Paris Grocery News 3/27 Sunday, Mar 27 2011 

Soldiers of relaxation, standing at attention.

Beer @ PG

We decided our beer selection needed a little livening up. And how.

Gavroche French Red Ale ($9.99)

This punchy bière de garde is named for the mischevious urchin from Les Misérables who spoke in the argot of the street and slept inside Napolean’s ill-conceived giant elephant statue in the Place de la Bastille. It displays an excellent balance between intense maltiness and lively hoppiness, with a creamy head and a mouth-puckering fruitiness. It’s bottle-fermented, so pour carefully to avoid sediment. From the same brewery as 3 Monts, described below.

Brasserie de Saint Sylvestre 3 Monts Grand Réserve Amber Ale Sur Lie ($9.99)

This medium-bodied golden beer is made using a blend of native Flemish hops. Bright, dry, and hoppy, 3 Monts defines farmhouse-style beer. Some earthy spiciness (some say ginger, some say cardamom), but mostly it’s an eminently drinkable beer that makes you want to eat things along with it: sausages, moules-frites, all things pickled.

Westmalle Trappist Ale (Dubbel and Tripel) ($11.99)

Westmalle is a well-known name that we’ve brought in after some customer requests. The Dubbel is a dark, brick red ale with a rich, malty presence and an intriguing interplay between fresh and bitter notes. It has a creamy mouthfeel and a long-lasting head. It’s refreshing, but definitely has some body and stands up better when served with hearty, savory dishes. The Tripel, on the other hand, is a clear, honeycup yellow ale with complex flavors of fruit, hops, and bitterness. Its recipe has remained unchanged for over 50 years, due to its lovely, lengthy flavor and smooth, exceptional quality. You can’t go wrong with this one if you’re in the mood for a classic Trappist ale; I like it with a fancy burger and fries!

And don’t forget: we’re still stocking these customer favorites.

Kronenbourg (6-pack), Chimay Red, and Vieille Provision Saison Dupont (my favorite).

Buvez comme les Belges.

We also have Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic and Orval Trappist Ale, for which we also carry the drinking goblets (yes, it tastes better in the specific goblets). Glassware costs $2.99/piece, or get 10% off when you purchase a set of six.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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Paris Grocery News 3/18 Friday, Mar 18 2011 

 

(Serving Suggestion.)

Sweets @ PG

Yet another bonanza of goodies, just arrived from France. (We’ve got the excess of packing peanuts to prove it.)

Fig and Walnut Caramels

Some insane trifecta of deliciousness is achieved here with this combination of caramel, fig, and walnut. They’re so earthy and sweet and chewy and crunchy, all at the same time, that you’ll feel deeply satisfied with even just one. (But you better get a few, you know, for later.) (79¢)

Calissons

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¢)

Chocolate Truffles

Supremely creamy dark chocolate truffles, dusted with cocoa powder. Yep. The gold-foil packaging is pretty great, too. (60¢)

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne Drinking Chocolate

This amazing drinking chocolate made with raw cane sugar and the finest cocoa beans won the NASFT Outstanding Beverage Award in 2002. With undertones of fruitiness and natural vanilla, this mix makes a mean cup of hot cocoa. (75¢/sachet or $14.49 cube of 14 sachets*)

*The cube was mistakenly priced at $5.99 and listed as such in the newsletter; $14.49 is the correct price. Sorry for any confusion!)

Marshmallow Ropes

Do like the cool enfants and eat these adorable marshmallow ropes right out of the package! Or cut them into comically large squares and float them in a bowl of drinking chocolate. Pick your favorite flavor: lemon, raspberry, or violet. ($1.99)

Dunk 'em.

And: cookies!

Biscoff

The demand for speculoos spread continues apace here at the shop, so we thought it wise to bring in the original cinnamon-stoked cookies as well. These are a Flanders tradition, known stateside for being served on Delta flights. Make a cup of coffee and sit back like you’re flying Delta first class, unless that sounds awful, in which case think about how you’re enjoying the cookies without having to go through the hassle of air travel. ($3.99)

Fossier Biscuits Roses

These airy yet hardy biscuits from Reims, near Champagne, are infused with a touch of vanilla and dressed with a coat of powdered sugar. They’re meant to be dunked, in anything from milk or tea to wine, an aperitif, or even a glass of Champagne, which is so charming we just can’t stand it. Also, the Fossier website offers recipe ideas for tower-like cakes using the cookies like Jenga pieces that are quite ornate and ladies-who-lunch. ($6.99)

Gavottes Crispy Crepe Dentelles

These biscuits from Brittany are made of many many crispy layers, wound around each other like “the dance that lends them their name.” (A gavotte was, obviously, a Breton dance involving lots of spinning and twirling). Available in regular flaky goodness, as well as with milk or dark chocolate coating. ($4.99)

Wine @ PG

Newest of the new.

This just in! (As in, I just put these new wines on the shelf five minutes ago.)

Domaine Força Réal Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2005 ($8.99)

Crazy good price. This medium-bodied southern red has some intense rusticity, with notes of graphite and dark fruit. A good quaffer, especially with something particularly meaty or savory.

Enclos du Petit Chien Cheverny Blanc 2009 ($12.99)

Another fantastic value from the Loire Valley. This 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay is, to quote Sharon, “yummy.” Expressions of herbs and minerals, and a nicely round creaminess in the mouth, revealing that the seemingly tiny edition of Chardonnay makes for an excellently balanced quencher.

Domaine des Braves Régnié 2009 ($14.99)

This 100% Gamay from Régnié, the most recently recognized cru of Beaujolais (1988), starts out with some residual sugar and floral hints of violet, but then deepens into dark berry notes and a smooth, refreshing minerality. We’ve noted the exceptional quality of Beaujolais wines from this vintage, and this one is no exception.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 3/12 Saturday, Mar 12 2011 

Do goat cheeses taste better when topped with a cute label? Answer: No (but it doesn't hurt).

Cheese @ PG

A goat cheese with a bit of age and a few washed rind cheeses with a bit of funk.

Crottin Frais du Périgord

These tiny drums of barely aged goat’s milk cheese come from Périgord, a region of Bordeaux known for its goat cheese delicacies. A soft and creamy texture, with a nutty flavor. Fantastic when heated and placed on salads or toasts. $1.99/each or 2/$3

Oh, you monks.

Le Poteaupré

This oozy washed rind cow’s milk cheese was created by the Trappist monks of the Chimay Abbey in Belgium. Intensly earthy, with flavors of wild mushroom, toasted hazelnuts, and a finish that resembles buttered popcorn. Pair with a Chimay or a fruity red. $15.99/lb

Les Frères

Don’t you love it when siblings play nicely? Semi-soft washed rind cheese created by the Crave Brothers in Waterloo, Wisconson. This mild American cow’s milk cheese is earthy and pleasant with flavors of sea salt and bitter herbs.  Pair with white wine or sparkling. $15.99/lb

Trois Laits

Another stunning cheese from affineur Pascal Beillevaire. This Pyrenees washed rind cheese has the creaminess of cow’s milk, the nuttiness of sheep’s milk, and the subtle herbaceous tang of goat’s milk. Rich, complex, and beefy, with notes of Alpine grasses, marjoram, and sage. $32.99/lb

Wine @ PG

It's still cold; we still prefer warmth.

So, we may have gotten ahead of ourselves with talk of rosé season and patios. Here’s a few more delightful reds to keep you warm for this last bit (please?) of drizzly winter.

Domaine Astruc  Vin de Pays de L’Hérault Vielles Vignes Carignan 2008

Smoky aromas. Round on the mid-palate, with supple and balanced tannins. Minerals and spice, with a note of bitter chocolate on the finish. ($9.99)

Chateau Jouanin Bordeaux 2009

Explosive and full-bodied, this 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc is aged for 15 months in new and used oak. Flavors of menthol, eucalyptus, and juicy red and black fruits. ($12.99)

Domaine de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007

Delicious, with loads of minerals and plenty of length. 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. 92 points: Stephen Tanzer, Wine Advocate. ($43)

Craves @ PG

Just think of all the Manhattans you could make.

Les Parisiennes griottines

A customer favorite. These delicious Morello cherries have been pitted and prepared in a Kirsch liqueur. Griottines are famous throughout the world for their freshness and refined taste. And the grand, Belle Epoque packaging is simply too much. Add to desserts, aperitifs, and cocktails. ($24.99/18.5oz jar)

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Called "the poet of the appetites" by John Updike.

We’ve brought in a range of titles from the luminous American gourmand, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (thankfully known as M.F.K. Fisher).  Corny, but: she’s a personal hero of mine. Consider this quote from “The Gastronomical Me” (emphasis mine):

“People ask me: Why do you write about food, and eating and drinking? Why don’t you write about the struggle for power and security, and about love, the way others do. They ask it accusingly, as if I were somehow gross, unfaithful to the honor of my craft. The easiest answer is to say that, like most humans, I am hungry. But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it.”

In stock (all are necessary):

Consider the Oyster

The Gastronomical Me

An Alphabet For Gourmets

How to Cook A Wolf

As They Were

Two Towns in Provence

Long Ago In France: The Years in Dijon

Sister Age

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

 

Paris Grocery News 3/5 Saturday, Mar 5 2011 

Venerable wines from Maison Louis Latour.

Wine @ PG

Selections from Maison Louis Latour.

Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 2006 ($18.99)

“Lean and solidly built, despite its ripe cherry notes up front. Tannins and acidity dominate now, but this has a stony character and length, with loads of mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2010 through 2020.” 90 points Wine Spectator. We loved this earthy and complex Marsannay; it really smoothes out on the finish.

Louis Latour Beaune “les Vignes Franches” 1er Cru 2009 ($40)

2009 was a magnificent year for Burgundy. The vines enjoyed ideal conditions during the entire cycle. They basked in the sunshine throughout the maturing phase, resulting in grapes of extraordinary quality. This Beaune Premier Cru is incredibly concentrated, with delicate white pepper notes.

Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé ($18.99)

Simonnet-Febvre is the only producer who uses grapes from Chablis in their Crémant de Bourgogne. Chablis is the closest part of Burgundy to Champagne, so you get the same bright minerality that comes from the soils of Champagne without the high price tag. Aged for 3 years, this crémant offers powerful aromas of red currant and raspberry. Round and smooth in body, it’s elegant and toasty with fine bubbles and a huge finish.

Cheese @ PG

Wheels of cheese both tasty and adorable.

Revisiting the clean, grassy flavors of Basque cheeses.

Izarou

Our new favorite cheese. This pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region is deliciously buttery, creamy, and mildly sweet; it pairs perfectly with summer fruits. One customer swore it tasted like movie popcorn, but most people just exclaim superlatives. Made by acclaimed cheese maker Gabriel Coulet, who also produces one of the best Roquefort cheeses on the planet. $27.99/lb

Vallée d’Aspe Chèvre

This aged goat cheese epitomizes an authentic chèvre from the French Pyrenees. Complex and delicate nuances:  fruity, tangy, and a little salty. It finishes with an irresistible caramelized nuttiness. $30.99/lb

Brique Agour

This award-winning Basque sheep’s milk cheese is renowned for striking an ideal balance between sweet and salty flavors. Slightly firm in texture, with a nutty, complex undertone and notes of parm. Try it with a black cherry spread and a medium-bodied red. $24.99/lb

Cooking @ PG

The Blue Ribbon Cooking School on Fairview along Lake Union holds popular cooking classes every Monday night. They’re fully interactive, and of course, you get to sit down and eat what you make. In the next month or two, Blue Ribbon will be hosting a few French-themed cooking classes that we thought you’d like to know about. Sign up on their website; space is limited!

March 7: Culinary Destinations: Classic French Bistro with French Wines.

March 28: Fabulous Food Fast and Easy: Jacque Pepin’s Way with French Wines

April 4: Essential Techniques: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery