Paris Grocery News 9/16 Friday, Sep 17 2010 

We predict red wine, with a chance of movie nights.

Wine @ PG

New to the shop: a cider that delivers pure apple goodness, and a sparkling rosé from an underrepresented region that totally charmed us.

Sidre Doux & Bugey Cerdon

2008 Eric Bordelet Sidre Doux ($13.99)

Eric Bordelet took over his family’s estate and orchards in 1992, and he is passionate about elevating the standards of cider production and bringing cider to the export market and restaurants. In addition, his ciders are produced organically and biodynamically. Although sweet in comparison with the Brut, off-dry would be the appropriate description for this bright and delightful sparkling apple cider. The Doux is produced from the same vats as the Brut, but a small amount of residual sugar is left in while the former is fermented dry, leaving just a touch a sweetness to round out the cider on the palate. At 4-percent alcohol, it’s a remarkable drink for aperitifs or light meals.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

Very fresh and zesty, this sparkling rosé from Savoie is a fabulous addition to just about any occasion. It’s made in the same process as artisanal cider, meaning only one fermentation as opposed to two fermentations, as is done with champagne and most cremants. 100-percent Gamay, it’s off-dry and unique, with flavors of cherry and ripe apple with a touch of sweetness. It has low alcohol (8-precent) and shows good minerality and acidity in the mouth, with fresh grape aromas in the nose. Really tasty and a pretty, delicate pink color in the glass.

We’ve also brought in two fantastic value wines for the transition to fall. We’re already craving stews and roasts and gratins, and we wanted to stock up on tasty bistro-style reds that we could reach for without too much thought. Get those ovens and stovetops working again, pour yourself a glass, and settle in for a rainy night.

Value Reds!

2009 Chateau La Croix du Duc Bordeaux ($9.99)

A blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has a soft texture with bright boysenberry and black cherry flavors. Smoky notes of chocolate and menthol provide punch and structure. This Bordeaux has terrific balance and a mineral finish, and it will stand up to hearty winter meals

2009 Mas de Boislauzon “La Chaussynette” Vin de France ($9.99)

The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussey are the sixth generation to run the esteemed Mas de Boislauzon estate. They’ve continued to build their reputation with superlative Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhone wines. La Chausseynette is essentially declassified Chateauneuf, made with a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. It’s bright and juicy, with lively notes of blackcurrant and blackberry and a peppery, spicy finish. A red to reach for all season.

And finally: we still have some bottles left of our favorite Summer Swiller: the 2009 Abel Clement Rhone Rosé ($7.99). It’s fresh and light on the palate, with notes of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. Perfect for a meal of pasta with late-summer tomatoes. Get it while it lasts!

Craves @ PG

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spreads Line Up For Battle

It’s the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread Wars of 2010! Who will emerge victorious: Nutella, Noisette+Cacao, Nocciolata, or Loacker ?  To the victor go the spreads.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

The French Country Table by Laura Washburn

This is exactly what we’re looking for in these suddenly cold, grey days. A winter’s worth of perfectly simple-to-execute bistro dishes, ranging from soups to meat to gratins to dessert. These are the recipes you’ve always meant to work into your repetoire: cassoulet, ratatouille, tartiflette, gratin dauphinois. Hopefully you’ll still be hungry by the holidays, because the Chocolate Chestnut Tarte would be the perfect merry sweet. Also, the photography by Martin Brigdale is enough to make you chuck your fancy flatware sets and all-white plates for  mismatched antiques and vintage tableware.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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Paris Grocery News 9/3 Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

A most delicious bivalve

September. Please note the last letter. Yes, it’s an r. Get your shuckers ready because it’s oyster season! A group promoting the wines of the Loire Valley has ingeniously paired up with local restaurants and oyster farms to bring us Muscadet Seattle. This event spotlights the fantastic natural affinity between the crisp, mineral-driven Muscadet wines and the sublime sea flavor of oysters. Both are also incredible adventures in texture. Eric Asimov of the New York Times recently revisited Muscadet, and he suggests that it’s actually a quite versatile wine that could also pair well with other seafood dishes, poultry and pasta. We say: when it comes to Muscadet and food, we’re fine with trying out every combination possible (in the name of culinary exploration, of course).

Wine @ PG

2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV $16.99

While there may not be a more natural pairing than Muscadet and oysters, straying from the beaten paths will bring delightful surprises. The high acidity and low alcohol brighten flavors and refresh the palate, enhancing and marrying the flavors of seafood, herbs, and seasonings. This one comes from an old vine planting, and the wine is aged on the lees for 18-24 months. With the exquisite minerality that is typical of Muscadet, the wine exudes fresh notes of limestone and sea breeze. The slight salinity is off-set by a touch of creaminess on the palate. It is one of my favorite whites in the shop.

“Bright straw. A piercing, energetic array of citrus and floral scents, complicated by strong minerality and a note of white pepper. Bitter lime pith and quinine flavors gain flesh and weight with air, taking a turn to sweeter tangerine and quince. Strikingly balanced and precise, with a long, spicy, mineral-dominated finish. This should be even better with a couple years of bottle age.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Bonnet-Huteau “Les Dabinières” Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $14.99

Run by Rémi Bonnet (president of the region’s Maîtres Vignerons cooperative cellar) and his brother Jean-Jacques, the estate is based around the ruins of a château dating to the Middle Ages and has 48 hectares under vines, with some 42 ha planted with Muscadet. This particular cuvée has loads of finesse and a bright texture on the palate.

“Demurely scented with under-ripe honeydew melon, white peach, fresh lemon, clover, and a hint of chalk dust. Soft in feel and expansive on the palate for its genre, yet tingling in its bright citricity, it offers generous refreshment. The strong personality of this cuvee comes in its terrifically long, animating finish, with saliva-inducing salinity and citric juiciness.” 91 points Robert Parker

2008 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $12.99

Bernard Chéreau owns three separate estates within the house of Chéreau Carré, which occupies one of the most privileged positions in Nantes. Chateau de la Chesnaie represents a 25-year old parcel in the heart of Sèvre-et-Maine. Chéreau uses only indigenous yeasts and ages his wines on the lees for four months, putting him at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of Muscadet production. We found the 2008 vintage to have a wonderful freshness, with notes of seashell and lime. Mineral-laden and with a dry finish, this wine would be excellent with any delicate preparation of shellfish or oysters.

Craves @ PG

Casali Choco-Bananas

These little chocolate-covered banana candies are enormously popular. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cheap (they are), or because of their must-look-and-touch packaging (reptile brain), or because they’re delicious (yep, that too). Try them frozen! You will thank me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

About Alice by Calvin Trillin

This book is not about food or wine, although it is written by the illustrious Calvin Trillin, who has often taken food as his subject. This slim little hardcover book is, obviously, about his wife, Alice, written five years after her death. It’s just a divine little book. He creates a glowing portrait of a hilarious, complicated, engaged, and uniformly charming woman with whom he made a long, lovely life. The picture above is taken from the back cover, and I think it’s worth the $6.99 price alone to be able to take the book down from time to time and get some ideas about how to live with grace, and maybe to complain about how people don’t dress like that anymore.