Paris Grocery News 7/30 Friday, Jul 30 2010 

Burgundian Vineyards

Revisiting the classics

What makes a classic? What give certain films, books, wine, and ingredients the ability to endure, to create a legacy of greatness? Quality is one part of the equation. But the key is in versatility, the ability to evolve. A great wine is open to interpretation; its complexity lets you find new elements each time you taste it, over the course of a meal or a decade. A great ingredient is versatile in its uses but also complements and enhances all kinds of other flavors and ingredients. So this week we’re taking a look at a couple of wine regions and staple ingredients that have been making cooks smile for centuries.

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

We often talk about uncovering little-known wines and unusual grapes. But our penchant for the peculiar is in no way a dismissal of the classics. The “Great Wines of France” — Burgundy, Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape — haven’t earned their reputations for nothing. There are times when nothing can beat one of these grand, elegant wines. We have a few new Burgundies and Châteauneufs that we are drooling over, so we highly recommend that you indulge in one of these wines from the eastern half of France.

The many faces of Burgundy.

2009 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Burgundy Rosé ($24.99)
Fresh, utterly elegant, and addictive, this is the Audrey Hepburn of wine. It’s not overly common to find a rosé from Burgundy, but if you do, count yourself as very lucky. Pinot Noir makes rosés that are crisp like their Provençal cousins but with a layer of gravity. This wine is beautiful and refreshing, but hardly forgettable. Quite aromatic, the strawberry and cranberry notes are carried along with a lot of minerally verve. The finish is lengthy and has just the right amount of tartness.

2007 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St-Georges ($65.00)
We dreamt of this wine for months after tasting it. Robert Chevillon is known as the elder statesman of Nuits-St-Georges, a sub-region of Burgundy that produces some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the world. He produces earthy, concentrated, yet silky Pinots that honestly proclaim their terroir. As Stephen Tanzer reports, “Raspberry, smoked meat and a hint of spun sugar on the very ripe nose. Supple, sweet and easygoing; in a distinctly tender style.” We loved the woodsy notes of truffle, spice, and cranberry. The incredible, long-lasting finish made us covet this wine, and now we’ve brought it into the shop for you to enjoy, as well.

2007 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne
($35.00)
This wine haunted Sharon for months (in the best possible sense). An incredibly delicate Pinot Noir, almost dusky rose in color. Despite the subdued color and texture, the wine explodes on the palate. Expressive nose of raspberry and cherry, with a subtle earthiness and a satiny, mouth-coating length. An astounding, evolving complexity.

The wines of new popes.

2008 Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf-de-Pape ($40.00)
“A very strong effort with surprising length, depth, and attractiveness, it possesses a dark plum color along with a big, sweet nose of soy, black currants, black cherries, and garrigue. This is a richly fruity, long, well-endowed 2008 to drink during its first 7-8 years of life. Ever since I began following this small domaine (22 acres) fifteen years ago, the quality of their wines has increased with every top vintage. The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussy is responsible for the wine.” 88-90 points Robert Parker

2008 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($65/750mL or $30/375mL)
“Deep red. Fresh red berries, flowers and spicecake on the nose, with a hint of white pepper adding energy. Juicy, finely etched strawberry and raspberry flavors show a pinot-like character and are framed by silky tannins. The lively finish features a lingering note of candied flowers. This graceful, understated wine should be delicious on release.” 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Domaine de la Côte de l’Ange Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($35.00)
Though it had the classic dark, brooding textures and aromas of the appellation, the Côte-de-l’Ange also had a fruity freshness about it that makes it our pick for those of you who want to enjoy a 2008 Châteauneuf-de-Pape sooner rather than later! Try it against the 2005 Ferraton Châteauneuf for an edifying (and delicious) look at two different vintages.


Food @ PG

Oils & Vinegars

We gave our oil and vinegar shelving a facelift this week, making them more accessible and orderly. It’s salad season, and if you’re bored of the same old balsamic vinaigrette, try some of these:

Verjus is unfermented grape juice, a staple in French country kitchens. Tart and acidity, but never harsh, it makes a great substitute for lemon juice or vinegar in marinades and dressings. Here’s a simple Verjus and Walnut Oil vinaigrette for salads:

2 tbsp verjus
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt and pepper to taste

A drizzle of Truffle Oil over anything from a charcuterie plate to a pasta salad to a flatbread pizza adds a savory depth to your everyday meals.

A l’Olivier spreadable flavored olive oils are delicious on toasted pieces of leftover baguette as a side to your salad or chilled soup. They also work well as a rub for seafood or in savory baking.

Your grilled veggies will steal the show if they are marinated in Blood Orange Vinegar, a sweet and sour vinegar.

Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines come in three kinds: sundried tomato, chili, or extra virgin olive oil. Use them in an arugula salad or in pastas.

Craves @ PG

Emmi Swiss Yogurt

Luscious, ubercreamy yogurts hit the spot for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Cooking with Verjuice

Maggie Beer is an advocate for regional products and traditional practices. Her book will open your eyes to the many uses of verjus, drawing from the traditions of French provincial cooking. Buy the book along with a 720mL bottle of verjus and we’ll knock off 10%!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/22 Friday, Jul 23 2010 

"Quoi de neuf, docteur?" was the French title of sitcom "Growing Pains". Impress your Friends.

Quoi de Neuf?
Or, “What’s new?” at Paris Grocery

This week we’re really excited to have some amazing new products in the store. Of course, we love everything we already have (even you, hearts of palm who languished all winter just dreaming of being in summer salads!). But it’s thrilling to search through packing peanuts like kids at Noel, to see our purveyors dropping by with new products, and to have our importers sourcing some random hard-to-find item for us. This week we’re celebrating the spirit of the new. We hope you’ll come down to Western Avenue and see us!


Aperitifs @ PG

Ouvre l’appetit!

Bonal

We at Paris Grocery are strong proponents of the aperitif. Delicate, herbal, and thirst-quenching drinks to begin an evening is so ingenious and, well, civilized. We’ve become somewhat obsessed with bringing into the shop ever more obscure varieties of aperitifs on the market (it’s sort of nerdy, we know). The same gentleman who brings us Dolin vermouths brought in some Bonal for us. This aperitif wine is made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp up your classic Negroni cocktail.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!

After whetting the appetite with an aperitif, move on to dinner with one of these delicious new wines.

2008 Chateau d’Orschwihr “Bollenburg” Gewurztraminer Alsace ($17.99)

An attractive Gewurztraminer, with aromas of lychee, rose, and pear. The palate is silky and soft, with savory spice notes lingering on in the lush, off-dry finish. It is concentrated and well-balanced, thanks to the estate’s practices. Yields are limited and no sugar is added back to the fermenting wine despite the cooler growing climate of Alsace. Gewurztraminer is known for its versatility; this wine will pair well with anything from a cheese platter to spicy Thai dishes.

2009 Chidaine Touraine ($16.99)

Not a day goes by that we don’t recommend this wine to one of our customers. It is a perfectly executed and endlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Very aromatic, with fresh citrus notes, it has a chalky texture and a brilliant minerality. It drinks well above its mid-teen price point, rivaling some Sancerres. We’ll be drinking this wine for the rest of the summer, and after you try it we bet you will be, too.

Domaine Huet Vouvray


2007 Domaine Le Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
($31.99)

Like the Chidaine, this single-vineyard bottling also comes from the Loire Valley. But the two wines couldn’t be more different! Domaine Le Huet is a legendary estate, and this dry Chenin Blanc is an impressive bottling. A gorgeous buttercup shade, exotic fruits dominate on the nose and the palate, and the slightly oily texture of a good Vouvray is balanced by a core of minerality. A truly beautiful wine, to linger over with a loved one.

“Pale gold. An expressive, mineral-laced bouquet displays lemon and lime zest, passion fruit, pungent herbs and talc. Juicy but taut, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors, with a strong mineral spine adding lift. Becomes weightier and spicier with air, finishing on a juicy note of yellow plum, with strong sappy, stony persistence. This is still a baby.” 92(+?) points Stephen Tanzer

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own).

2004 Philippe Mur “Clos Basté” Madiran ($29.99)

Like any Madiran, this wine is hefty, with a purple-ink robe and lingering, sandy finish. Nevertheless, it is balanced with robust dark fruit showing through, against a backdrop of earthy, smoke-laced notes.  Philippe Mur worked at the most prominent winery in this appellation before striking out on his own with a tiny organic plot of vines. Fierce and beautiful, this wine reflects its rugged terroir. With 100% Tannat, it is aged 18 months in large barrels. It can age for several more years. Phenomenal with grilled lamb.

Food @ PG
Long summer days require protein and sugar.

Charlie, charcuterie Zen master and co-founder of Zoe’s Meats, dropped by the store today with our usual delivery of salami, finocchiona, spicy coppa, and ham. But he also brought a new product for us to try: Salami De Cacao. This salami is yet another masterpiece. It’s made with cocoa powder, chilis, and garlic for a deliciously complex flavor. Rich, earthy, and almost sweet, with a delicately spicy kick on the finish, this salami will slay you. Amazing! $4.99/quarter lb

Crossings Delivers the Sweet Stuff!

Another beautiful delivery from Crossings Imports arrived on Monday. They’ve become one of our favorite resources for incredible French sweets. Roll call, sweets:

Goat Milk Buckwheat Caramels come in a sweet little “cheesebox” with nine toothsome caramels made with goat milk and buckwheat. Tangy and textured, they make a great gift. $7.99/box

Goat Milk and Buckwheat Caramels

Individually-wrapped caramels are placed at the counter because we are evil geniuses. We have Fig & Walnut and Fleur de Sel flavors. 99 cents/each

Calissons are a traditional treat from Aix-en-Provence. A chewy paste of almonds, sugar, and Cavaillon melon with a touch of orange rind and just the right amount of royal icing. 99 cents/each

Madeleines are available for your Proustian pleasure individually-wrapped. 99 cents/each

Gavottes cookies are crunchy cookies of many many thin layers. Try original ($4.99/box) and coeur de praline ($3.99/box).

Marshmallow Ropes
are what all the cool enfants like to snack on. We’re thinking you should try roasting them, too. Try all three flavors: lemon, raspberry, and violet. $1.99/each

Craves @ PG

Le Provencal

A Provençal specialty, this two-tiered goat cheese is a summery delicacy. A layer of fresh chèvre is “frosted” with tapenade, and a second layer, flavored with herbes de Provence, is set on top. With a creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture and a mild flavor, this cheese is perfect for a sunny day and a light Rosé! $8.99/ea


Feed your Mind @ PG

Corkscrewed by Robert V. Camuto

An odyssey into the brave new world of French wines, this book is a celebration of the diversity that makes French wine more than a mere commodity. Camuto’s work is a delightful look beyond the supermarket to the various flavors offered by the true vintners of France.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

When kids and buckwheat frolic Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 

My earliest memories of cajeta are of a tangy cream tasting like burnt sugar spread between the folds of my mom’s homemade flour tortillas. A dessert quesadilla, if you will. It was delicious. I knew it was somehow different than the caramel sauce used for topping ice creams at my friends’ houses, but I had no idea it was made from goat’s milk. It was as wholly unrelated to those knobby little creatures as it was to the four-legged hunks of cabrito, split open and roasted at my dad’s favorite restaurant in Mexico. I may have a better sense of where my food comes from these days, but that has never lessened my enjoyment of it. And goat milk has become a little bit of an obsession. Many of my favorite cheeses are made from goat milk, so I was quite excited when we found someone importing Goat Milk and Roasted Buckwheat caramels from France. They quickly became a customer favorite, and sold out. Luckily, we were able to get another order in today, so we finally have an excuse to rave about them again and mention this clipping from the New York Times that Rachel’s been saving for the happy day when our Goat Milk Caramels came back to Paris Grocery. Unfortunately, the boxes are no longer stamped with a drawing of a distinctly bearded goat, but the flavor is just as delicious.

The wines you never knew you always wanted Monday, Jul 19 2010 

We never preach novelty for the sake of novelty, especially when recommending wines. But as Eric Asimov points out, there is a whole world of wines out there that people rarely taste. We keep some of these on our shelves, with a soft spot for underdiscovered treasures. So read the article, get inspired, and if you start hankering for a little Trousseau or Romorantin or something equally unknown, you know where to find us. . .

Paris Grocery News 7/15 Thursday, Jul 15 2010 

We understand, Betty Draper. We don't feel like cooking either.

Recipes from two cookbooks on our shelves
Items available in the shop are in bold.

This week we went to our bookshelves to find some inspiration for cooking in this hot weather. We were thinking of the fresh and savory flavors of seafood and shellfish in simple salads and sandwiches that can be made to share or made to take along for a picnic. Here are two that we found that also happen to involve many of our favorite pantry items (go figure).

Recipe from Rice Pasta Couscous: The Heart of the Mediterranean Kitchen By Jeff Koehler

 Rice Pasta Couscous

Camargue Red Rice Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 cup Camargue red rice
1 cup long-grain white rice
4 plum tomatoes, stemmed and chopped
2 cucumbers , peeled and chopped
36 green olives
3/4 extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
Pepper and dijon mustard, to taste
24 to 36 cooked jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise

In a large pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add 2 pinches of salt and the red rice and boil until al dente, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, in another pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the white rice and boil until al dente, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

In a large bowl, combine the two rices with the tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, add the oil and vinegar and whisk until cloudy. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and whisk again until blended. Whisk in just enough of the mustard to taste.

When ready to serve, toss half of the vinaigrette with the rice. Divide the rice equally among six bowls, mounding the rice, and then place the shrimp and egg quarters over rice. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top.

Serves 6.

Recipe from Nirmala’s Edible Diary by Nirmala Narine

Sardines Stuffed in French Baguettes

Nirmala's Edible Diary

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 small red jalapeño or cayenne chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 16-ounce can sardines
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
1 12-inch baguette (available Fridays and Saturdays!), halved crosswise and sliced open horizontally
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Slices of tomato (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sardines (along with whatever sauce they may be packed in), oregano, parsley, and lime juice. Stir well, mashing up sardines, and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make sandwiches by spreading the sardine mixture on the bottom of the bread, adding the lettuce and tomatoes (if desired) and replacing the top. Slice into smaller sandwiches, if you like. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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

2008 Domaine de Laballe Cotes de Gascogne ($9.99)

This Cotes de Gascogne is pure and bright, a reminder of the freshness of spring. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and French Colombard, it has the signature grassy, herbal aromas rounded out by soft grapefruit and lime. It is refreshing and pleasant, ideal as an aperitif but also a versatile table wine. Try it with shellfish, or with the mild heat of Vietnamese dishes.

2009 Domaine Le Clos des Lumières Cotes du Rhône Rosé ($9.99)

A fun, medium-bodied Rhône rosé, made from Cinsault (45%), Grenache(45%), Mourvedre (15%), and Syrah (10%). With ripe strawberry and floral notes, the wine shows nice persistence and a hint of spice at the end. You’ll want to drink it all summer, and long into the fall.

2007 Domaine Sainte Eugenie “Le Clos” Millesime ($8.99)

An unforgettable blend of Merlot (45%), Carignan (20%), Grenache Noir (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon. From an estate in Corbières, this wine exemplifies the traditional, sun-drenched countryside wines of Southwestern France. Fairly full bodied but with an incredible suppleness, it finishes with freshness. Red fruit flavors are countered by aromatic spices, and a light presence of oak. Tobacco and cedar are integrated into the structure with elegance. Excellent with summer fare such as barbecued beef, flavorful sausages, and terrines.

Le Clos and Les Raisins Gaulois

2009 Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Gamay ($12.99)

Marcel Lapierre is one of the “Gang of Four” rebel winemakers in Beaujolais, a group of vitners dedicated to making natural, delicious wines and bucking convention and appellation when necessary. Despite his disregard for the system, he is one of the most respected producers in France, highly regarded by wine critics, importers, and fellow winemakers. His Raisins Gaulois Gamay is made from the young vines in his Morgon Cru Villages vineyard. Absolutely charming, it is grapey and fresh, with spicy back cherry notes a little dustiness. Though not an “official” Beaujolais, it shows how great these light-hearted wines can be. It is the perfect summer red.

2006 R. Dubois et Fils Cote-de-Nuits-Villages
($14.99)

An estate Pinot Noir from one of the top subregions in Burgundy. A lovely perfume of rose and cherry greets you as you open the bottle, and the bright cherry shows up again on the palate. The fresh fruit is supported by a bit of spice and earthiness, which linger pleasantly on the palate. Another great choice for the warmer days, it pairs well with charcuterie, smoked salmon, and washed rind cheeses.

Craves @ PG

Ketchup, with a twist!

The Dulcet line of ketchups comes in three flavors: Peppery Moroccan, Sweet Orange Chili, and Mild Indian Curry. They’re an easy way to spice up your hamburger and frites!

Powerhouse Pantry @ PG

Connetable Sardines

These multi-tasking sardines can be used in pastas, salads, hors-d’oevres, and the sandwich recipe at left. They are available in Olive Oil, Lemon, and Mustard.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/8 Sunday, Jul 11 2010 

"Prise de la Bastille" by Henri Paul Perrault (1928) Perrault's Prise de la Bastille. Happy Bastille Day!

It’s hot!

There’s not much else to say, is there? Let’s jump right in, because we’ve got a ton of ideas for the perfect hot weather wines and treats. If you can take these ideas and somehow add a hammock, a beach, or even a stretch of concrete in the city made for resting, all the better.

Also: Bastille Day is next Wednesday, July 14. There’s a big celebration at Seattle Center this Sunday, July 11, featuring music, art, wine, and the World Cup final on a giant screen. Festivities begin at 10:30 am and last until 6:00 pm. For more info, go to seattle-bastille.org

We’re also big fans of Le Pichet’s annual bash with live music, a fantastic “street food” menu, and usually a rousing sing-along of Le Marseillaise. Held on the actual holiday, Wednesday, July 14, starting at 6:00 pm and lasting until the wee hours.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!
The Reign of the Rosés

I’ve already waxed poetic about rosé wines in a previous newsletter. I don’t think it is any secret that we all adore this delicately hued wine. We drink them year-round, but there’s something that is just so right about drinking rosé while the sun bathes your skin in a warm glow of belated summer. With a whole crop of 2009s in, I thought it was a good time to introduce you to some of the new members of our rosé garden.

2009 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($39.99)
The AOC of Bandol owes its distinction to Domaine Tempier. Lucien and Lulu Peyraud inherited the estate from Lulu’s father in the 1930s, and their passion for this plot of land along the Mediterranean inspired their neighbors and brought the likes of Kermit Lynch, Paula Wolfert, and Alice Waters to their doorstep. Today, Bandol’s Mourvedre-based Rosés are among the most sought after rosés in the world for their ability to age, their complexity, and their incredible texture. Domaine Tempier continues to be the leader among its peers, with its rosés regularly scoring over 90 points.

“Very rich and complex, featuring flavors of dried cherry, plum, raspberry, with hints of melon. Chocolate and spice linger on the ripe finish, with a hint of meatiness. Drink now through 2013.” 90 points Wine Spectator

2009 Le Galatin Bandol Rosé ($21.99)
A classic Provençal rosé from an organic estate. The grapes are hand harvested and pressed with the utmost care. With 50% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, and 25% Mourvedre, the wine is pale, with incredibly fresh raspberry and strawberry on the nose. Light, minerally, and crisp, it shows why rosé is so popular along the Côte d’Azur. Absolutely killer with a tomato and goat cheese tarte.

2009 Domaine Lafond Roc-Épine Tavel ($16.99)
Tavel is an AOC that produces only rosé, and is purported to have been Honoré de Balzac’s favorite wine. Located across the river from Chateauneuf-de-Pape, Tavel benefits from having three kinds of soils, one dominated by limestone and slate, another by sand and rock, and the third by the galets roulés. The variety of soils, combined with the complexity of the Tavel blends, make their wines one of the few ageable rosés. This one is a sublime blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, with a touch of Clairette and Grenache blanc, plus a few other Rhone varietals. It is full-bodied, fleshy, with sweet strawberry, raspberry, and licorice notes and a touch of florality.

2009 Chateau de Manissy “Cuvée de Lys” Tavel ($18.99)
In the style of Tavel, this is a muscular rosé with heady fruit on the nose and the palate. What is a little unusual is that is almost equal parts red (Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan) and white (Clairette, Piquepoul, Bourboulenc) grapes. The gifted young vitner, Florian Andre, convinced the religious order who owned Chateau de Manissy to let him work their 40-85 year old vineyards. I doubt they have regretted that decision, as this Tavel is pure, focused, and elegant. A lingering minerality balances the plush fruit. It stands up to a variety of dishes.

2009 Pascal et Nicholas Reverdy “Terre de Maimbray” Sancerre Rosé ($24.99)
Unlike Bandol and Tavel, Sancerre is usually known for its chalky white wines. Pinot Noir also grows there, however, and the cool climate makes for elegant, lacy rosés that are mineral-driven. Located on steep hills, this family-run estate is thought to be one of the finest Sancerre producers in France. From old vine Pinot Noir, the wine is a lovely faded pink, with a perfumey, floral nose and strawberry and cherry on the palate.


Cheese @ PG

Snack Attack!

If you’re a true Seattleite, you’re probably already complaining about the heat. And you may be experiencing a sad reduction in appetite after all these cold months where bulking up was a biological necessity. This week we’re featuring our favorite cheeses for a simple snack, where the only accompaniment need be a few slices of charcuterie, some olives, and a glass of rosé. Most of these cheeses do double duty, working just as well when melted in a number of summer recipes. Enjoy the heat, and for the delicate among you, take heart: it’ll only last a couple of weeks.

Valée d’Aspe
This wonderfully earthy raw sheep’s milk cheese is crafted by Basque artisans in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Firm, but not flaky, this cheese evinces its mountainous terroir with savory notes of nuts and olives, a vibrant tanginess, and a classic grassy finish. Wonderful with charcuterie and olives.
$5.99/quarter lb

Bleu du Bocage
This goat’s milk blue from Vendée in western France has become an instant staff favorite. Enticing meaty aromas and a nutty yet clean finish, with a more delicate bite than some other blues. Melt-in-the-mouth texture. Melt it on lamb burgers!
$9.49/quarter lb

Tome Jacquin

A deliciously fudge-like texture and a mildly grassy goat tang make this a cheese to swoon over! The layer next to the distinctive rind on this chèvre from the Loire Valley adds a buttery, more aged flavor. An unctuous finish on the palate.
$5.79/quarter lb

Rouge et Noir Camembert

Yellow Buck Camembert has a soft and buttery texture, with a nutty tanginess. It was reintroduced by the Rouge et Noir label to commemorate 100 years of making Camembert , which have always been made with authentic Old World cultures.
$8.49/wheel

Shepherds Chèvre Logs
This domestic fresh goat cheese won us over with its perfectly semi-soft and spreadable texture. Made in small batches with Grade A hormone-free milk. Try it in pasta, salads, savory tarts, or alongside fresh fruit. Five flavors: plain, peppercorn, garlic herb, tomato basil, and herb spice.
$3.99/each

Seafood and Meat @ PG
Get your protein.

New this week, and perfect for picnics and simple snack plates:

Coeur de la Mer Boquerones
These marinated white anchovies are sustainably harvested in Oregon. They are ready to enjoy; serve them up as a tapa or add them to salads or pasta. Try all three flavors: traditional, chili, or garlic and spices. $10.49 for a 7-ounce pouch.

Creminelli Sausages

We love charcuterie from the renowned artisans at Creminelli. We’ve brought in two new flavors at a terrific price point. Salami Piccante is the real pepperoni deal, a spicy pork salami made with paprika and hot peppers. Pizza night is calling. Salami Casalingo, or “household” salami, features the merest amount of salt, pepper, and spices to let the pork flavor shine through. A fantastic addition to a antipasto plate. $9.99 for a 5.5-ounce link.

Craves @ PG

Picholine Olives

We pack out several types of olives from bulk, so that you can get the freshest flavor. We love Picholines for their juicy, fruity snap- perfect as a snack with an aperitif.

Feed you Mind @ PG

The Provencal Cookbook

Guy Gebba, a chef and teacher at Chateau de Berne in the Var region of Provence, guides you through the basics of Provencal cooking and living. Beautiful photos and surprisingly simple recipes, perfect for the home chef who is feeling the heat.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/2 Saturday, Jul 3 2010 

How to Taste Your Way Through the Tour de France

France is more than ready to forget about the World Cup, even though it is barely halfway done. Luckily, we’re on the eve of another great sporting event for Europhiles: Le Tour de France! Inspired by the cyclists’ route, we’ve organized a tour of our wines and cheeses. You’ll be able to follow the bikers as they travel through the peaks and plains of France. Winning teams will come and go, but France’s culinary delights will always be there.

Recapturing national honor off the soccer field.

Like the fearless riders, we begin our tour in France’s northerly neighbor, Belgium, with Lindeman’s Faro Lambic ($5.99). Lambic is a classic Flemish ale with a wheaty flavor profile. Created by spontaneous fermentation, the Faro Lambic is sweetened by Belgian candi sugar, following a traditional recipe from the bars in Brussels. Fruit and caramel aroma, balanced by subtle complexity and refreshing acidity. The flavor starts sweet, with suggestions of brown sugar or orange marmalade, and finishes with crisp tartness. Like a cross between a beer and a cider.

From there we drop down to Reims, one of the famous villages of Champagne. One of our favorite Champagnes is from this village: Henri-Abelé Brut Champagne ($42.00). Over 90% of the grapes for this Champagne comes from Cru villages. The wine is aged for four years in the bottle before being released, and the quality of the grapes allows the bright aromas of green apple and citrus to linger on among the notes of brioche and almond. We were lucky enough to get a few bottles of this Champagne, as only a limited number are sold to the U.S. each year! 90 points Wine Spectator

Next, we move to Montgardis in the Loire Valley, home of the Cone du Port Aubry ($9.25/quarter lb). This superlative raw goat’s milk cheese from affineur Herve Mons has a flavor that starts buttery and mushroomy, then fades into a pronounced acidity and nuttiness. Slightly pliable and crumbly texture. This will pair conveniently well with the Henri-Abelé Champagne!

The route then takes us to Burgundy. (Oh darn!) Seeing the rolling hills and pristine vineyards will quickly get you in the mood for the 2007 Domaine Arlaud “Roncevie” Burgundy ($24.99). Father, sons, and sister run this natural estate by the village of Gevrey-Chambertin. The Roncevie is 100% Pinot Noir, a pure and persistent bottling from a graceful vintage. It is a steal, outclassing wines from the villages-level appellation.

Alpine heights are the next obstacle for our fearless riders, and they will surely be craving a refreshing drink, like the 2009 Domaine L’Idylle “Cruet” Vin de Savoie ($10.99). Savoy is a region better known for its landscapes and cheeses than its wines, and that’s a crying shame. Just west of Burgundy, in a cool climate with steep terrain, grow a range of rare grapes, aromatic and bright. Domaine de l’Idylle has been making wines in the village of Cruet since 1840. This one is 100% Jacquère, a native variety that is vivacious and fragrant. Exudes pear, citrus, and floral notes, with bursts of green apple and minerality. The short period of sur lie aging gives a nice complexity and sleek body. A perfect foil to the richness of fondue and raclette, it also makes a wonderful choice for Kir (white wine with crème de cassis).

Being so close to Switzerland, you may as well indulge in the Scharfe Maxx ($6.75/quarter lb), a slightly smoky, deeply beefy, and immensely tangy Swiss cheese. Aged for 6 months, this thermalized cow’s milk cheese is washed with brine and herbs, giving it a powerful and sharp (scharfe) flavor and a dense, creamy texture. A fantastic melting cheese!

There will be a stop in Chambéry, the birthplace of Dolin Vermouth ($13.99). The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation, Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. Excellent both as a mixer and as an apéritif.

Looping up to Valence, the cyclists will speed through Montelimar before heading to the Pyrenées. Montelimar is known for its delicious Nougat. This Provençal treat made from almonds and pistachios are great with the Château de Pena Muscat de Rivesaltes ($12.99/375mL). A late harvest Muscat is a beautiful way to start or end a meal. Full bodied with a balanced sweetness, it exudes light floral notes, exotic fruit aromas, and orange rind. Try it and you’ll see why this wine is prized in the Pyrenées and beyond.

The finish line will be in sight when the tour arrives in Pau. Raise a glass to a race well ridden with the 2005 Chateau Montus Madiran ($37.99). Quite possibly the best wine from Madiran, this blend of Tannat (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) is made by Alain Brumont. It is a lusty wine, its inky color suggesting the richness on the palate and the nose. Aromas of toasty blackberries, leather, and oak make a complex and deep bouquet. The wine is firm, with well-integrated flavors of blackberry, raspberry, smoke, and clove. The finish is superb, lengthy and flavorful. This wine will cellar for several more years.

The last stop before Paris will be Pauillac, near Bordeaux. Not that you ever need an excuse to buy some Tome d’Aquitaine ($8.25/quarter lb), one of our all-time 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, and has a delicate nuttiness on the finish.

Craves @ PG

Muscat de Rivesaltes

Feed your Mind @ PG

Pampille's Table

An indispensable guide to the culinary regions of France. This cookbook was originally published in 1919, and the newly translated and updated edition makes it accessible for the modern kitchen.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery