Wine @ PG
New to the shop: Wine accoutrements (seems to be the right word) for those of you who want to get the most out of your Champagnes and Bordeaux.
- Wine decanter: a classic Italian design made with hand-blown, lead-free glass. The broad base of the decanter allows particularly heady red wines to aerate and open up (that means it’ll taste better). ($29.99)
- Champagne cork remover: helps ease the cork out of high-pressure sparklers so you get the best presentation of bubbles. ($11.99)
- Champagne stoppers: the stainless steel and silicone stopper offers a super-snug fit and a nice design. ($9.99); the cheaper chrome and rubber stopper works well, too ($4.99). I love being able to keep a bottle of sparkling fresh for days.
- Wine aerator: Nothing worse than waiting for a wine to optimize. Our wine buyer, Sharon, swears by this very cool gizmo. Simply hold the aerator over your glass and pour; its design attracts and mixes air to the wine, so you get more intensity from the aroma and flavors of the wine. ($38)
From Private Reserve:
- Wine preserver: A environmentally safe bottle of inert gas that blankets the wine’s surface and displaces oxygen, maintaining its freshness and flavor. Works for not only wine but also things like scotch, cognac, and port. ($10.50)
Craves @ PG
The other night I went out to dinner at Cascina Spinasse on Capitol Hill, and the kitchen sent out an amuse-bouche that was utterly perfect: a slice of toasty bread smeared liberally with butter and an anchovy fillet. Savory, crunchy, and creamy, all at the same time. I’m so glad to see anchovies making such inroads into the culinary scene; it seems like they’re on every menu these days! We have lots of options for anchovies, in cans and jars. But the customer favorite seems to be these Roland brand anchovies in the flip-top glass jar. Packed in olive oil, these are ready to be added to salads, pasta, flatbread pizzas, or crostini. I think there is some interest in reusing the cool jar, as well. And: They’re good for you!
Gifted @ PG
This week’s idea would make an excellent gift anytime of the year, but as a Valentine’s Day gift, it’s a unique choice for someone who likes to cook. We have these colorful tagines ($40) from Le Souk Ceramique in a wide range of colors (green, yellow, red, white, and blue), as well as simple glazed terra cotta. They are a fantastic addition to a cookware arsenal, and they’re also really pretty as objects. I’d suggest getting this excellent cookbook as well; many people who first start cooking with tagines need good ideas. “Flavors of Morocco” by Ghillie Bașan ($24.95) is simply laid out and full of bright, tantalizing pictures. Along with the classic meat and seafood tagine dishes, there are recipes for simple things like making your own harissa or bissara (a garlicky fava bean dip). She also includes background and stories for the recipes and traditions of Moroccan cooking, including instructions for a mint tea service. Finally, it might also be fun to toss in a jar of preserved lemons or ras-el-hanout, the typical spice mix for tagines.
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery