch of spring, as long as we have some yummy new items to snack on and cook with. Here are some of our much-anticipated new and returning items:

French lavender and tarragon. Packed out here at Paris Grocery into 8 ounce containers. Tarragon plays a starring role in a classic Béarnaise sauce. Try the lavender on a leg of roasted spring lamb, or sprinkled on a log of fresh chèvre.

Pamplie Salted Butter.From Poitou-Charentes, a region famous for its dairy products. Pamplie is preferred by chefs for its firm consistency, pale color, and rich flavor with hints of hazelnuts. Made with fleur de sel from Île de Ré, this butter just gets better.

Tome d’Acquitaine is back! This is one of our absolute favorite cheeses. The beautiful snow-white interior of this washed-rind goat’s milk cheese will catch your eye. Washed in Sauternes by the respected affineur Jean d’Alos, it displays delicately balanced fruit and floral notes.

Abbaye de Tamié cheese makes a stunning debut. We asked Olivier to bring us a fantastic example of a monastery cheese, and he did not disappoint. The monks of Tamié have been producing this cow’s milk cheese since the year 1135. We think they are getting the hang of it- this cheese is marvelously creamy, almost spreadable, with a pungent fruitiness and undertones of sweet hay and fresh cream.

WINES

2008 André Neveu Sancerre “Le Grand Fricambault” ($24.99) André Neveu’s vineyards are located in Chavignol, on the silex soil of Sancerre’s hillsides. Highly aromatic, his exquisite Sauvignon Blanc reflects this flinty terrain. Bone-dry and chalky, it exudes aromas of citrus, grapefruit, and limestone. Tart, concentrated, and marvelous with Crottin de Chavignol, the local goat’s milk cheese.

2008 Terres Dorées Beaujolais “L’Ancien” ($16.99) Traditional Beaujolais wines have amazing fruit and depth, and this wine really overdelivered at a recent tasting. Winemaker Jean-Paul Brun is a relentless advocate for winemaking à l’ancienne and seeks to make old-style Gamay wines. He does not add sugars to his wine and uses only indigenous yeasts for his fermentation, instead of the lab-developed strain popular in the region for its banana and candy aromas. This Beaujolais is 100% old-vine Gamay, delicate and pure, showing excellent balance, freshness and acidity. Mineral-driven, with bright cherry, cranberry and sweet spices melding into a lengthy finesse. A remarkable value! 90 points Wine Advocate

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