Paris Grocery News 5/14 Saturday, May 14 2011 

Manzanita, from Oregon, is a dry goat's milk cheese with a molé-spice coating and an eye-catching shape.

Cheese @ PG

This weekend, it’s the Seattle Cheese Festival at the Pike Place Market! Take a break from the madness upstairs and come visit us and our sister store, the Spanish Table. We’ve stocked our case with tons (seriously, TONS) of cheeses. Here’s a list of some of our freshest wheels, organized by type, which I find is a great entry point for learning about cheese and figuring out what you like.

For more information about all the cheesy happenings, go here.

We just cut into a new wheel of gorgeous Tome de Bordeaux! Picture from Culture Magazine.

Goat’s milk, aged:

Tome de Bordeaux

This goat cheese from the caves of Jean d’Alos wears a coat of fennel, rosemary, and thyme, with a starburst pattern of juniper berries, white peppercorns, and bird’s-eye peppers. The cheese is soft yet compact, with an enticing aroma and a clean, sweet, and earthy flavor. Taste the rind for some texture and powerful herbal flavor! $32.99/lb

Pave de Jadis: goat's milk cheese with an ash rind.

Goat’s milk, young, ash rind:

Pavé de Jadis

So named because of its shape: a pavé is a small paving stone. This goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley is dusted with vegetable ash and has a fudge-like texture. The taste is very clean, mild, and lemony. $16.99/lb

Sheep’s milk, blue:

Roquefort Coulet

This raw sheep’s milk cheese from Pascal Coulet is a superlative example of Roquefort. A  perfectly crumbly and moist texture, with a gorgeous snow-white interior and elegant green veining. The flavor begins slightly mild, then sweet, then smoky, and fades to a salty finish. Wow! $34.99/lb

Sheep’s milk, semi-hard:

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

Samples of Cremeux de Bourgogne on Raincoat Crisps. Something you may just see this weekend at the shop.

Cow’s milk, triple cream:

Crémeux de Bourgogne

A cow’s milk triple-cream cheese from a small family of producers in Burgundy. Rich but not overwhelming, with hints of fresh butter. A fantastic cheese with champagne and fruit– at dessert or any time. We love them on crackers with nuts and fruit, like Raincoat Crisps. $16.99/lb

Cow’s milk, soft, washed rind:

Langres

This cow’s milk cheese from the Champagne region has a dense texture and a rich, creamy flavor with distinct notes of sour milk and a long finish. Unlike many pungent washed rind cheeses, Langres is milder and more delicate. Pairs perfectly with French bubbly. $12.99/each

Cow’s milk, washed rind:

Le Maréchal

Le Maréchal is a semi-hard raw cow’s milk cheese, made by hand in a tiny dairy in the small Swiss town of Corcelles-Aux-Payernes. It owes its rustic flavor to the herbes de Provence that are rubbed onto the cheese during the aging process. Named for the cheesemaker’s great grandfather, the village blacksmith (le maréchal-ferrant), this cheese, like the man, has a robust tough-skinned exterior concealing a rather warm heart. $25.99/lb

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Recipe: Roasted Asparagus with Paški Sir Saturday, May 7 2011 

Awesome Croatian goodness.

Ok, maybe not much of a “recipe.” But this is our new favorite cheese, and this is perhaps the best showcase for it, especially since asparagus is now in season and sitting in pretty little rows up in the Market. From the island of Pag, off the coast of Croatia, this sheep’s milk cheese is a fantastic substitute for Parmesan or Pecorino, and possibly way more interesting. It’s dry and crystalline and nutty, with hints of sage and citrus. Paški Sir evokes a particular terroir; there’s just something a little funky and herbaceous and wild about it. Croatia: I want to go to there. $29.99/lb

Roasted Asparagus with Paški Sir

Buy some pretty asparagus. Go home and get that oven hot. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Olive oil, salt, pepper—you know what to do here. Roast it! Should take around 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and put it on a nice plate. Some people like to drizzle some aged balsamic here (I just go with lemon). Now: Shave the Paški Sir over the spears, as much as you think is necessary. Try to get it nice and thin and ribbony—bigger bits that break off can be popped in your mouth. Now eat it!

Paris Grocery News 4/22 Saturday, Apr 23 2011 

A picture of an Easter window display taken by the bosses last year while vacationing in Burgundy. Chocolate creatures sort of blur the line between charming and creepy, don't you think?

Wine @ PG

For Easter (or just taking advantage of a lovely spring day) brunch, I recommend pink and/or bubbles. (Surprise, surprise.)

Pink and/or bubbly.

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). Peppery and fun.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

Very fresh and zesty, this sparkling rosé from Savoie complements a varied brunch spread. It’s made in the same process as artisanal cider, meaning only one fermentation as opposed to two fermentations  (as is done with champagne and most crémants). 100-percent Gamay, it’s off-dry and unique, with flavors of cherry and ripe apple with a touch of sweetness. It has low alcohol (8-precent) and shows good minerality and acidity in the mouth, with fresh grape aromas in the nose. Really tasty and a pretty, delicate pink color in the glass.

2010 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy “Terre de Maimbray” Sancerre Rosé ($24.99)

Sancerre is usually known for its chalky white wines. Pinot Noir also grows there, however, and the cool climate makes for elegant, lacy rosés that are mineral-driven. Located on steep hills, this family-run estate is thought to be one of the finest Sancerre producers in France. From old vine Pinot Noir, the wine is a lovely faded pink, with a perfumey, floral nose and strawberry and cherry on the palate. While cheap rosés from the Rhône and Provence are wonderful, if you’re a rosé lover, you owe it to yourself to try this exceptional rosé from the Loire.

Food @ PG

Last-minute brunch necessities.

Canterbury Naturals Crepe Mix ($4.99/14-oz.)

You asked for it, and now it’s here! Crepe Mix. Just add eggs and water. And nutella and berries (not really, that’s just my serving suggestion).

Comté de Fruitière ($4.25/quarter lb.)

The crowd-pleasingest cheese ever. This raw cow’s milk cheese from the Jura is aged 5-6 months. It offers a fruit nectar aroma and a more delicate nuttiness than more aged Comté. Almost sweet and bursting with flavors of fresh milk and butter. Great melted,  in salads, or with fruit.

D’Artagnan Duck Bacon ($9.99/8-oz.)

This stuff is insanely delicious. Regulars drop by on weekend mornings to grab a package, along with a bottle of sparkling, and it always gives me a serious case of brunch-envy (it’s a thing, look it up.) Made from Moulard duck, with no nitrates or nitrites or growth hormones or anything. A smoky and rich flavor, with a lean texture. Duck. Bacon. Yum.

There are so many things in this shop for brunch, it’s silly. Jams and honey and cheese accompaniments and olives and chocolates and on and on. We ought to rename ourselves the Brunch Store. Come by and see us for all your weekend snack attack needs!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/15 Friday, Apr 15 2011 

A cheesemonger's wedding cake.

Cheese @ PG

We’ve brought in some specially-priced wheels of our favorite cheeses.

Fleur Verte

Absolutely one of our best-selling cheeses, now at 5 dollars less a pound. This fresh goat cheese from Périgord is adorned with thyme, tarragon, and pink peppercorns, and it has a dense and cake-like texture. The flavors are lemony and boldly herbaceous. A beautiful cheese to look at and to eat—I call it the “wedding cake” of cheeses. ($24.99/lb)

Chistou: du vache et du brebis.

Chistou

Istara is well-known for their sheep’s milk cheeses from the Basque region. This one’s fun for being a mix of 50-percent sheep’s milk and 50-percent cow’s milk. It’s semi-hard, with a creamy texture. We found it slightly piquant, with equal notes of grassiness and nuttiness. ($15.99/lb)

Tomme de Savoie

A cow’s milk cheese from the mountainous Savoie with a distinctly raw milk flavor: beefy, hazelnutty, and pleasantly milky. With about 30-percent fat content, this is the most creamy “low fat” cheese out there. Enjoy with liver-stoked pâtés and light red wines such as Beaujolais. ($9.99/lb)

Can't go wrong with Camembert.

Camembert le Pommier

Earthy, buttery, and aromatic, this classic cheese from Normandy has a tender crust that crumbles when spread. Small production, high quality milk from family farmers, and superior ripening by affineur Herve Mons make this a superior Camembert to the many mass-market varieties out there. ($7.99/each)

Books @ PG

Two of my favorites from our latest shipment of new releases and new sale books.

Patricia Wells: food legend and cookbook factory.

Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

After a long winter of hot, fill-me-up dishes, a Big Salad for a meal sounds just about right. There’s a lot going on in this book beyond the obligatory frisée aux lardons recipe; I spot influences from specific French regions, Europe, Asia, and California spa cuisine. There are plenty of meat and seafood-based recipes, along with a few soups, starters, and even a section on bread and other accompaniments. And I have a weakness for cookbooks that don’t skimp on the colorful photos—I often copy the gorgeous plating ideas, even if I’m just cooking for one!

Adam Gopnik: If Molière had been born in Philly.

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, author of the New Yorker‘s “Paris Journal” from 1995-2000. One of my absolute favorite books, and certainly one of the most wry and tender books on living in Paris (in a crowded and sometimes mediocre field of rosy-hued memoirs). Brand new, but only $9.99!

“The chronicle of an American writer’s lifelong infatuation with Paris is also an extended meditation—in turn hilarious and deeply moving—on the threat of globalization, the art of parenting, and the civilizing intimacy of family life. Gopnik’s insights are infused with a formidable cultural intelligence, and his prose is as pellucid as that of any essayist. A brilliant, exhilarating book.”  —Francine du Plessix Gray

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/3 Sunday, Apr 3 2011 

The first delivery of rosés! Can you stand it? (You can't.)

Wine @ PG

“April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.”

From “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot

Apparently, perpetual sad guy Thomas Stearns never shopped at Paris Grocery. (Though I love the way he places those gerunds at the end of the line). But it’s hard for us to be cranky about this blustery spring weather when the first crop of rosés has officially arrived at the shop! Like so many shining flowers emerging from the cold bed of winter, these wines glitter with the promise of summer.

Sorry to be so corny. I just really really like rosé.

Chateau L’Ermitage Costières de Nimes Rosé 2010

This Rhône blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mouvedre is a perhaps slightly more fruit forward wine than the Provence rosés. It’s a vivid carmine color, with bright notes of melon and strawberry and a touch of spice and minerals. This is my pick so far for a “summer swiller”: that cheap rose that pairs with just about anything, making it perfect for larger groups getting together for a picnic or bbq. ($8.99)

Domaine Sorin “Terra Amata” Côtes de Provence Rosé 2010

Robert Parker called winemaker Luc Sorin one of the most exciting in the South of France, and his wines are served at some of the finest restaurants in the Côte-d’Azur. They have gained a reputation for being smooth and appealing, making for an excellent match with many styles of cuisine. The Côtes de Provence rosé is their best-known wine. A lovely, dusky pink, it’s light and refreshing, with intriguing notes of herbs. ($11.99)

Triennes Rosé 2010

Primarily made from Cinsault, the juice for this Provençal rosé spent only a couple of hours in contact with the skins, resulting in a very pale color and delicate texture. It’s  bottled early to maintain its vibrant freshness. This one is my favorite, and I think it’s one of Sharon’s, too; it’s just such a beautiful wine. Light strawberry and red currant notes, with a vibrant minerality and an ethereal creaminess on the finish. It’s got that Provençal quality that I like to call “fruit and rocks.” ($15.99)

Château du Rouët Côtes de Provence Rosé 2010

Delicate and delicious; a perfect evocation of Provençal-style rosé. Made with a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. The grapes are hand-harvested from volcanic gravel soils that washed down from the Esterel mountain range. We love the curvaceous bottle! ($14.99)

Cheese & Butter @ PG

Le Wavreumont. (Say that five times fast.)

Back in stock!

Le Wavreumont

A newly commissioned cheese for the Belgian city of Liège, made with raw organic cow’s milk from the area farms. Inspired by the long tradition of monastery cheeses, this has a  creamy, palate-coating texture and a complex, eggy flavor. Deliciously snackable! ($25.99/lb)

Perfectly round, perfectly yummy.

Soumaintrain

A cow’s milk cheese from Yonne in northern Burgundy. Like Époisses, the wheels are washed with brine and marc de Bourgogne. Pungent, gooey, rich, mushroomy, and barnyardy- some even say it displays umami. Try it with a Chablis for a particularly blissful experience. George, our resident cheesemonger, is obsessed with this cheese.  ($24.99/each)

Beurre d’Isigny

Isigny Sainte Mère is a well-known brand of dairy products. The milk they use comes from the cows of many cooperatives who eat the nutritious grasses of northwest France all year long, allowing for higher trace amounts of iodine and other minerals. These charming paperboard tubs of sweet, unsalted butter are great for use in baking or just as a spread. ($6.99/each)

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

Paris Grocery News 2/2 Wednesday, Feb 2 2011 

Bright, chilly wines for bright, chilly days.

Wine @ PG

Looking to some whites and a sparkling to lighten the mid-winter stretch.

Chidaine Touraine 2009 ($16.99)

This 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. With the hints of sunshine, we’re starting to look more to crisp whites, and this is one of our favorites. Pair with Le Chevrot.

Domaine Pierre Sparr Marquis de Perlade ($9.99)

Made in the traditional method, this sparkling wine is ideal for festive gatherings.  It 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 cheese platters, fruit and nuts beautifully.  It’s also a super value! Pair with Chaource.

Domaine de l’Idylle “Cruet” Vin de Savoie 2009 ($11.99)

Savoy is a region better known for its landscapes and cheeses than its wines, and that’s a crying shame. Just west of Burgundy, in a cool climate with steep terrain, grow a range of rare grapes, aromatic and bright. Domaine de l’Idylle has been making wines in the village of Cruet since 1840. This one is 100% Jacquère, a native variety that is vivacious and fragrant. Exuding pear, citrus, and floral notes, with bursts of green apple and minerality. The short period of sur lie aging gives a nice complexity and sleek body. A perfect foil to the richness of fondue and raclette, it also makes a wonderful choice for Kir (white wine with crème de cassis). Pair with Raclette.

Cheese @ PG

Old favorites, back in stock.

Le Chevrot

Try this full-flavored goat cheese with a Loire Valley white. Le Chevrot is produced in the Poitou region. It’s wonderfully “wrinkly” rind is fully edible, and the interior is creamy. Le Chevrot displays sweet, nutty flavors with a zesty, almost lime-like finish. ($11.99)

Chaource

The ultimate party cheese! This triple cream cow’s milk cheese from the Champagne region has a slightly fruity taste and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Creamy and buttery, it’s amazing when paired with sparkling wine. ($11.99/each)

Raclette

This is an incredible value! A raw cow’s milk cheese with a supple texture and a full, beefy flavor. Even better when melted to make the traditional warm-you-up dish, raclette savoyarde. ($12.99/lb)

Craves @ PG

J'adore le saucisson.

We love products from Fabrique Delices because you know you’re getting a minimally processed product made without artificial ingredients. Rosette de Lyon is a dry salami made with all-natural pork raised with no antibiotics, no added hormones, and 100% vegetarian feeds. Slice it roughly and snack on it with some crusty baguette, hard cheeses, and olives or pickles. Francois, one of our wine reps, knows this is the real deal, Lyon-style saucisson, and he always grabs one or two when dropping by with wines for us to try.

Gifted @ PG

All dressed up and nowhere to go (thankfully).

This week’s suggestion for a Valentine’s Day gift: make your sweetheart dinner, and make it in 10 minutes. We love this black and white bowtie pasta from Donne del Grano; it’s an artisanal durum wheat pasta that looks as good as it tastes. For sauce, we prefer San Marzano arrabiatta sauce, because a little spice never hurt anybody.

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 1/29 Saturday, Jan 29 2011 

The milk of Tarine cows is used to make luscious Alpine cheeses, such as Beaufort, which is our choice when making French onion soup! Picture from Olive White Photography.

Food (& Cheese!) @ PG

“The onion is the truffle of the poor.”

French Onion Soup (Adapted from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells)

I find this version one of the lightest onion soups I’ve tried; perhaps it’s because the onions are roasted first. Be sure to use good white sweet onions (yellow onions can turn bitter). If this is likely to become a family favorite, it’s worthwhile to invest in traditional onion soup bowls. Makes 2 servings.

1 very large (1 pound) white onion (such as Bermuda), thinly sliced

10 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dry sherry

32 oz unsalted chicken stock, preferably homemade

2-4 slices crusty baguette

2 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Beaufort cheese

1. Heat olive oil and butter in large sauté pan. When butter has melted, add onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook slowly over very low heat for at least 30 minutes until onion is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the sherry, turn the heat to high, and simmer for a few minutes until most of the sherry has been absorbed.

2. Turn on oven broiler. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large nonreactive saucepan.

3. Evenly distribute the cooked onions between 2 soup bowls. Pour in the simmering stock. Place a round or two of bread on top of each; evenly distribute the grated cheese. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil just until the cheese is melted (2 or 3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Wine @ PG

Yay, wine!

St. Cosme Little James’ Basket Press Rouge NV ($12.99)

Another example of a high-end producer (in this case, Louis Barroul, a 14th generation producer of Gigondas) making a delightful low-end wine that we can’t resist. This 100% Grenache is made using the solera system; it’s bright and juicy with moderate tannins. A great, easy-drinking wine!

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie “Cuvee Alouette” Bourgueil 2009 ($14.99)

Another example of a supremely drinkable 100% Cabernet Franc. This Bourgueil exhibits pure fruit flavors, with a delicious earthiness. Low tannins make it quaffable but it still offers great length and power.

2008 Philippe Raimbault “Apud Sariacum” Sancerre ($22.99)

There is no more beautiful expression of Sauvignon Blanc than the wines of Sancerre. The cool climate, chalky soil, and passion of the small producers bring this grape to the height of its aromatic, austere elegance. Philippe Raimbault, a ninth-generation producer, puts enormous care into his small family of wines. This Sancerre has flavors of limestone, crushed rocks, and a heady, enticing florality that is nevertheless retrained. An excellent, refreshing texture for a pure finish.

Craves @ PG

Gratin bowls

We love ceramics from Graupera; the Spanish Table offers many of their pots, tagines, and casserole dishes large and small. New to Paris Grocery are these stout soup bowls ($11.99), perfect for individual servings of French onion soup. The quality of the glazes and materials means they’ll stand up to heating, dishwashing, and even microwaving for many years to come; we also love how these ceramics tend to look better with a bit of use (we think food even TASTES better when cooked in well-used ceramics).

Gifted @ PG

Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells

This week’s recipe came from this classic, easy-to-follow book of bistro favorites by Patricia Wells. She’s an incredible authority on French cuisine, and this book offers up some choice bistro-culture knowledge as well. I want to try Oxtail Terrine (pg. 125), Leek Terrine with Truffles (pg. 82), and Zucchini Crepes (pg. 92). Her recipe for Riz au Lait (pg. 250) looks promising, as well; it calls for orange and lemon zest which always makes things taste better.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 12/11 Saturday, Dec 11 2010 

 

Food En Tube

Wine @ PG

 

Rainy Day Wines

New to the shop: Three unique wines with a bit of richness for the rainy days ahead.

Schroedel Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace ($17.99)

This estate lies in a Alsatian village known for an exceptional microclimate of sunny and dry days, which allows the grapes to ripen gradually for supremely aromatic and concentrated wines. This pink cremant is made with 100% Pinot Noir. We loved this yummy wine.  It presents lovely green apple aromas with a round mouthfeel and toasty notes on the finish.

2008 Albert Bichot Pouilly-Fuiseé ($18.99)

Bichot is a leading producer of elegant Burgundy wines, and this Pouilly-Fuissé is no exception. We found it zesty, we notes of lemon and beeswax. Structured, with plenty of minerals and just a hint of residual sugar, making it an excellent choice to stand up to a creamy winter gratin. A lovely Chardonnay.

2006 Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Réserve ($18.99)

From Jacques Reynaud, the famed producer of Chateau Rayas in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, comes this impressive red. A blend with predominately Grenache, this wine has an initial herbaceous delicacy that explodes mid-palate to an incredible, length finish. It really sneaks up on you! If you love the bold wines of Chateauneuf, you’ve got to try this “baby Rayas.”

Cheese @ PG

Go for the goat.

Chabiquet. By Jacquin, genius of both cheese and fonts.

Chabiquet

Intensely yummy. This fresh chèvre is based on Chabichou cheeses of the Loire Valley. Its fluffy texture makes it a perfect goat cheese for crumbling into a salad. Subtly sweet, delicate notes of lemon, and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. $4.99 each

Bleu de Chèvre

It’s  a goat/brie/blue!  A soft-ripened blue cheese made with goat’s milk. Creamy, buttery, spreadable, and savory! $19.99/lb

Tomme Corse de Chèvre

This rustic tomme from Corsica shows off the flavor of the rough mountain diet of the goats. It has a semi-smooth and textured paste, a fiercely herbaceous flavor, and a wonderful chèvre tang on the finish. $31.99/lb

Craves @ PG

Funky Fallot Mustards

Tasty condiments in attractive packaging are some  of my favorite items in the shop because they’re both fun and practical. I think they make great add-on gifts for food lovers, and you’ll probably want to grab one for yourself while you’re at it. My favorite foods “en tube,” all pictured above: Le Cabanon Harissa, San Marzano Tomato Paste, and Jean Gui Anchovy Paste (get over it, it’s delicious). And Edmond Fallot dijon mustards are a classic; for a more unique flavor choice, consider walnut, blackcurrant, or tarragon.

Gifted @ PG

Stamp Your Way to Paris.

Yellow Owl Workshop makes beautiful handmade objects for an everyday bit of whimsical design. Their limited edition paper goods and stamp sets are playful and charming, featuring simple graphics and pops of color. We love the Paris Stamp Set—a larger stamp with a stylized depiction of the we-love-it-even-though-it’s-a-cliché Eiffel Tower and a smaller stamp depicting a cafe table and chairs, both housed in a sweet little cheesecloth bag. For 10 bucks, this has got to be our favorite Francophile stocking stuffer!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 10/9 Sunday, Oct 10 2010 

We love you, Cab Francs. No matter what they say.

Wine @ PG

This week we’re featuring some fantastic values in Loire Valley reds. These are all 100 percent Cabernet Franc, a grape that is quite popular in France, especially in the Loire Valley, but is better known stateside as a grape used in blends, particularly those from Bordeaux. Depending on production practices, the grape can produce fruitier or more herbal/vegetative flavors than other varietals. It’s also noted for a certain floral quality, especially violets. Some palates, unused to these qualities, may find themselves off-put by a Cab Franc wine, but we think they’re worth getting to know better. They are typically medium-bodied and easy to drink , but with a cerebral, what-is-that-exactly quality. And at  these prices, you can’t go wrong.

Sables Blonds Touraine Rouge 2009 ($9.99)

This Cabernet Franc is loaded with minerals and notes of earth and dark berries. It’s juicy and lightly tannic: perfect for flank steak. We liked this wine so much that we brought in a case of it to compete with our larger buys of Côtes du Rhone and Bordeaux; like those more typical options, this is one to grab for any simple cold-weather dish.

Saumur Rouge “Les Epinats” 2009 ($9.99)

This Cab Franc uses grapes from a single vineyard that is abundant with silex, giving the wine a dense backbone of minerality. A lovely transparent ruby color in the glass, with delicate aromas of violets. Bright and lively on the palate, with a hint of cherries and licorice. Just enough grip and a supremely balanced finish:  this wine really offers bang for your buck.

Bourgueil  Rouge “Beauregard” 2009 ($10.99)

We tasted this directly after the Saumur, and while it had some similarities in terms of texture, its flavors were slightly more complex. Dark notes of blackberry brush up against something like pencil shavings. Bourgueil is known for being a bit more rustic than its neighbor Chinon, but we sort of like that: this wine really sings when paired with the right foods. The bright acidity and herbal notes of tarragon make it a natural with lamb sausages.

Cheese @ PG

Rogue River Blue

This cow’s milk cheese from Sonoma is aged for one year in “Roquefort-like” caves. It has vibrant hints of hazelnuts and sweet pine, with a clean, woodsy finish. Each wheel is wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in pear brandy, giving the cheese a supremely creamy texture.

$38.99/lb

$9.75/quarter lb

Fleur d’Aunis

This washed rind semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Charentes-Poitou is rich, creamy, and slightly nutty. The rind is brushed with Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made with Cognac. A easy cheese for snacking, with just enough complexity.

$15.99/lb

$3.99/quarter lb

Folie Bergere

A fresh goat cheese from Belgium with a savory coating of herbs. The dense texture is similar to a dry ricotta, and it has a less mild tang than other chèvres. Earthy and delicious!

$32.99/lb

$8.25/quarter lb

Back in stock: we have fresh wheels of Morbier (the washed rind classic with a center line of ash), Cantalet Dore (the “French cheddar” that’s so good with apples), and Gabietou (the dreamy cow’s and sheep’s milk cheese created by Herve Mons).

Craves @ PG

Candied Orange Peel Strips

Imported from France, these have a fantastic balance of sweet and tangy flavors and a delightfully toothsome texture. Packed in a touch of syrup to retain moisture and freshness. In addition to myriad baking and confectionary uses, candied orange peel strips make a fantastic accompaniment to cheese or dark chocolate. People have also been known to just eat them, one by one, until they are all gone: but these tales may just be the stuff of sweet tooth legend.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

This attractive and rather huge book promises over 300 recipes from Greenspan’s classic “French dinner table” repertoire . The book is organized extremely well, with nibbles, vegetables, and desserts getting just as much attention as beef, chicken, and seafood. The recipes are surprisingly simple. In fact, Julie Child once told Greenspan,  “You write recipes just the way I do.” High praise from a true master!

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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