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,


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

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.

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.