Sunday, Aug 30 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

August 27, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

Mark your calendars: there are two free events you don’t want to miss this Saturday, August 29th. 

From 11 am to 2 pm, Spanish Table will be having a wine & anchovy tasting. Not just any anchovies, L’Escala Anxoves, known as some of the finest in Spain.

Then at Paris Grocery, come taste wine from 11 am until at least 2 pm, but we’ll give you a taste until the bottles are empty. That’s how we roll around here…

À bientôtj’espère,

Catherine

We just received our allocation of Tesselae, & turns out it is the 2013 vintage, which scored even higher!!!! 94 points, only $13.99 and we have 12 more bottles available.

Domaine Lafage ‘Tessalae’ Carignan Vielles Vignes 2013, Cotes Catalan $13.99
“A custom cuvee and joint venture with importer Eric Solomon, the 2013 Tessellae Vieilles Vignes is 100% Carignan and comes from 70-year-old vines and the schist soils of Maury and Les Aspres. It is an off-the-charts value that offers up thrilling notes of black raspberry, chocolate, graphite, tar and licorice to go with a voluptuous, decadent, yet seamless and gorgeously pure feel on the palate. Seriously, this wine is smoking good and should thrill for 4-5 years, if not longer. Just pretend you paid more for it. Most of these wines are custom cuvees made for importer Eric Solomon. All of these are incredible values and should not be missed!” -94 points, Wine Advocate

CABERNET FRANC CLASS
You might not know this, but Cabernet Franc gave birth to Cabernet Sauvignon when it was crossed with Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, Jancis Robinson calls it “The feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Cab Franc buds & ripens at least a week before Cab Sauv which makes it extremely handy in the cooler climate of Right Bank Bordeaux. In Bordeaux it’s blended, but in Touraine the cheese stands alone. One of the largest & coolest wine regions in France, about an hour & a half from Paris.
Here are the major regions of the Loire Valley… 
 Now go drink some with your wine map out!

Bourgueil (pronounced bor goye)
Situated on the right bank of the Loire, vines are grown in alluvial/limestone-rich soils. Young wines often exude floral & blackberry notes, and become earthier with age–“pencil shaving” aromas are typical. Slightly more tannic than neighboring Chinon…  A Paris cafe staple.

Domaine Chanteleuserie Cuvee Alouettes 2013, Bourgueil $16 
A true Kermit Lynch discovery. Chantleuserie is “the place where the larks sing”, outside Bernais in the Touraine. 100% pure Cab Franc racked in foudres, which gives the wine unique supple roundness. The Boucards are careful to keep the grapes cool while destemming which lends unparalleled freshness & acidity. Plum, mulberry & herbs mingle in this delightful red.

Jour de Soif 2012, Bourgueil $20 
The entry-level wine from salt of the earth winemaker,  Pierre Gauthier, produced from 20-year-old vines. Rose petals on the nose, crushed berry/spiced cranberry fruit, minerals and wild herbs flourish in this alluring bottling. This all-season red is the perfect partner to grilled sausages & grainy mustard. The “Day of Thirst” is what the locals drink because they’re wise to the beauty of pure Cab Franc

Domaine du Bel Air (Pierre et Rodolphe Gauthier)  Les Vingt Lieux Dits, 2011,  Bourgueil$22
The Gauthier family produces wines that reflect the essence of Bourgueil. Five generations of the family have crafted resplendent Cab Franc. Rich fruit, minerals, earth and perfect ripeness are the hallmarks of the Gauthier family’s meticulous organic wine-making. This ages beautifully.

Domaine Breton Trinch 2012, Bourgueil $23
‘Trinch’ means ‘clink’ which is the sound you’ll make as you toast your friends with this tasty Cab Franc. Pierre & Catherine Breton are passionate biodynamic producers who make authentic wines. Trinch comes from younger vines vinified in stainless. It’s all here: fruit, soft tannins, low alcohol. Clink!

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie 2002, Bourgeuil Beauvais $32
Here’s a rare chance to taste vintage Bourgeuil from the hands of a master. Beauvais is made from vines that are 35-years-old, planted on a south-facing slope of clay and limestone that overhangs the valley–considered the best terroir because of both the exposure and the soil. Tuffeau, the very special soft & porous white limestone imparts incredible minerality. The old vines are 40-80 years old.  It’s amazing to see how this ages so gracefully!

Chinon (pronounced she nohn)
The left bank of the Loire has two major styles. From the sand and gravel soils along the floodplains, we find light, graceful, and easily approachable wines. Tuffeau limestone slopes help to produce voluptuous and fuller-bodied wines that age exceedingly well. Both tend to be low alcohol & extremely food friendly. You’ll often find raspberry & cranberry fruit.

Domaine Fabrice Gasnier Les Graves 2012, Chinon $18
This 4th-generation property features south-facing old vines (a real plus in the  fickle climate of Chinon) & organic/biodynamic farming. Les Graves is Gasnier’s first bottling each vintage. Unoaked, 12.5% alcohol with perfectly balanced bright fruit. Gasnier is known for taming the greener notes of Cab Franc. Bright & fresh, built for regular enjoyment.

Bernard Baudry Les Granges 2013, Chinon $20 
Father & son Bernard & Matthieu are well known for their organic wines which are stylistically energetic & fruit driven. 2013 was a tough vintage in the central Loire, but the Baudry’s pulled off a lovely, lighter bottling with a modest 11.5% alcohol. Floral notes, soft & polished fruits–a beautiful expression of the alluvial & gravel terraces. When the Vienne river floods in spring, Baudry may be found pruning the vines from a boat! Enjoy this with a plate of Rosette de Lyon.

Saumur (prounced soh muhr)
Picturesque Saumur is known for sparkling wines made of Chenin Blanc & Cab Franc-based reds. The best wines reflect the purity of the limestone caves made of ‘tuffeau’, where wines can gently age. 10 million years ago, Saumur was under ocean, leaving a rich legacy of fossilized marine life.

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin La Pierre Frite 2011, Saumur $18
Young Laurent Charrier & his mother run a certified organic farm. Supple, bright & expressive with smoky cassis and herbal top notes. A warm weather rouge that loves bbq & will drink well through 2016.

MANCHEGO –DELVING DEEP INTO SPAIN’S MOST ICONIC CHEESE
If you know one Spanish cheese, it most certainly would be Manchego. BUT not all Manchego is created equal. After nearly a decade of working for Spanish Table & Paris Grocery, this week I decided to try all of our Manchego’s side by side, with a special guest. (more news on that to come)

The result? I now respect this queso more than ever. The key is to let them come to room temperature to really taste the nuances.

La Mancha means ‘no water’–extreme weather conditions, sparse grass & wild herbs grown on the rocky plains all influence the flavor of Manchega sheep’s milk. A fact from Murray’s: “The breed has proven sturdy enough over the centuries to traverse the rocky, arid central plateau region of La Mancha – where cows just can’t hang.”

Maese Miguel $19.99 lb
Aged for 4 months, this award-winning bargain Manchego showed a buttery & nutty personality. A crowd-pleaser.

El Trigal 1 Year $21.99 lb
I special order this one from Forever Cheese in NY. According to the importer, the Corcuera Family was the first in all of Castilla La Mancha to make and commercialize Manchego Cheese. They use same day milk, producing a more buttery Manchego. Crunchy texture, sweet & fruity notes. 

La Esperanza del Castillo Semicurado $22.99 lb
A family farm, from the town of Pulgar. Rubbed with olive oil as it matures for a minimum of 3 months. I was particularly fond of the browned butter & cebolla finish.

Buenalba Raw Semicurado $22.99 lb
The 4th generation of the Alvarez Valera family takes pride in their cheese-making. They are allowed to produce raw cheeses because they use milk from their own herd unlike the large industrial producers who truck their heated milk miles away. Tangy cheddar-like notes, fruity & spicy. 

Pasamontes Raw 1 Year $23.99
Now we’re talking really small production Manchego. Made by the Pasamontes family in the same location since 1876. Today, Delores Palomares Pasamontes is a crusader for traditional methods and is one of few to have a natural, wax-free rind. The result is a Manchego with a flaky Parmesan texture and a memorable earthy flavor. By the end of the day when it was properly warmed up, it vied for being my favorite. 

Artequeso Raw Semicurado $25.99
Artequeso Raw 1 Year $27.99

The 4th generation of the Alvarez Valera family takes pride in their cheese-making. They are allowed to produce raw cheeses because they use milk from their own herd unlike the large industrial producers who truck their heated milk miles away.  Their herds graze on lush pastures next to the Guadiana River. The semicurado is aged 3/5 months resulting in a fruity character with an oniony bite. The 1 year is spicy & deliciously complex.

Delancey’s Beet and Wild Watercress Salad with Ricotta Salata and Shallot Vinaigrette from Edible Seattle 

The vinaigrette comes together in moments, but needs to rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.

Serves 4 | start to finish: 1 hour

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar
1 medium garlic clove
Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:
4 fist-sized beets
4 handfuls wild watercress
Ricotta salata

Combine the shallot and vinegar in a small bowl. If the vinegar does not completely moisten the shallot, add a small splash more. Chop the garlic finely, season it with a pinch of salt, and then smash it to a paste under the side of your knife. Add to the bowl with the shallots and vinegar. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and whisk well. Taste, and adjust for salt. If the shallot is too strong, you can counter its bite with a pinch of sugar. This vinaigrette should taste bright, but if it’s too acidic, you can add a splash of oil.

Meanwhile, start the beets. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil, and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until they are tender and their skins slip off easily.

Cool slightly; then remove their skins by rubbing each beet in a kitchen towel. (This is an incredibly easy way to remove beet skins, but be sure to use an old towel; it will get stained!) Cool to room temperature, and then slice each beet into thin wedges.

Put the wild watercress in a large bowl, add a spoonful of vinaigrette, and toss very gently (ideally with your hands). The watercress should be only lightly dressed. Divide it evenly among four serving plates.

Put the beets in the same bowl, and toss with more vinaigrette. Divide the beets among the plates, mounding them up on top of the watercress. Crumble a generous amount of ricotta salata on top of each, and serve immediately.

Sunday, Aug 30 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

August 20, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

I’ve been attending a lot of weddings as of late & this week we got to prepare a selection of cheeses for a couple’s upcoming nuptials. Because why shouldn’t great cheese be a part of your big day?! (This particular cheese cake idea  came from Hitched)
Félicitation pour votre mariage!
PS-In my haste to get my last newsletter out, I made a typo. I have been married to my amazing husband for 10 years, not 1 year. Sorry mon cher!

À bientôtj’espère,

Catherine

The Best Moules Marinieres adapted from Serious Eats
A 15 minute dish that’s perfect for summer–imagine yourself on the coast of Normandy…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup hard dry cider or white wine
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Papillon Creme or creme fraiche or aioli
  • 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Additional Papillon Creme for serving
  • 1 loaf rustic sourdough bread, thickly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and broiled until heavily toasted
  • DIRECTIONS

  • 1.

    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and bay leave. Season lightly with salt and heavily with black pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables are very soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.

  • 2.

    Increase heat to high and add cider or wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. As soon as all the mussels are open, transfer mussels to a bowl using tongs. Place pan lid over bowl to keep mussels warm.

  • 3.

    Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter along with aioli or crème fraîche. Return mussels to pot, add parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest, stir to combine, then transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve immediately with additional mayonnaise (and broiled bread.)

Papillon Creme $5.99 150 g
This is the secret ingredient to perfect Moules Marinieres. Substitute Papillon Creme for mayonnaise/creme fraiche.
“To quote one of our tasters, Papillon Creme is “the delicious love-child of Roquefort and velvet.” -Culture Magazine

BEAUJOLAIS SCHOOL
A customer was just remarking on how terrific our Beaujolais selection is. South of Burgundy & north of Bordeaux, I love this quote from Wine Folly: “Beaujolais is kind of like the smallest house in the fanciest neighborhood.”
This week I will break down some of the 10 crus. Now go drink some with your wine map out!

“Before you start, chill the wines, whether light or brawny. You want them not ice cold, but a nice 55˚F to 60˚F, the temperature of a cool cellar. If they smell a little stinky at first, give them time in your glass, or dump the bottle into a pitcher to give it a little air. For reasons that remain mysterious to me, many low-intervention wines like Beaujolais (especially biodynamically produced ones) tend to take a while to show their full selves and last unusually well; a few of the bottles… in fact, tasted better after three days than they did when first opened.” -Culture Magazine

Cotes de Brouilly
Soil is composed of granite, volcanic diorite and schist. Brouilly is the largest wine area in Beaujolais, split into 2 different crus. Cotes de Brouilly is located on the slopes of Mont Brouilly & is more concentrated  from sun exposure than Brouilly which is lower elevation. These are brawny wines with tons of aging potential.
cheese pairing: Chevres des Cremiers

Nicole Chanrion Domaine de la Voute des Crozes 2013, Cote de Brouilly $25
This is cru Beaujolais at its best. Made by the ground-making Nicole Chanrion,  President of the Cote de Brouilly appellation, respectfully considered by her peers to be “La Patronne” or “the Boss” of la Côte.
“Youthfully lurid ruby. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of red and dark berries and floral oils. Spicy, penetrating and emphatically fruity, offering intense, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry flavors along with notes of rose pastille and allspice. Closes silky and very long, with building floral and mineral notes and supple tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s juicy fruit.Drink: 2016-2024.” -92 points, Josh Raynolds

Chateau Thivin 2012, Cotes de Brouilly $28
Cru Beaujolais described best by importer Kermit Lynch:
“…a country squire who is not afraid to get his boots muddy. Handsome, virile, earthy, and an aristocrat.”
Thivin is the benchmark domaine of the Cote de Brouilly, built on an ancient volcano. The steep south-facing vineyards of decomposed pink granite are planted entirely with Gamay. Smoky minerals, dusky blueberries with a hint of orange peel and pepper at a modest 13% alcohol.

Moulin-a-Vent
Called the “king of Beaujolais’ due to characteristic power, structure & longevity. When allowed to fully mature, MaV’s resemble Burgundy or Rhone. Soil consists of a crumbly pink granite called gore.
cheese pairing: Brie

Yohan Lardy ‘Les Michelons’ 2013, Cru Moulin-a-Vent $18
Son of Lucien Lardy, Yohan studied making Pinot in Oregon before returning to his native village in Fleurie. While he himself is young, he works with vines as old as 111 years in a terraced plot surrounded by poppy fields. Concentrated, rich & spicy.

Morgon
On the west side of the Saone River, a short drive NW of Lyon. This is the 2nd largest cru & wines tend to have an earthy depth and firmness resulting from the weathered schist soil. Firm & minerally, these wines age consistently well.
cheese pairing: Epoisses

Guy Breton Vielles Vignes 2010, Morgon $28
Breton produces the least tannic wines of the Gang of Four.
Good unfiltered color. And the aroma? How about some pepper and spice? Aromas of pepper and spice are unusual in the Beaujolais, but Breton says the locals always spot his wines in blind tasting because his terroir typically gives such a perfume. The palate starts out lean and fine, and then you start to feel it penetrate and the flavors sink in.

– Kermit Lynch

Marcel Lapierre 2013, Morgon $30 Although Lapierre died of melanoma at the young age of 60, he left an indelible mark on the region by going organic, shunning yeast & sulfur dioxide.
92 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar  Bright violet color. Intense, mineral-tinged red and dark berry aromas show excellent clarity and hints of licorice and potpourri. Juicy and expansive on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that turn sweeter with air. Clean and minerally on the finish, which lingers with excellent tenacity and silky, slow-building tannins. 

Chiroubles
Of all the 10 cru villages in Beaujolais, tiny Chiroubles has some of the highest vineyards & lowest temperatures. Gentle, lively & floral. Some say Chroubles is ‘the most Beaujolais of all crus.’
cheese pairing: Comte

Fabien Collonge L’Aurore des Cotes 2013, Chiroubles $15
Beaujolais has gotten a bad rap because of Beaujolais Nouveau & Fabien Collonge is a new generation winemaker who wants to change that. 
“Black fruits and rich tannins bring out the fruitiness. A strongly mineral character gives structure, while still allowing room for the red cherry and raspberry fruit flavors.” -90 points, Wine Enthusiast Editor’s Choice

Domaine Cheysson 2012, Chiroubles $22
Robert Parker lists Domaine Cheysson in his book, “The World’s Best Wine Values under $25.”David Schilsknecht of Wine Advocate calls winemaker Jean-Pierre a major talent. Velvety red fruits abound.

Fleurie
In the north of Beaujolais, where the soil is almost exclusively comprised of gore. Refined & silky, the most feminine of the Crus.
cheese pairing: Morbier

Clos de la Roilette 2013, Appellation Fleurie $25

From the village of Fleurie which contains some of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The winemaker in the 1920’s was infuriated by losing status within the Moulin a Vent appellation, and created a label using his race horse Roilette. The land eventually went wild until Fernand Coutert & family bought & restored this estate. The terroir and advanced age of vines account for this wine’s premier status. Pure pomegranate juice and extreme minerality known to be Burgundy quality, at the price of a Fleurie.

Tuesday, Aug 18 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

August 13, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

I hope you are taking advantage of this incredible Northwest summer. Every night I look forward to seeing what is ripe and ready in the garden. This week, tons of tomatoes, padrons & shishitos.

I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary with my incredible husband, whom I met selling a bottle of wine at Spanish Table. We splurged on an amazing dinner at the newly renovated Cafe Juanita, where we ate, of all things, Iberico Bellota Presa with summer truffles. And ended with cheese…
À bientôtj’espère,

Catherine

Gazpacho with Mustard Ice Cream from Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis (sale price $12)


3-star Parisian chef Alain Passard created this unusual recipe for his veg-centric restaurant Arpege. Herrmann Loomis suggests serving this with a chilled Gamay. Mais oui!

6 servings

For the ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard

For the gazpacho:
6 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz cucumber, peeled & diced
1 small onion, quartered
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed & coarsely chopped
1 small clove new garlic
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch fine sea salt

To make the ice cream, first place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Whisk together the milk, cream, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan & cook over medium heat, stirring constantly but slowly in a figure-eight pattern with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon & your fingers leave a definable trace when wiped across it. This should take about 5 minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl. Let cool to room temperature, whisk in the mustard, then refrigerate. (You can make the ice cream up to this point the night before you plan to serve it.

To make the gazpacho, place all of the vegetables & the garlic in a food processor or blender & proces to a coarse puree. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh sieveplaced over a bowl to drain, & refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.

Remove the soup from the fridge.  Discard the juices, & transfer the solids to a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice & olive oil., then season to taste with the salt. Return to the refrigerator. 

Remove the custard from the fridge. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. If the ice cream is too soft to hold a shape, freeze it until it is firm.

To serve the soup, divide it among 6 chilled bowls. Using 2 soup spoons, make quenelles & place one oval in center of each bowl.

BelGioso Burratta $6.99 for 2 balls
This is a great price for a delicious burrata that screams for fresh tomatoes. Burrata originated in Puglia, this fantastic affordable version is from Wisconsin. Burrata is fresh mozzarella filled with cream. Your tomatoes deserve this.

BOOK SALE!
We’ve got a ton of great books, many of which are half off and make great gifts… Come in & treasure hunt Here are 2  of my top picks.

Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Hermann Loomis ($12 reg. $24.95)
“At first glance, Loomis’s eighth cookbook may look like just another collection of French staples explained by a savvy American cook. Upon closer inspection, it’s clear the work, while based largely on traditional French fare, reflects the ever evolving nature of Gallic cuisine, with its strong African and Asian influences…Those bored with straightforward French cooking (ce n’est pas possible! ) and those with more adventurous tastes stand to benefit most from this atypical French cookbook.” -Publisher’s Weekly

Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon by Patricia Wells($16.99, reg. $32.95)
“Robuchon, chef/owner of the restaurant Jamin, is generally acknowledged to be the best chef in Paris, if not all France. Wells, author of Bistro Cooking ( LJ 12/89) and The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris(Workman, 1988. rev. ed.), has spent the last four years working with Robuchon to produce this celebration of his cuisine. Robuchon is indeed a gifted chef, and some of his food is extraordinary. Many of these recipes, like Salmon on a Bed of Creamy Cabbage, are quite easy to prepare, while others, like Rabbit with Fava Beans and Baby Onions, are unmistakably chefs’ dishes (Robuchon has a staff of 40). And foie gras, truffles, and lobster are favorite ingredients. However, the recipes are clearly written for home cooks, with explanations given for the various procedures and helpful sidebars, and it all makes fascinating reading. Highly recommended.” -Library Journal

La Baronne Coste Liste 2012, Corbieres $14.99
One of my favorite customers was in today buying a case of wiue  & I loved his description of the Coste Liste, “It’s like an old friend…”
This is brought in by Indie Wineries from a 16th century family estate. The Baronne family’s mission:

“To translate this passion and respect for the land, reflected in our organic farming methods, showcasing the terroir of this priviledged corner of Languedoc – Roussillon”.
Carignan, Syrah & Mourvedre expressing wild berry, herbs & earth with smoky cedar & pink peppercorns.

Tuesday, Aug 18 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

August 5, 2015
Bonjour Mes Amis,

Attention French wine lovers! We are about to receive A VERY EXCITING SHIPMENT of bottles that you seriously do not want to miss out on. We are taking pre-order’s since we have a limited quantity allotted to us.

First come, first serve.
In order to reserve your bottles, we need your payment information, but you will not be charged until the bottles arrive.
Anticipated arrival is late August.
Call us at Paris at 206-682-0679 or email Sharon at seattlewine@spanishtable.comwith your wish list.

In the meantime, we will have wine flowing tomorrow, Thursday August 5th 4:30-6 pm, for your tasting pleasure. And frommage, bien sur. Read on to see what we’ll be popping open & be sure to stop by!

À bientôtj’espère,
Catherine
_______________________

COLLECTOR’S CORNER

Tessellae Old Vines Carignan 2012, Cotes du Roussillon $13.99  2 cases available
“The 2012 VDP Cotes Catalanes Tessellae is 100% old vine Carignan, aged ten months in concrete tank, that comes from vineyards in Maury and Les Aspres (both of which have schist soils). An old-world styled fruit-bomb, with its massive and decadently-styled blackberry fruit, spice, licorice and plum, this full-bodied effort has no hard edges, beautiful purity of fruit and a seamless texture that stays nicely focused and clean. Enjoy this sexy, voluptuous beauty over the coming 4-5 years (although I suspect it will last longer as well).
Located outside the town of Perpignan, Domaine Lafage is run by the talented Jean-Marc Lafage and covers a number of diverse vineyards spread through the Roussillon. These three cuvees are a joint venture between Jean-Marc and importer Eric Solomon. The all represent fabulous values that warrant attention.” (02/14) –92 Points, Wine Advocate

Chateau Saint Roch Chimeres 2013, Cotes du Roussillon $16.99 2 cases available
“A joint venture between Jean-Marc Lafage and Eric Solomon, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Chimeres is just another example of the brilliance of the 2013 vintage in the Roussillon. Coming all from the schist soils of Maury and a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan that spent 8-12 months in 500-liter barrels and concrete, it possesses a deep purple color to go with savory notes of kirsch and assorted darker berry fruits, pepper, truffle and damp earth. Full-bodied, thrillingly textured and with incredible purity of fruit, this knockout effort stays lively and elegant, with fine tannin, terrific length and no hard edges. It will knock your socks off over the coming 4-6 years.” -93 points., Wine Advocate

Chateau Saint-Roch Kerbuccio 2013, Roussillon $19.99 2 cases available
Jean-Marc Lafage, who I adore, created something very special when he purchased this estate. Lafage grew up near Maury which is where he tended his first vineyard & first made wine. This rugged section of the Roussillon is best known for its aged fortified wines, but that’s all about to change…
“One of the most incredible values I’ve tasted in a long, long time, the jaw-dropping good 2013 Kerbuccio Maury Sec (this is a new appellation dedicated to dry wines from Maury) is 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 30% Grenache, all from the black schist soils of Maury, that spent eight months in concrete tank prior to being bottled unfiltered. Its inky purple color is followed by fabulous aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, violets, crushed rocks and licorice. Full-bodied, seamless and incredibly textured, all while staying fresh and pure, it’s an off-the-charts Roussillon that will drink well for 5–8 years, possibly longer.”-95 points, Wine Advocate
__________________________
THURSDAY WINE TASTING 4:30 TO 6 PM

Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc 2014, Bordeaux $16.99
Fall in love with this white Bordeaux. From a perfectionist winemaker who owns an estate from 1890. This delicious bottling from Kermit Lynch has a juicy roundness (but no oak), a minerals streak & a kiss of lime:60% Sémillon, 5% Muscadelle, 35% Sauvignon Blanc.  Lovely & affordable any night of the week.

Cercius ‘Vielles Vignes’ 2012, Cotes du Rhone $14.99
The strength of the dollar brought the price on this amazing wine down to $15! You can see from the label what makes this unique. From the northern Vaucluse (the right bank of the Rhone), the village of Visan hosts the legendary mistral vines of Provence. What does that do? Well, the winds strain & strengthen the surviving vines, concentrating the luscious fruit. The vineyards are owned by top Grenache producers, Michael Gassier & Philippe Cambie, as well as importer Eric Solomon. Together they have created something quite luscious. No oak, just gorgeous fruit. Boysenberry & spiced blueberry perfume fills the glass, plus a mineral and iron streak. Supple and plush with an earthy licorice finish.
  A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan – which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of Avignon and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it is a quintessential Cotes du Rhone that will deliver the goods for 4-5 years, possibly longer. The leading estate in the potential rich Costieres de Nimes region, these knockout wines are made by the talented Michel Gassier, who is leading the way in this appellation and showing what’s possible when you focus on quality. Both the 2011s (which are as good, if not better than his 2010s) and 2012s are incredibly strong here. (JD)  -91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

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Bresaola

It’s weird how some ingredients get ‘hot’ all of a sudden. But as soon as we ran out of Bresaola, the requests came pouring in. Yesterday, a customer who had just returned from an amazing vacation on Lake Como came in craving Bresaola & ordered half a pound for upcoming dinners with friends & family–tasting it brought him right back. His plan was to serve it traditionally, laid out on a plate with a layer of olive oil & lemon-dressed arugula. I love a few recipes in the Zuni Cafe cookbook for Bresaola salads: with butter lettuce & coriander vinaigrette, with fuyu persimmon, EVOO & balsamic, and my favorite rolled up with fromage blanc on a bed of arugula.

Delice de Luberon Delice de Poivrons Rouge $6.99
From the famed shop in Aix. Provencal red peppers, black olives & capers, garlic & lemon juice. Spread on crostini, toss with pasta, amazing on crab cakes.

Padron Pepper & Goat Cheese Tacos adapted from The Bojon Gourmet
In case you’re not growing your own padron peppers, hop next door to Spanish Table where we get a weekly delivery of fresh padrons grown in West Seattle. Paris Grocery will hook you up with creme fraiche, goat cheese & smoked salt.

Makes four 6″ tacos, 2 servings

2 small tomatoes
salt, as needed
1/3 cup creme fraiche
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint basket padron peppers (available at Spanish Table)
a few pinches of smoked sea salt 
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas (or a corn/wheat blend)
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium-sized ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced
several paper-thin slivers from a red onion
lime wedges
Dice the tomatoes, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and let drain in a sieve while you get on with the recipe.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and a big pinch of salt. Taste, adding more lime or salt if you like. Set aside, or cover and chill for up to a day or two.
Use a pair of scissors to cut the stems off the peppers (their crowns are edible). Rinse the peppers and drain them well. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet set over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the peppers and cook, tossing occasionally, until blistered all over and blackened in places, about 5 minutes. They will pop and spit; lower the temperature if things are getting too crazy. Sprinkle with a few pinches of the smoked salt.
In another skillet, warm the tortillas on both sides until soft and pliable. Place the tortillas on a couple of plates, and build the tacos. I like the following order:
goat cheese
avocado slices
diced tomato
sliced onion
cilantro lime crema
padron peppers

Top with a sprinkle of smoked salt and a few cilantro leaves. Serve immediately, with lime wedges for squeezing over the tops.

Tuesday, Aug 18 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

July 30, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

EXCITING NEWS!!! We’re going to be hosting free wine tastings again!

Stop by tomorrow, Friday, between 4:30 & 6 pm. We’ll have a tasty new cider, a lovely Provencal white, and a summer red open…

À bientôtj’espère,

Catherine

Zucchini and Olive Breakfast Cake, French-Style  recipe adapted from The Kitchn

The French call them cake (pronouncd kek) which refers to anything made in a loaf pan. Served for brunch or as a mid-morning snack, or lunch with a fresh tomato salad. “You won’t find them in a pastry shop or restaurant. Unless you spend time with a French family, you may never encounter them. They turn up at picnics, office parties, potlucks, fund-raisers and funerals.” -NYT

Makes 9×5 inch 1 loaf

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan and drizzling
1/2 pound zucchini,
1 teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Nicoises or mixed Provencal olives, pitted and sliced
Kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with olive oil. Grate the zucchini on the coarsest side of a box grater. Place the zucchini in a colander in the sink, and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let drain while preparing the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl, whisk the minced garlic with the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In a separate, medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and olive oil. Use a rubber spatula to fold the wet ingredients into the dry until barely mixed. Fold in the crumbled goat cheese and the sliced olives.

Press firmly on the zucchini in the colander, pressing out as much water as possible. Quickly fold the zucchini into the batter.

Spread the batter in the prepared loaf pan, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the top with kosher salt. Bake loaf for about 45 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.

Transfer to a rack to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge to release. Turn out loaf onto rack to firm up before slicing, about 30 minutes; using a serrated knife, cut into 3/8-inch slices, then cut into halves or quarters.

NEW FRENCH CIDRE!
Domaine Pacory Poire, Domefront $9.99
Domaine Pacory Cidre Le Costaud, Mantilly $13.99 TASTE ME FRIDAY!

These two new ciders were so delicious we bought a case of each. From the new Domefront appellation in Normandy where “pears are king”, this cider is bright with a touch of baking spices & slightly off dry. The Le Costaud is richer in color & flavor, due to spending 3 months in old Calvados barrels.
Domaine Pacory will make you rethink cider as a simple drink. Rich with malt and cumin seed accents, creamy pear flavors and a subtle sweetness like good chestnut honey, it’s substantial and complex.” -San Francisco Chronicle

Fabien Collonge L’Aurore des Cotes 2013, Chroubles $14.99 TASTE ME FRIDAY!
Beaujolais has gotten a bad rap because of Beaujolais Nouveau & Fabien Collonge is a new generation winemaker who wants to change that. Of all the 10 cru villages in Beaujolais, Chiroubles has some of the highest vineyards & lowest temperatures. Some say Chroubles is ‘the most Beaujolais of all crus.’ Manuel says he can’t wait to enjoy this with some Rosette de Lyon.
“Black fruits and rich tannins bring out the fruitiness. A strongly mineral character gives structure, while still allowing room for the red cherry and raspberry fruit flavors.” -90 points, Wine Enthusiast Editor’s Choice

Commanderie de la Bargemone  2014 Blanc, Cotes de Provence$16.99 TASTE ME FRIDAY!
Nearly all of the wine made in Provence is Rose, with a slim margin of reds (see below). Here’s a chance to taste a lovely rare white. made predominantly with Rolle, and a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc & Grenache Blanc. Fresh nectarine, slightly floral, a dash of Mediterranean sea salt. Serve this with Dungeness Crab or Sole Meuniere.

Chateau Smith Le Petit Haut Lafitte 2010, Bordeaux $43
Darling of the critics, and a bargain at that…90-92pts Neal Martin “This is the second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte, designed to be more Left Bank in style with more Cabernet Sauvignon (55%) in the blend. It has touches of smoke and bell pepper inflecting the black, slightly tarry fruit. The palate has a tannic entry, hints of graphite and bell pepper, very good definition and structure, masculine and classic towards the finish. Very fine.”

92pts James Suckling “This is a new second wine made at Smith Haut-Lafitte, but a different style from the other one called Haut Smith. This is 55 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot. Full and rich with a sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, coffee and fruit character. Ripe and round tannins.

Domaine Tempier Bandol 2012 $48
Tempier is the cornerstone of Kermit Lynch’s portfolio. Dark & inky Mourvedre that exemplifies Provence.
“Tightly coiled, with an iron note around the core of red currant, raspberry and damson plum fruit. Lovely bay, alder and lavender details pervade the finish. Best from 2018 through 2026.” -92 points, Wine Spectator