|Bonjour Mes Amis!
Pike Place Market is always a bit magical, but this is my favorite time of the year to work here. Speaking of magic, I managed to get chowder without waiting in a huge line…
People are bringing their out of town visitors in to see us & we’ve been helping folks plan their réveillon menus. Love it!
Here’s to hoping you are making the most of the season & feel free to share your holiday traditions with us.
Domaine de la Mordoree ‘Reine de Bois’ 2010, Chateauneuf de Pape $110 3 bottles available
This is the ultimate holiday gift for Chateauneuf lovers. Christophe Delorme says this is their best vintage ever. The Delorme brothers are based in Tavel & their vines are over 100 years old, situated in the rocky plateau of La Crau, Chateauneuf’s greatest cru. The ‘Queen of the Woods’ exudes their trademark concentration & extremely fine tannins.
97 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Reine des Bois is exquisite. It is hard to say that it’s better than some of its predecessors, because there have been so many magnificent wines to emerge from Domaine de la Mordoree since the mid-1990s, but this inky purple wine has an extraordinary nose of gun flint, wood smoke and blackberry jam intermixed with spring flowers, kirsch, and blueberries. Stunningly rich, this full-bodied wine is built like a skyscraper, with decent acidity, fabulous delineation to its component parts, and a whopping 45-second finish. The wood is gorgeously integrated, as it usually is, the tannins still noticeable, but not astringent, and the wine majestic. Give it 2-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25+ years. (10/ 2012)
Dr Seuss In French $12.95 each
What every French kid needs for Christmas
Green Eggs & Ham
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Horton Hears a Who
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Happy Birthday to You
Mimolette Demi-Vieille $21.99
It’s a Christmas miracle folks! I was able to get Mimolette, the real deal, this week. So what’s the big deal with Mimolette? The FDA had it on the no-fly list because of the unique process that goes into making it. Cheese mites burrow through the cheese devouring the rind, creating air flow & enhanced flavor as the cheese ages. The mites are gone before the cheese is sold, and what’s left is a unique cheese that tastes like salted caramel. French cheese lovers rejoice!
Foie Gras Butter adapted from Fat by Jennifer McLagan
Forget about giving your friends a jar of jam for Christmas, give them this in a Duralex ramekin wrapped with a bow… And maybe with a bottle of Monbazillac.
- 2 ounces foie gras trimmings
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon grated cinnamon
- Place foie gras trimmings in bowl and leave at room temperature to soften. Mash with fork, removing any veins or touch connective tissue. Place mashed foie gras on piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly, twisting ends of plastic wrap to enclose foie gras, and refrigerate until firm.
- Bring saucepan of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to bare simmer. Drop in foie gras roll. Poach until the foie gras is very soft and the fat is beginning to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove foie gras and place in bowl filled with ice water to chill.
Remove plastic wrap and place foie gras in bowl of food processor. Add salt, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, about 1 minute. Transfer to container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for several months.
Seigneurs de Monbazillac 2007 $11.99
North of Gascony, east of Sauternes lies the village of Monbazillac, famed for their sweet wines… Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon & Muscadet make for a honeyed, noble rot wine that is heaven with foie.
Les Pins, Monbazillac 2012 $19.99
Importer Eric Solomon has done us all a huge favor. He convinced Chateau Tirecul La Graviere to declassify & lower their price to get a foothold in the market. Score! Reviewers call it “massively lush” yet with enough fresh acidity to balance it out. If you’re not a foie lover, think blue cheese for a heavenly combo.
URBANCHEESECRAFT CHEESE MAKING KITS!
These kits are lovingly made in Portland. Buy goat or cow milk (not ultra-pasteurized) & you’re set to become a cheesemaker. The Pike Place Creamery has lots of fantastic local milks to choose from, including raw milk. Deluxe kit is pictured…
Urban Cheesecraft DIY Cheese Kits:
Ricotta & Mozzarella $27 10 batches
Feta, Greek Yogurt, Yogurt $30 8 batches
Chevre $30 10 batches
Deluxe $55 30 batches
(Makes Mozzarella, Ricotta, Crumbly Goat, Creamy Chevre, Paneer, Queso Blanco)
Kusmi Tsarevna Limited Edition Tea $38 8.8 oz
Kusmi’s special holiday edition comes in a glittery container that makes it perfect for gifting or for serving your guests after a holiday meal. Named after the daughters of the Tsars who celebrated Christmas in their Winter Palace. A Russian blend of black tea, spices, licorice, orange peels, scents of orange, vanilla and almond.
Duvernay Cairanne Millesime 2011, Cotes du Rhone $14.99
Cairanne is an over-achieving district of the Cotes du Rhone which may someday be awarded cru status. This is full of smoky blackberries & violet, bookmarked with a licorice spine. Priced for every day enjoyment–pair with Daube de Boeuf, or crack open by the fireplace.
Jean Francois Merieau ‘L’arpent des Vaudons’ 2012, Touraine $16.99
What drinks like a Sancerre at a gentler tarif? This fashionable Sauv Blanc from Touraine. Touraine is where I look for bargains in French Sauvignon Blanc (case in point, Oisly & Thesee.) Jean Francois is one of the new stars of the Loire–he traveled the world before returning to his family’s property. This is 100% organic hand-harvested Sauvignon Blanc from a 60-year-old parcel. Minerals & acid reminiscent of Sancerre, with warmer, more expressive fruit. Give this worthy white a go.
Domaine Charvin 2011, Chateauneuf du Pape $65
Food & Wine just wrote an article recommending rustic Grenache & Charvin, as the perfect pairing wine for rich braised meats.
Domaine Charvin is a small estate with cooler north-facing slopes in Chateauneuf de Pape, known for their 80 year-old Grenache vines. And here’s why you should buy this delicious bottle of wine:
“The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their 1999, which was a very successful vintage for Charvin. Abundant strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit intermixed with hints of loamy soil and Provencal herbs are found in this medium to full-bodied wine. It is a lush, well-developed, precocious Chateauneuf du Pape to drink over the next decade. (91-93pts) ” Robert Parker—The Wine Advocate