Paris Grocery News 5/27 Saturday, May 29 2010 

Our weekend plans!

Like all of Seattle, we have our fingers crossed for a sunny Memorial Day weekend. But we’re not about to let a few drops of rain put a damper on our fun, not with all the delicious red wines, sausages, cheese, and fun condiments we have on hand! There are innumerable possibilities, but I think I know what I’ll be having: Fabrique Delices’ Basque Sausage with Piment d’Espelette, served with a dollop of L’Epicurian’s Sweet Onion Confit. And I may have to make another batch of “Basque Fries” (hand-cut potatoes fried in Duck Fat, sprinkled with Fleur de Sel and Piment d’Espelette. They are insanely good.). For last minute inspiration and additions to your holiday menu, come on over and explore the possibilities; we’ll be open on Memorial Day from 11am-5pm.

Wine @ PG

Everyone knows that red meat goes with red wine, but with so many unique and delightful reds on our shelves, I decided to do some of the thinking for you. Here’s a six-pack of hearty reds that will complement your Memorial Day grilling!

2007 La Bastide Blanche Bandol ($25.99)

Think outside the Cabernet-and-Steak box: Mourvèdre is where it’s at! In Bandol, an AOC deep in Provence, the Mourvèdre grape achieves the perfect balance of robust elegance, becoming the sublime partner for juicy grilled meats. This unfiltered wine shows rich, dark plum, fig, and blackberry meld into a finish hinting of bittersweet chocolate. Notes of tobacco and very firm tannins support the ripe fruit, and a taut acidity holds it all together. A focused, pure wine showing great balance. La Bastide Blanche farms and vinifies biodynamically and keeps the vine yields low to ensure their uncompromising character.

2007 Domaine de Nidolères “La Pierroune” Côtes-du-Roussillon ($16.99)

The vineyards of this domaine have been cultivated by the same family for eight generations, and their winemaking upholds the traditions of the region between Pérpignan and the Spanish border. The blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Carignan is hand-harvested and sees no oak. This is a rich, smooth wine with persistent tannins. Notes of kirsch and plum leading into a flinty, elegant finish. Delicious with D’Artagnan’s Venison and Pork Sausage with Cherries.

2007 Chateau de Vaugelas “Le Prieuré” Corbières ($11.99)

This 400-year old estate is located in the hills of Lagrasse, known as the best growing zone in the Corbières appellation. Winemaking is headed by George Pauli, who also makes wine for a classified growth Chateau in St. Julien. Neither terroir nor talent is lacking! A blend of Grenache, Syrah, old-vine Carignan, and a touch of Mourvèdre, the wine is quite elegant and well-structured, while maintaining the rustic appeal of the region. It spends one year maturing in oak barrels (30% new), and it is full-bodied and velvety on the palate. Black fruit, licorice, and spice create a nice depth with the fleshy tannins and the kiss of smoke. The finish is long and pleasurable.

2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99)

“A brilliant blockbuster … Composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, all from a vineyard planted in 1961, this amazing wine possesses an inky/ruby/purple color in addition to a sweet perfume of black and blue fruits, kirsch, lavender, licorice, spice box, and earth. Transcending its appellation and price point, this is a superb wine that should drink beautifully for 10-15+ years.” 93 points Wine Spectator

2006 Domaine Lapalu “La Patache” Médoc ($14.99)

La Patache is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) based blend harvested from a selection of the Lapalu family’s estate vineyards. By carefully choosing and blending fruit from different parcels of land, the Lapalu team created a lively, juicy Bordeaux that is approachable in its youth while maintaining its ability to develop. It is deep ruby, aromatic with strong notes of cassis and plum supported by dusty tannins and softer notes of vanilla. Delicious!

2002 Domaine Moureou Chapelle L’Enclos Madiran ($19.99)

Madiran is a tiny appellation in Southwest France, where Tannat is the primary grape grown. Winemaker Patrick Ducourneau pioneered the micro-oxygenation technique, a winemaking process that tames Tannat’s pugnacious tannins. The L’Enclos spends one year in 400L oak barrels, followed by another year in vats. A strident red wine with rich, balanced fruit and structured tannins. An unbeatable companion to lamb.

And because I can’t resist mentioning a rosé, I have to tell you about the 2009 Abel Clement Grenache Rosé. This medium bodied, fruit forward rosé is incredibly fresh, with wild strawberries, lovely floral hints and slightest pepper on the finish. Under screwcap, it’s perfect for patios and picnics. We’ve crowned this our Summer Swiller. And we scored a great deal on it, so we can give it to you for $7.99!

Fun @ PG

These are a few of our favorite things!

Give some love with a rub.

Even if you’re a brats-and-burgers kind of griller, your ketchup and mustard doesn’t have to be boring! Dulcet makes Peppery Moroccan (try it on lamb burgers), Mild Indian Curry, and Sweet Orange Chili Ketchup ($4.99/14oz). It’s hard to pick just one mustard from our plethora of Dijons, but we do love the spicy kick of Pommery Fireman’s Mustard ($19.99/8.8oz) with grilled sausages or steak frites, and the Fallot Blackcurrant Dijon Mustard ($4.99/7.2oz) in marinades for pork.

The secret to grilled meats is the salt; rubbing and finishing with right touch of seasoning makes all the difference. The classic Sel du Boucher ($18.49/17.6oz) is a fantastic all-purpose coarse sea salt rub with thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sage. Esprit du Sel’s Fennel and Garlic Grey Sea Salt ($11.99/6.3oz) is wonderful for fish, and Dulcet Creole Spice Rub ($6.49/2.5oz) works well on fish, poultry, and meats.

Cheese @ PG

When it comes to outdoor grilling, the meat, wine, and sides are the most popular guests at the party. Cheese may not even be invited. Most cheese is  so sensitive and picky, always complaining about the heat and hogging all the space under the umbrella, as if it’s simply going to melt in the sun. But there are some more easygoing cheeses, who not only don’t mind the heat, they’d actually really nothing more than to join the meat and veggies on the grill. Here are some ideas for your Memorial Day grill-fests (and beyond) so that you can still fulfill your cheese quota (what, you don’t have one of those?).

For your classic hamburgers:

Blue cheese means business. Bleu d’Auverge has a sharp, clean taste with hints of melted butter and a bright touch of spiciness. It’s creamy yet crumbly, making it perfect for topping your beef patties. If you like the sharp flavor of cheddar on your burgers, but want to try something different, I’d suggest Mimolette Vielle. This orange cheese packs a wallop of savory nuttiness. It’s quite dense, so leave it out for a bit before you slice it. You could also go with the tried-and-true Comté, which melts beautifully and would be amazing with some caramelized onions from the grill.

For the true cheese lover, who can’t let all the summer fruit and vegetables have all the fun, try this gem of a recipe suggested by one of our regulars. Our Le Pommier Camembert is the perfect consistency for grilling, and some consider it the best pasteurized Camembert on the U.S. market.

Camembert Au “B.B.Q”

Ingredients: One hot grill

One wheel of Camembert cheese

Remove paper wrapping from cheese; transfer cheese back into wooden box. Make a well into the center of the warm charcoals; arrange boxed cheese into the center of the well and cover the box with warm charcoals. Watch carefully, so it doesn’t get overly melted. It is ready when cheese just pushes up the top of the box, after approximately 10 minutes. Remove the top of the box, remove cheese crust with the tip of a knife and enjoy, dipping in bits of baguette.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Bistro Laurent Tourondel

For fair-weather fun in foul times, we love the Bistro Laurent Tourondel cookbook. With impeccable technique and classic sauces, this book will help you create the hearty, convivial atmosphere and deep, homey taste of outdoor grilling in the warmth of your kitchen. With recipes like Tapenade-Stuffed Leg of Lamb and Braised Short Ribs with Garlic-Thyme Brown Butter, you won’t even miss the sunshine!

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Abi & Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden, Owners

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The new Nutella Wednesday, May 26 2010 

Move over, Nutella!

Seattle, you heard it here first! Speculoos à Tartiner, or Gingersnap Spread, is the new sweet and spicy topping of choice for toast, crêpes, and for licking right of the spoon. It’s not just a whim of ours, either. We have it on good authority: David Lebovitz writes about his discovery of this tasty upstart in his Sweet Life in Paris blog.

Come join the revolution!

Paris Grocery News 5/20 Friday, May 21 2010 

One for all, and all for meat!

Lyon is such a meat market. Literally.

Like the musketeer, D’Artagnan Meats make a dashing addition to your dinner plans. The founder, Ariane Daguin, started the company to meet the demand for quality duck in the U.S.A. Moulard duck is the backbone of Gascony cuisine, Ariane’s (and d’Artagnan’s) homeland, where the locals have a special region of their brain reserved for duck recipes, traditions, and folklore (or so Ariane claims). Today, their lineup still includes duck confit, luscious slices of fresh foie gras, rillettes, and smoked duck breast. But they’ve expanded to carry amazing sausages, salamis, and terrines from duck, goose, rabbit, wild boar, beef and lamb. Now that the days linger deep into the evening, there’s nothing better than popping open a bottle of wine, tearing up a baguette, tossing crunchy greens and serving it a savory platter of meats while the sunlight slips away.

Wine @ PG
Get 10% off any six bottles

Gascony is not just a land of duck fat dripped cuisine; Côtes-de-Gascogne consistently produces some of our favorite whites and red at our favorite price point: $9.99!

2007 Sichel Rouge Côtes-de-Gascogne ($9.99)
We were all impressed at just how well-made this Vin de Pays showed to be. The Sichel family has properties in several regions of France, and they brought the expertise they’ve garnered to Gascony. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with some Tannat and Syrah, the Cotes de Gascogne is quite well-balanced, with medium tannins and a lovely persistence. The unusual blend is perfectly melded, its inky color hinting at the aromas of full red fruit, herbs and a hint of pepper. Great for merguez, smoked duck breast, and duck salami!

2008 Domaine de Mirail Colombard Côtes-de-Gascogne
($8.99)
An unbelievable value! This zippy white comes from a family farm in the heart of Armagnac. Cold-pressed to preserve the French Colombard grape’s fresh, fruity aromatics, the wine is then aged sur-lie for four months for added complexity. With loads of verve, this wine is great for salads; try it with a frisée salad with crispy ventrèche.

2009 Domaine de Cassagnoles Côtes-de-Gascogne ($9.99)
From a 76ha estate in Gascony come this blend of the local white trifecta: French Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Gros Manseng. The first two grapes bring a crisp acidity, limestone, and citrus notes, while the Gros Manseng rounds out the wine with flavors of ripe stone fruit. A versatile, pleasurable wine that complements patés and cheeses.

2007 Seigneurs de Monbazillac ($11.99) 375mL
North of Gascony and east of Sauternes you can find the small appellation of Monbazillac. Like Sauternes, the wines produced here sweet, noble rot wines that are incredibly balanced. The fungus that covers the grapes after they begin to ripen not only imparts lovely aromas, it preserves the natural acid 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 bleu cheese.

Cheese @ PG

Look at these kids!

Fromagerie Picandine sits in the heart of the Périgord Blanc, a lush region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys, and rolling meadows. They produce some exquisite and adorable goat cheese specialties. While you can’t always judge a cheese by its packaging, or even its appearance or smell, with the Picandine cheeses, you definitely can. Their fantastic logo, a sinuous line drawing of a buck and doe nuzzling, lets you know that their cheeses come from the milk of happy goats in love. Le Picandou ($2.99 each) has that perfectly sweet-yet-sour flavor you look for in a fresh chèvre. It’s incredibly fresh-tasting and divinely creamy. We wrap the 1.4 ounce disks up individually, and they’ve become a customer favorite for a quick, convenient, and delicious snack. And I’m probably a little too thrilled about Picandou à Tartiner ($7.99 each), the same cheese in a 4.4 ounce resealable package. Now you can save a little for later. Finally, we have Bûchettes Picandine ($6.79 each), individually-wrapped packages of three “little logs” of aged goat cheese that would be perfect for a picnic. They have just enough age to offer some nice acidity and nuttiness, but still possess the subtle tang of a fresh chèvre.

The Picandine goat cheeses make great on-the-go snacks, but you can also ooh-and-ah over them at home. Broil it on rustic bread, mix it with pasta, or dollop a bit on top of a salad. Oh, and did I mention that they’re really cute?

Charcuterie @ PG
It rhymes!

Duck: D’Artagnan’s slices of Raw Duck Foie Gras ($98/lb) are so plump and creamy looking, they’re like silk-sheathed down pillows in your mouth! We also have a ready-to-eat Foie Gras Terrine ($24.79). Don’t forget about Duck Leg Confit ($11.99ea) and the peppery Smoked Duck Breast ($30.99/lb), both are delicious on salad.

Sausage: Both the dry Pork Saucisson Sec ($8.99/8oz) and the gamey Wild Boar Saucisson ($6.49/4oz) are luscious. In fresh sausage, we have too many awesome flavors to list… you’ll have to come see for yourself! And don’t forget about Ventrèche — once you start using salted pork belly, it is mighty hard to stop.

Terrines: We have three kinds of terrine in convenient 8oz molds: Mousse Truffée, with chicken and turkey livers and truffles; Mousse Basquaise, from duck liver, Port, and red bell peppers; and the chicken and turkey liver Peppercorn Mousse. They are all only $10.99!

Pantry Items: It’s always good to have Duck Fat ($7.99/7oz), Veal Demi Glace ($8.99/7.5oz), and Black or White Truffle Butter ($9.99/3oz and $12.99/3oz) on hand! They add an easy elegance to the simplest dishes.

Confits & Chutneys

A little bit of relish is a great way to balance a cheese and charcuterie platter. Try L’Epicurien’s Grape Must Mustard ($12.99/7oz) on the Rabbit, Pork and Ginger Sausage, or the Shallot Confit (S10.49/7oz) with Saucisson Sec. Boat Street’s Pickled French Plums ($9.99) are delicious on Foie Gras and all kinds of Pate. We have mile-high shelving with all kinds of preserves: come mix and match at your pleasure!

Not just your grandmother’s perfume Tuesday, May 18 2010 

NPR’s The Splendid Table did a lovely little story on orange flower water. This subtle flavoring is as addictive as it is versatile. Listen to Sally Schneider’s stories and tips here (from about minute 8 to 13).

Paris Grocery News 5/13 Friday, May 14 2010 

Ready, set, fromage!

I’ve been hungry all morning. Rachel has been unwrapping, cutting, rearranging cheeses all day, forcing samples into my not-so-unwilling hand every so often. There is a cacophony of aromas billowing behind the cheese counter: piquant bleu notes; musty, earthy, straw-laced pitches; and diva-like, nutty sopranos. As we taste through some of our special orders in honor of the Seattle Cheese Festival, we marvel at how interesting and delicious these cheese are, even though we’ve had hundred of cheeses, hundreds of times. We are lucky to be omnivores, says Rachel, and I couldn’t agree more. What would life be without the astounding complexity of the Tête de Moine, herb-and-nut of the Tomme de Hyelzas at its peak, or the unadulterated creaminess against the spicy-salty bleu of the Roquefort Coulet? We’re glad we don’t have to know. We hope you enjoy the buzz of the Seattle Cheese Festival, and when you’re ready for a break from the crowds and other kinds of cacophony, come down to Western Avenue and see us. We’re here 360 days a year, happy to let you taste anything and to talk about the good things in life.

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

A French Six-Pack!

At Paris Grocery, we always offer a discount on six or more bottles of wine. Since you might get thirsty tasting cheeses galore this weekend, I’ve put together a cheese-friendly six pack of wine for you!

2008 J. Lourat Collection Blanc VdP Loire ($12.99)
A beautiful blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. With vibrant white fruit aromas, a silky mouth feel, and a crisp, mineral-accented finish, this wine is perfect with just about any cheese.

2008 Lucien Albrecht “Cuvée Balthazar” Alsace ($13.99)
This unoaked Pinot Blanc comes from a family owned winery in Alsace. The excellence of their vineyards is immediately apparent. Rich, harmonious fruit and ripe apple notes, with a lively finesse. Well-suited for washed-rind, creamy cheeses such as Munster or Tomme du Berger.

2005 Chateau Saint-Sauveur Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise ($26.99)
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is an AOC used exclusively for sweet, fortified Muscat wine, a wine that has been praised since the time of Pliny the Elder! Unctuous, with fig, almond, candied citrus, and a stylish balance. Particularly good with bleu cheese. 90 points Wine Spectator

2008 Antech “Émotion” Cremant de Limoux Rosé ($14.99)
Made in the traditional method from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, and a touch of Pinot Noir, this rosé sparkler is aged for 15 months before release. Incredibly elegant, with a delicate pink hue and a fine, firm mousse. Rose petals, white flowers, and strawberry on the nose, followed by cherry and a subtle nuttiness on the palate. The finish is fresh and utterly delightful. Excellent with triple-creams, bries, and other rich cheeses.

2006 Albert Bichot Savigny-les-Beaune ($29.99)
With warm aromas of pie cherry, this Burgundy Pinot Noir has heft on the palate. Black cherry flavors accented with pepper fill the mid-palate. An elegant and dry Pinot Noir, it is a great wine for semi-firm to firm cheeses, such as Comté and Tomme d’Aquitaine.

2007 Yannick Pelletier “L’Oiselet” St. Chinian ($15.99)
From a small appellation in the Languedoc, this is an unoakedblend of Cinsault and Grenache Noir, with little bit of Syrah and Carignan. The producer works biodynamically and ages the l’Oiselet for 10 months in vats before bottling, allowing all the flavors to come together. Fruit-forward, juicy, and smoky, it’s a full-bodied wine for full-bodied cheese. Try it with Abondance, Tomme Corse, or Cantal.

Cheese @ PG

The most difficult question for a cheesemonger is, “what’s your favorite?” It’s impossible to answer, and my usual response is just to open the cheese case and start cutting samples, trying to find your new favorite. After a marathon cheese case stock-and-spruce-up this morning, I am even more excited for the Cheese Festival this weekend so I can share all my new favorites.

Tomme de Hyelzas

Olivier brings us stunning cheeses from all over France, but the cheeses from Corsica and from southwestern France thrill me with their herbaceous vivacity, clean acidity, and rustic textures. Just back in stock is Tomme Corse de Chèvre, a goat’s milk tomme with a dreamy snow-white interior and a herbal, goaty tang. Saveur de Maquis is a classic Corsican sheep’s milk cheese; it’s covered in a wild smattering of herbs and has a creamy, ricotta-like texture. New to the store is a young Tomme de Hyelzas from the Causses: raw sheep’s milk, full of flavors from the limestone plateaus of juniper, lavender, and blue grass. Tomme Haut Barry, a sheep’s milk cheese from Larzac, is at a great stage– the bright flavors and floral aromas have had some time to age and get super earthy. Olivier chooses his cheeses and has relationships with the cooperatives, so I always know I’m getting a great wheel.

Cone du Port Aubry

Olivier’s cheeses have a special place in my heart (and belly), but we also have many great cheeses from other sources that have reached go-to status. If you love raw goat’s milk flavor, you have to try Cone du Port Aubry, a Herve Mons cheese from the Loire Valley– I’ll tell you the story of how it got its name if you can’t figure it out from its distinctive shape. Fleur Verte is a fresh chèvre dressed in fresh tarragon and pink peppercorns. The texture is unbelievable; I’d recommend this beautiful cheese for a wedding cake. Tête de Moine is from Switzerland- not French, we know- but this dense, nutty cow’s milk cheese has to be tried for your next fondue. Lately, my suggestion for a great “snack” cheese has been Bethmale, a cow’s and goat’s milk washed-rind cheese that is delicious with a plate of olives and charcuterie. Finally, we can’t forget our blues, which may sound too intense for the approaching spring. But Bleu des Basques, a sheep’s milk blue with a nutty sweetness and a clean finish, really sings with a dollop of orange marmalade: I swear, you’ve got to try this!

I could go on and on about our cheeses. Come taste, savor, and learn this weekend at Paris Grocery!

French women probably would get fat Wednesday, May 12 2010 

If they ate this like this all the time, despite the recipe author’s claim to fame.

Actually, while not low in fat, the recipe is not as rich as it sounds. And the hazelnut oil drizzled over the asparagus is quite perfect with the yogurt dressing.

couper le souffle Tuesday, May 11 2010 

We are food nerds over here at Paris Grocery. And the process is often more exhilarating than the product. We find staccato of chopping knives moving at a mile a minute sexy; slicing into the yolk of a perfectly poached egg thrilling; rubbing fingers to scatter flakes of fleur de sel awesome. If you feel this way, too, check out this short film on the backstage scene of Guy Savoy. Haute-cuisine may not be the hippest trend right now, but there are several very good reasons for the three Michelin stars that this restaurant boasts.

It took our breath away.

Beaujolais Lingo Saturday, May 8 2010 

We featured several Beaujolais wines a few weeks ago, and as I was preparing the newsletter, I realized there were several terms that might sound a little foreign. (Well, they are foreign.) So here’s a little Beaujolais primer to help you navigate the wines of this alluring region.

Beaujolais (bow-jo-lay)

A region just south of Burgundy, between Lyon and Mâcon. Known for clay and limestone soils, with pockets of gravel. Primary grapes grown are: Gamay (red) and Chardonnay, with a little bit of Pinot Noir and Burgogne Aligoté grown as well. This region is known for using a fermentation technique called carbonic maceration (see below) that creates light, fruity wines that are low in tannins.

Carbonic Maceration

A special kind of fermentation. Rather than pressing the grapes and adding yeast to ferment the grape sugars into ethanol (alcohol), wine makers place whole clusters of grapes in closed fermentation tanks that are infused with carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide penetrates the grapes and starts an intracellular fermentation within each single. Enzymes in the grape pulp convert the sugar into ethanol, thus fermenting the juice while it is still inside the grape skin. This process creates certain flavor compounds along with the alcohol, and as the juice has minimal contact with the grape skins, the resulting wine is lighter colored and lower in tannins.

Beaujolais Nouveau
Perhaps the most famous category of Beaujolais, this style emphasizes the flavors created by carbonic maceration and sometimes retains a small amount of dissolved CO2. The quick fermentation is followed by immediate bottling. The very light, fruity wines are released to the market on the third Thursday of November.

Beaujolais-Villages
A wine from any one (or combination) of 33 villages recognized for their quality soil and climate.

Cru Beaujolais
A Cru Beaujolais is a wine that comes from one of the ten designated Cru Villages (Morgon, Fleurie, Julienas, Moulin-à-Vent, St. Amour, Chénas, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, and Régnié). These are considered the best vineyard locations, and often have plantings that are 50-100+ yearsThe name of the village will be listed on the label.

Paris Grocery News 5/6 Thursday, May 6 2010 

By any other name

My mother has had many gardens, being transplanted across the country more than once after marrying my father. In every garden, she would plant a rosebed, with creamy yellows, peaches, striped belles, and peony pink petals. As soon as it was warm enough for blooming, a vase of roses would sit at our kitchen table, their fragile scent mixing in with whatever my mom was cooking. When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, it is only natural that I think of sweet-smelling roses, and by extension, rosé wines. They may be so named because of their color, but I think the name fits in so many dimensions. Their delicate fragrance, often floral as well as fruity, and their sheer beauty in a glass, are just some of the traits they share with their botanical homonyms. France accords rosé wines as much respect as the reds and whites, and if you taste some of our selections, it is easy to see why. Their brightness and lovely aromatic mixture of fruit and minerality makes them excellent wines for the dinner table. Refreshing, elegant, and interesting, they are no wallflowers in the world of wine. They remind us, with every sip, that a great wine is, first and foremost, a pleasure to drink. Treat a loved one to this delight!

Shades of Rosé

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We have two sparkling rosés! The dry and seductive Rosé d’Orfeuilles ($14.99) from Touraine, and FRV 100 (muster all your high-school French and say it aloud. Get it? There’s some brilliant word-play going on), an off-dry Gamay made in the ancestral method, with the delicious, bright red fruit of the appellation ($21.99).

2009 Triennes Rosé ($15.99) – Primarily Cinsault, the juice for this Provençal rosé spent only a couple of hours in contact with the skins, resulting in a very pale color and delicate texture. It was bottled early to maintain its vibrant freshness.

2009 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé ($13.99) – Deep blush, the Syrah-Grenache blend is round and fruit forward, with crushed fruit and the slightest hint of spice.

2009 Cape Bleue Rosé ($10.99) – From top Rhône producer Jean-Luc Colombo comes an intoxicating rosé made from Syrah (40%), Mourvèdre (40%), and Counoise (20%). Perfumed and fresh, with notes of peach, raspberries and white pepper.

Cheese @ PG

If you’re planning a special meal for Mother’s Day, be sure to look in the cheese case! Rachel will help you put together a balanced cheese plate, whether you’re a fan of floral, springy cheeses like the Fleur Verte and the Olivade Violet, or are drawn to the pungent depths of the Bethmale. We’re gearing up for the Seattle Cheese Festival and have stocked the case with some hard-to-find cheeses (Herve Mons’ Cone de Port Aubry, Roquefort Coulet, Tomme du Berger), so there’s never been a better time come over and try some unusual cheeses!

Charcuterie @ PG
It rhymes!

Meat pile at a French market.

It may not be cassoulet season anymore, but it is always a good time for Duck Confit! Try shredding it and tossing it into a green salad with string beans, or sprinkle it over a thin, crispy pizza crust with figs, arugula, and Le Somport cheese.

We also have two kinds of Duck Salami, from Fabrique Delices and Savory Farms.

Finally, don’t forget about our Goose Mousse Supreme! Delicate, creamy, this delectable pâté is the perfect indulgence on special occasions.

Gifts & Goodies

Mothers have so many names: travel buddy, role model, cheerleader, coach, nurse, drill sergeant, chef, confidant, comforter, comedian, housekeeper, driver, and so the list goes on. In honor of all those facets, we have a list of gifts, sure to make her smile.

For the cheesehead
: A 3-piece knife set made with eco-friendly materials from cutlery expert Languiole, and an olive-wood cutting board.

For the memory-keeper: From Yellow Owl Co., a stamp set with the Eiffel tower, or a package of hand-pressed French postcards.

For the one whose hands are always busy: Our hands are always chapped from scrubbing and washing, so we know how much she’ll appreciate 80 Acres soaps and lotions. From natural, organic ingredients, these elegantly scented products are heaven on tired skin.

For the storyteller: “Gourmet Rhapsody” by bestselling author Muriél Barbery. A sensuous and witty novel written from the perspective of a grumpy food critic searching for a forgotten flavor, before it is too late.

For the queen of tea time: A ceramic teapot, in classic black-and-white Victoriana, or in one of our colorful Tunisian patterns.

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Paris Grocery News 4/29 Saturday, May 1 2010 

Party like it’s 1200!

The life of a monk in the Middle Ages may sound more ascetic than indulgent, but we’ve got these cloistered men to thank for the vineyards of Burgundy and for creating some of the most complex beers and cheeses we have today. Washed-rind cheeses were developed in monasteries, where a staple to replace meats was required for the frequent fasts. Bathing the wheels in a brine, sometimes with a liquor, kept the cheeses moist and creamy, preventing the rind from cracking and encouraging the development of beneficial and aromatic bacteria. (Yummy bacteria? Sounds crazy, but yes.)

Along with the cheeses, many monasteries brewed their own beers, as an inexpensive means of feeding the peasantry. Most famous were the Cistercians in La Trappe, France. Their strong, nutty ales, more smooth than bitter or hoppy and capable of aging, became known as Trappist ales. Though there are many Trappist-style ales in production today, only the beers produced in the seven remaining monastic breweries are allowed to have the Trappist label. They are amazing with washed-rind cheeses, refreshing and flavorful enough to stand up to the pungent creaminess of monastery-style cheeses. While wine and cheese is a classic combination, we’re excited to bring some of these awesome beers to our next cheese party!

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We’ve gotten about a dozen new wines in the past week, from the Rhone (including a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise), Languedoc, Burgundy, and Savoie. Mix and match a half case to get 10% off!

Abbey Ales

Chimay Premier Trappist Ale ($4.99) — Slightly sweet, nutty, with notes of pepper. A dark brown ale that pairs well with Epoisse and Soumatrain. Bottle-conditioned.

Orval Trappist Ale ($5.99) — Coppery brown, hints of earthy, and brimming with citrus zest and a frothy white head. Bottle-conditioned and fermented with a local yeast that creates its distinctive flavor profile. Quite refreshing.

Grimbergen Dubble ($12.99/6 bottles) — Undergoing a second fermentation, this beer is reddish-brown and bittersweet and full-bodied.

Cheese @ PG

Pont l’Evêque

A creamy, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese made in Normandy. The flavor is buttery, milky, and savory with a long finish of tangy and fruity undercurrents. Marvelous with Trappist-style beers or a fruity Gamay.

Abbaye Ste-Mère

This traditional monastery cheesefrom Normandy has a creamy yet firm texture. Made with raw milk and washed in brine, it has a fruity, mild, and slightly sweet flavor. A sure crowd-pleaser!

Charcuterie @ PG

It rhymes!

Petit Jesu Salami (32.99/lb) — This coarsely ground, juicy salami is flavored with red wine and sweet and savory spices. From the famous Salumiera Biellese, its a favorite for baguette sandwiches!

Mother’s Day, May 9th

Our next issue will be full of Mother’s Day gift ideas. We have beautiful cermics, dishtowels, hand lotions, fiction and non-fiction writing, special wines and goodies that are sure to make her smile! Stay tuned.