March 15 Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Paris Grocery News
March 15th, 2012

We got a lot of new products in over the last week, so come in to check them all out! I could only pick out a few favorites to share this week though. Without further ado:

 

Chateau Haut-Mongeat Graves de Vayres Blanc 2010

40% Semillon, 40% Muscadelle, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Light gold in color, this delicious blend is fresh and lively with a palate-cleansing, racy acidity and bright, ripe fruit. The bouquet is highly aromatic with abundant notes of apple, pear, pineapple, and flowers. Drink it as an aperitif or serve with almost any seafood, pork, or chicken. Excellent with spicy dishes! $10.99

Chateau D’Arlay NV Macvin du Jura Rouge

A wine-geek’s wine, Macvin expands our understanding of wine in general and is a fascinating, adventurous treat. One third brandy and two thirds Pinot Noir grape must, this Macvin is held 4 years in casks and one year in old oak before being released. The result is curious, rich, layered dessert wine with plenty of spice. It reveals huge intensity along with some sweetness and glycerin from its red liqueur, with some slight peppermint notes as well. 95 points, Wine Advocate $21.99 350 ml

Tirecul la Graviere Monbazillac 2007 Les Pins

“Tirecul la Graviere is recognized as the top property of the [Monbazillac] AOC. The fame of Chateau Tirecul la Graviere has spread far and wide over the last several years. Most notably, Robert Parker has awarded the property two 100 point scores and compared it with Sauterne’s Chateau d’Yquem. With good acidity and a solid backbone, these wines can last for decades, a rarity in wines from this area of Southwest France. These wines are magical, defining examples of the best that Monbazillac can offer. 80% Semillon, 20% Muscadelle botrytized grapes grown in chalky soil, seeing some French oak. $19.99 500 ml

2009 La Granacha Vielles Vignes

The 2009 La Granacha is made from 100% old vine Grenache (some parcels are nearly 100 years old). Also aged in tank before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, this is the most powerful La Granacha yet made, tipping the scales at nearly 16% natural alcohol. The belief that such a powerful wine can not also be elegant is disproved by the precise, fresh, lively kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with tobacco leaf, loamy soil, and forest floor characteristics. This delicious, deep ruby/plum-colored, round, generous, glycerin-filled wine can be enjoyed over the next several years. 90 points Wine Advocate $14.99

2010 Andezon Cotes du Rhone

The classic cuvee, which has long been selected by importer Eric Solomon, is their 2010 Domaine d’Andezon, a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. While there are critics of Syrah grown in the southern Rhone, even the cynics agree that the old-vine Syrah from the Gard has a special character to it. This wine comes from 40+-year-old Syrah vines and 60+-year-old Grenache vines, bottled unfined and unfiltered after being aged in both tank and concrete. Dense ruby/purple, with a stunning nose of blackberry liqueur and jus de viande (beef/meat juices), its thrilling, intensely pure, full-bodied mouthfeel, good freshness, and striking floral character all combine for one of the very best bargains in dry red wine that readers are likely to find anywhere in the world. 91 points Wine Advocate $14.99

2010 Domaine de Fees

The newest cuvee is from a single estate, located just to the west of Lirac, called Domaine des Fees. Bottled separately, there are 1,000 cases for the US market and this blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, aged completely in concrete tanks, is stunning. Gorgeous notes of roasted meats, Provencal herbs, sweet black cherry liqueur, and licorice as well as spice jump from the glass of this dense, ruby/purple-tinged wine. Fresh, full-bodied and juicy, with a velvety texture, it is a beauty that would be best drunk over the next 3-4 years. Think of it as a Chateauneuf du Pape wearing a Cotes du Rhone mask.90 points Wine Advocate 

$14.99

Cheeses

 

Brillat Savarin

Nirvana on a cracker! One of the most decadent cheeses you will ever eat, Brillat Savarin aux truffles is named after the so-called “Father of Modern Cooking.” The decadently creamy texture and milky flavor of this fresh cheese pairs beautifully with the earthy and aromatic black truffles. Definitely a cheese to share with friends! Try it with buttery crackers for a savory snack or paired with fruit for an over-the-top dessert. $46.99

Montealva

Montealva is a semi-soft pastuerized goat cheese form Cadiz. Like Amercian goat cheeses Montealva is creamy, but has more of a moist chalky texture on the pallete. The mild slightly piquant goat tang translates into vibrant lemon tones and a lasting citrus finish. $20.99

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fleur de Sel

This charming chocolate fondue is a mixture of 70% dark chocolate and fleur de sel, adding a little kick to a favorite dessert. The ceramic cup is microwaveable, or it can be heated in a double broiler. Either way, use it to dip your favorite fruits and cookies and see what a little fleur de sel adds to a sweet treat! $22.99

We’ve always loved and carried Traou Mad de Pont Aven cookies from Brittany. Made with salted butter, these thick biscuits are supremely dunk-worthy. But in honor of the Gauguin exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, we’ve brought in these adorable Gauguin tins of cookies. Stop by the Paris Grocery after seeing the masterpieces and pick up a tasty souvenir! $13.99 each

Pan Ducale Bastoncini Biscotti-Cantuccini. I opened these biscotti today for purely scientific purposes, and half the box was gone by noon. The same fate befell all the biscotti pictured above. Seriously addicting, these biscotti have the right balance of crunch and crumble to hold up by themselves or go with your morning coffee. Available in almond or chocolate-hazelnut. $6.24 each.

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook! Archives of this newsletter and other articles can be found on our blog.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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Paris Grocery News 8/6 Saturday, Aug 6 2011 

This is my last newsletter for Paris Grocery. I’d like to say thanks to all of you who came into the shop (sometimes with color printouts of the newsletter, ready to use as a shopping list) and said nice things about the writing. It was always really pleasing to hear that you liked it. To say goodbye, I’m going to feature my all-time favorite things here in the shop. You can bet I’ll be stocking up before I leave.

Thanks for being such fun customers, and bon appétit,

Rachel

Will always be in style, will never break: the Picardie salad bowl.

Duralex “Picardie” Salad Bowl

I love this stuff, especially the iconic Picardie tumblers, which to me represent the Platonic ideal of a glass. We carry the tumblers in four sizes, and we also have ramekins, bowls, and plates. Before I leave today, I’m picking up the salad bowl (only $9!) for all my summer salads and for a never-break mixing bowl.

Trust me, these are delicious.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation. Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. I love this on its own with ice and a hefty piece of lemon peel, but it’s also great in cocktails. $13.99

André Neveu “Le Grand Fricambault” Sancerre Rosé 2010

André Neveu’s vineyards are located in Chavignol, on the silex soil of Sancerre’s hillsides. This exquisite, highly aromatic pinot noir rosé reflects this flinty terrain. Light yet concentrated, it exudes aromas of fresh strawberries and offers unbelievable minerality. While any day of the week, you might find me sipping any one of our incredibly tasty value roses, this is the one I’d really like to treat myself to. $24.99

Alpha Loire Domaines “Sables Blonds” Touraine Rouge 2009

This 100% Cabernet Franc is loaded with minerals and notes of earth and dark berries. It’s juicy and lightly tannic, making it ideal for a range of dishes, from pizza to vegetable tarts to flank steak. This is one versatile red, and is a great entry level choice for those wanting to try out cab francs. $9.99

Domaine Pierre Sparr Marquis de Perlade

Made in the traditional method, this sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Macabeu and Chardonnay from the wonderful Alsatian producer Pierre Sparr. Crisp, with lovely notes of green apple and a touch of honey and toast, this sparkling wine complements a big sweet and savory spreads, such as charcuterie, cheese platters, fruit, and nuts. While working here, this became my go-to festive sparkler, so now when I taste it, it reminds me of Christmas, birthdays, and raucous brunches with friends. $9.99

Lovely boxes, amazing teas.

Kusmi Tea

This stuff is so good! FloFab recently sang its praises, noting its beginnings as “the tea of the czars in 1867 in St. Petersburg.” Kusmi is now based in Paris, and its lovely black tea blends, often scented with flowers, citrus, or vanilla, have many fans. The packaging is really pretty, and each box comes with 20 muslin tea bags for $15.99 In stock now:

  • Russian Morning: a classic breakfast blend of China, Ceylon, and India teas.
  • Prince Vladimir: a Russian-style blend of China black teas with lemon, grapefruit, and spices.
  • Anastasia (as in, the princess): Earl Grey with lemon, lime, and bergamot.

Tarragon, Walnut, and Piment d'Espelette.

Mustards!

Oh, yes. Mustard sells like crazy here at the shop, because it is delicious. My favorites are Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon (awesomely vivid green and excellent with meats, vegetables, or in potato salad) and Walnut Dijon (so good on ham and cheese sandwiches). A new item that I’ve been enjoying is the Parfum des Oliviers Mustard à la L’Ancienne au Coulis de Piment d’Espelette (grain-style mustard with Basque pepper). It adds texture and spices to meats. Vive la moutarde!

You can look forward to future newsletters and updates from the rest of the staff of Paris Grocery and the Spanish Table!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden

Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 6/4 Saturday, Jun 4 2011 

Cocchi Americano, Bonal, and Cardamaro: We've got a lot of drinking to do.

Aperitifs @ PG

Now at the shop: some of the latest must-have sippers. Check out this great New York Times article about the aperitif- and wine-based cocktails served at an East Village restaurant.

Cocchi Americano

Bon Appetit declared this to be the summer of Cocchi (pronounced “co-key”), and it’s popping up more frequently in local restaurants. You’ll need a bottle (or two) if you want to maintain your status as a Person of Good Living.

From yet another NYT article:  “This aperitivo – something along the lines of a vermouth – has been made since 1891 from moscato d’asti, a sweet white wine fortified with a touch of brandy, then flavored with gentian, cinchona bark and other bittering aromatics, along with orange peels and herbs. There are any number of similar products on the market, but what has cocktail enthusiasts excited about Cocchi is that it is secretly acknowledged to be the most similar product in existence to the old-formula Kina Lillet.”

The original Kina Lillet had more quinine, so it was more bitter than today’s Lillet, making it much more punchy and interesting when used in cocktails such as the Vesper and the Corpse Reviver. You can also do like the Italians and drink it on ice, with a dash of soda water and an orange slice. ($18.99)

Bonal

The bottles of this apéritif wine feature a picture of a key and the tagline “ouvre l’appétit,” or, open the appetite, which we love. It’s made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it neat, on the rocks with a twist, or use in place of sweet vermouth in cocktails, such as a Negroni, for an extra bitter oomph. There’s also a great cocktail out of Dalva in San Francisco (featured here in the SF Gate) that mixes it with rye and plenty of orange flavors. Yum! ($18.99)

Cardamaro

This Amaro from Piedmont is made with wine infused with cardoon (a relative of the artichoke), blessed thistle (a delightful weed once used to treat bubonic plague; now one of the flavors found in Benedictine liqueur), and other botanicals found on the Bosca estate. It’s reportedly less bitter than many other amaros (“amari”?), with a nutty, spicy, almost wintery quality to it. Try it neat or on the rocks. Showed up this past winter in an incredible cocktail at Poppy; look for it to start popping up on shelves of the more imaginative restaurants and bars. ($20.99)

Dolin vermouth, available in blanc, dry, or sweet.

As usual: We’re stocked with plenty of Dubonnet, Lillet Blanc and Rouge, and Dolin vermouths. Viva l’apéritif!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 9/30 Friday, Oct 1 2010 

While she's certainly learning a valuable skill, I suggest: let's be our own Sally Drapers.

Cocktails @ PG

The few flavors of bitters that we carried in the shop were in such demand that we decided to bring in the complete line of bitters from Fee Brothers. We don’t think the fun-at-home-with-cocktails trend is going anywhere (not with la Niña on the loose again this winter), and we’ve got some great ideas for how to try these bitters in your cocktails, along with our fantastic vermouths, aperitif wines, and garnishes.

These guys know their bitters.

Try all 8 Flavors!

Old Fashioned

For use in Manhattans and Champagne Cocktails.

Orange

Try a “Classic” Martini (2 oz gin and 1/2 oz dry vermouth, dash of orange bitters).

Mint

For use in Mojitos and Mint Juleps.

Grapefruit

An excellent match in cocktails based with Cynar or Campari.

Cherry

Sweeter than the other flavors, this will deliver pure fruitiness to brandy-based cocktails.

Lemon

Promises to add a “snappy citrus taste with a hint of lemongrass” to drinks. Yum.

Cranberry

This newest flavor may take some experimentation. We think its tartness may be an excellent counterpoint to gin.

Rhubarb

The internet has turned up some interesting ideas; they apparently work in cocktails featuring tequila. Here’s one from Portland mixologist Jacob Grier’s blog, Liquidity Preference.

Mexican Martinez

2.25 oz reposado tequila (Chamucos)
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 bar spoon maraschino
2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a slice of orange zest.

And finally, try Fee Brothers Orgeat Syrup (pronounced Or-SHOT): For use in Mai-Tais and Momisettes.

Dolin Vermouths

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation. Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. Excellent both as a mixer and as an apéritif. In Sweet, Dry, and Blanc. $13.99/each

Bonal

This aperitif wine is made from a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp your classic Negroni cocktail.  $18.99/each

And don’t forget, a customer favorite:

Griottines

Famous throughout the world for their freshness and refined taste, these delicious Morello cherries have been pitted and prepared in a Kirsch liqueur. Add to desserts, aperitifs, and cocktails like the perfect Manhattan. We pack them out into 4-ounce containers so you get just the right amount.

Craves @ PG

Paysan Breton butter

I once enjoyed an extremely memorable dinner on a cold dark night in Brittany with an American, a Corsican, and our host, a Spaniard. Go figure. But our meal was very French and très Breton. Along with salmon and whiskey and individual tarts for dessert, the most life changing item on the table was a hunk of buttercup-yellow butter, chock full of crunchy sea salt crystals. We served it up on slice after slice of substantial loaf of rustic brown bread. This stuff slays me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Mini-Cocotte by Lissa Streeter

I don’t even know what more I need to say. Mini-cocottes could not be any cuter or more comforting. Recipes include Spinach Soufflés, Cherry Tomato Tatin, Cherry Raspberry Clafoutis, and Almond Milk Pudding.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/22 Friday, Jul 23 2010 

"Quoi de neuf, docteur?" was the French title of sitcom "Growing Pains". Impress your Friends.

Quoi de Neuf?
Or, “What’s new?” at Paris Grocery

This week we’re really excited to have some amazing new products in the store. Of course, we love everything we already have (even you, hearts of palm who languished all winter just dreaming of being in summer salads!). But it’s thrilling to search through packing peanuts like kids at Noel, to see our purveyors dropping by with new products, and to have our importers sourcing some random hard-to-find item for us. This week we’re celebrating the spirit of the new. We hope you’ll come down to Western Avenue and see us!


Aperitifs @ PG

Ouvre l’appetit!

Bonal

We at Paris Grocery are strong proponents of the aperitif. Delicate, herbal, and thirst-quenching drinks to begin an evening is so ingenious and, well, civilized. We’ve become somewhat obsessed with bringing into the shop ever more obscure varieties of aperitifs on the market (it’s sort of nerdy, we know). The same gentleman who brings us Dolin vermouths brought in some Bonal for us. This aperitif wine is made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp up your classic Negroni cocktail.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!

After whetting the appetite with an aperitif, move on to dinner with one of these delicious new wines.

2008 Chateau d’Orschwihr “Bollenburg” Gewurztraminer Alsace ($17.99)

An attractive Gewurztraminer, with aromas of lychee, rose, and pear. The palate is silky and soft, with savory spice notes lingering on in the lush, off-dry finish. It is concentrated and well-balanced, thanks to the estate’s practices. Yields are limited and no sugar is added back to the fermenting wine despite the cooler growing climate of Alsace. Gewurztraminer is known for its versatility; this wine will pair well with anything from a cheese platter to spicy Thai dishes.

2009 Chidaine Touraine ($16.99)

Not a day goes by that we don’t recommend this wine to one of our customers. It is a perfectly executed and endlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Very aromatic, with fresh citrus notes, it has a chalky texture and a brilliant minerality. It drinks well above its mid-teen price point, rivaling some Sancerres. We’ll be drinking this wine for the rest of the summer, and after you try it we bet you will be, too.

Domaine Huet Vouvray


2007 Domaine Le Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
($31.99)

Like the Chidaine, this single-vineyard bottling also comes from the Loire Valley. But the two wines couldn’t be more different! Domaine Le Huet is a legendary estate, and this dry Chenin Blanc is an impressive bottling. A gorgeous buttercup shade, exotic fruits dominate on the nose and the palate, and the slightly oily texture of a good Vouvray is balanced by a core of minerality. A truly beautiful wine, to linger over with a loved one.

“Pale gold. An expressive, mineral-laced bouquet displays lemon and lime zest, passion fruit, pungent herbs and talc. Juicy but taut, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors, with a strong mineral spine adding lift. Becomes weightier and spicier with air, finishing on a juicy note of yellow plum, with strong sappy, stony persistence. This is still a baby.” 92(+?) points Stephen Tanzer

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own).

2004 Philippe Mur “Clos Basté” Madiran ($29.99)

Like any Madiran, this wine is hefty, with a purple-ink robe and lingering, sandy finish. Nevertheless, it is balanced with robust dark fruit showing through, against a backdrop of earthy, smoke-laced notes.  Philippe Mur worked at the most prominent winery in this appellation before striking out on his own with a tiny organic plot of vines. Fierce and beautiful, this wine reflects its rugged terroir. With 100% Tannat, it is aged 18 months in large barrels. It can age for several more years. Phenomenal with grilled lamb.

Food @ PG
Long summer days require protein and sugar.

Charlie, charcuterie Zen master and co-founder of Zoe’s Meats, dropped by the store today with our usual delivery of salami, finocchiona, spicy coppa, and ham. But he also brought a new product for us to try: Salami De Cacao. This salami is yet another masterpiece. It’s made with cocoa powder, chilis, and garlic for a deliciously complex flavor. Rich, earthy, and almost sweet, with a delicately spicy kick on the finish, this salami will slay you. Amazing! $4.99/quarter lb

Crossings Delivers the Sweet Stuff!

Another beautiful delivery from Crossings Imports arrived on Monday. They’ve become one of our favorite resources for incredible French sweets. Roll call, sweets:

Goat Milk Buckwheat Caramels come in a sweet little “cheesebox” with nine toothsome caramels made with goat milk and buckwheat. Tangy and textured, they make a great gift. $7.99/box

Goat Milk and Buckwheat Caramels

Individually-wrapped caramels are placed at the counter because we are evil geniuses. We have Fig & Walnut and Fleur de Sel flavors. 99 cents/each

Calissons are 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 cents/each

Madeleines are available for your Proustian pleasure individually-wrapped. 99 cents/each

Gavottes cookies are crunchy cookies of many many thin layers. Try original ($4.99/box) and coeur de praline ($3.99/box).

Marshmallow Ropes
are what all the cool enfants like to snack on. We’re thinking you should try roasting them, too. Try all three flavors: lemon, raspberry, and violet. $1.99/each

Craves @ PG

Le Provencal

A Provençal specialty, this two-tiered goat cheese is a summery delicacy. A layer of fresh chèvre is “frosted” with tapenade, and a second layer, flavored with herbes de Provence, is set on top. With a creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture and a mild flavor, this cheese is perfect for a sunny day and a light Rosé! $8.99/ea


Feed your Mind @ PG

Corkscrewed by Robert V. Camuto

An odyssey into the brave new world of French wines, this book is a celebration of the diversity that makes French wine more than a mere commodity. Camuto’s work is a delightful look beyond the supermarket to the various flavors offered by the true vintners of France.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery