"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.

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.

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

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery