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

Advertisements

Paris Grocery News 9/16 Friday, Sep 17 2010 

We predict red wine, with a chance of movie nights.

Wine @ PG

New to the shop: a cider that delivers pure apple goodness, and a sparkling rosé from an underrepresented region that totally charmed us.

Sidre Doux & Bugey Cerdon

2008 Eric Bordelet Sidre Doux ($13.99)

Eric Bordelet took over his family’s estate and orchards in 1992, and he is passionate about elevating the standards of cider production and bringing cider to the export market and restaurants. In addition, his ciders are produced organically and biodynamically. Although sweet in comparison with the Brut, off-dry would be the appropriate description for this bright and delightful sparkling apple cider. The Doux is produced from the same vats as the Brut, but a small amount of residual sugar is left in while the former is fermented dry, leaving just a touch a sweetness to round out the cider on the palate. At 4-percent alcohol, it’s a remarkable drink for aperitifs or light meals.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

Very fresh and zesty, this sparkling rosé from Savoie is a fabulous addition to just about any occasion. 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 cremants. 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.

We’ve also brought in two fantastic value wines for the transition to fall. We’re already craving stews and roasts and gratins, and we wanted to stock up on tasty bistro-style reds that we could reach for without too much thought. Get those ovens and stovetops working again, pour yourself a glass, and settle in for a rainy night.

Value Reds!

2009 Chateau La Croix du Duc Bordeaux ($9.99)

A blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has a soft texture with bright boysenberry and black cherry flavors. Smoky notes of chocolate and menthol provide punch and structure. This Bordeaux has terrific balance and a mineral finish, and it will stand up to hearty winter meals

2009 Mas de Boislauzon “La Chaussynette” Vin de France ($9.99)

The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussey are the sixth generation to run the esteemed Mas de Boislauzon estate. They’ve continued to build their reputation with superlative Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhone wines. La Chausseynette is essentially declassified Chateauneuf, made with a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. It’s bright and juicy, with lively notes of blackcurrant and blackberry and a peppery, spicy finish. A red to reach for all season.

And finally: we still have some bottles left of our favorite Summer Swiller: the 2009 Abel Clement Rhone Rosé ($7.99). It’s fresh and light on the palate, with notes of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. Perfect for a meal of pasta with late-summer tomatoes. Get it while it lasts!

Craves @ PG

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spreads Line Up For Battle

It’s the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread Wars of 2010! Who will emerge victorious: Nutella, Noisette+Cacao, Nocciolata, or Loacker ?  To the victor go the spreads.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

The French Country Table by Laura Washburn

This is exactly what we’re looking for in these suddenly cold, grey days. A winter’s worth of perfectly simple-to-execute bistro dishes, ranging from soups to meat to gratins to dessert. These are the recipes you’ve always meant to work into your repetoire: cassoulet, ratatouille, tartiflette, gratin dauphinois. Hopefully you’ll still be hungry by the holidays, because the Chocolate Chestnut Tarte would be the perfect merry sweet. Also, the photography by Martin Brigdale is enough to make you chuck your fancy flatware sets and all-white plates for  mismatched antiques and vintage tableware.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 8/20 Saturday, Aug 21 2010 

There goes Tin Tin, unearthing the mysteries behind Burgundy and Bordeaux. (But we don't recommend sharing your wine with your pooch.)

Wine @ PG

Chateau de Campuget Costières de Nîmes Blanc ($9.99)

Nîmes is one of the most charming towns in France I’ve ever seen, and their wines fit the setting. This delightful white is a blend of Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne, and White Grenache. Light and direct, balanced and limey. Delicious citrus peel, green apple and floral notes. Clean, breezy finish.

François Chidaine Vouvray ($24.99)

A lovely Chenin Blanc from the maker of our favorite Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. François Chidaine again shows his craftsmanship with this aromatic wine that holds your attention from the rounded start to the bright, mouthwatering finish.

“Greenish yellow. The stoniest of these 2008s, displaying scents of Meyer lemon, orange, melon and nectarine, all underscored by zesty minerality. Very pure and focused in the mouth, offering juicy pit fruit flavors, a hint of honeydew and refreshing citrus zest notes. Becomes richer with air and finishes with excellent precision and juicy persistence.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

Bergerie de l’Hortus Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé ($17.99)

A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, this wine is perfect for lovers of Rhône rosés! Full bodied, defined, with ripe red fruit and a touch of pepper. The minerality really shines through at the finish. Refreshing and beautifully balanced, its weight makes it a great match for heartier fare, such as cured meat and grilled seafood.

Domaine d’Eole Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé ($14.99)

This wine comes from a family-run vineyard in Provence. The vines on their 40ha are raised organically, and the grapes are hand-harvested. This rosé is slightly creamy, with plush cherry and berry flavors. The acid is balanced though, with a zippy vein running through the ripe fruit. Come get it while the sun still shines!

Domaine de Piaugier Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Sablet Rouge ($14.99)

Sablet sits just down the road from Gigondas in the Rhône Valley, and is equally blessed with diverse and interesting soils. Jean-Marc Autran is the fourth-generation winemaker for this family-owned estate, and the family’s passion and experience shows in the quality of their wines. The Sablet Rouge is mostly Grenache, with about 30% Syrah. It is superbly balanced, with great texture. The sweet dark fruit is very aromatic, and the fruit gives way to a brooding mid-palate. The finish is persistent, but not heavy. Overall, a delicious wine and an amazing value.

Cheese @ PG

We’ve brought in some new cheeses this week, and none of them are French. Mais pourquoi? you ask, Gallically indignant. Parce que they are just that good. The first two are from Belgium, France’s friendly neighbor to the north. The last is from Italy, and we’re sure you won’t have an easy time finding it anywhere else. These are special cheeses, and we’re excited to bring them to you. Tasting is believing, and we’re generous with samples: we hope to see you in the shop soon!

A blue-veined cheese for blue-blooded cheese lovers.

Grevenbroecker

How the cheesemaker produces the attractive paste of this Belgian blue remains his secret, but it’s most likely formed by slowly layering the curds among sprinkles of penicillium, without ever piercing the cheese. Fudgy, buttery, and appealingly mellow.

$32.99/lb

$8.25/quarter lb

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

$6.49/quarter lb

Speziato Al Tartufo

A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Italy that we couldn’t resist. Black truffles dot the interior, and the aromatic rind is dusted with black truffle oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s creamy and delicately woodsy, and you won’t find it anywhere else.

$27.99/lb

$6.99/quarter lb

Food @ PG

Whether or not the sun shines, we’re still thinking in terms of the easy-does-it, less-is-more summer cooking routines. This week we brought in some new items, and also got some of our customer favorites back in stock, that fulfill the promise of savory flavors and quality meals without taking too much effort.

Rillettes du Périgord from Fabrique Delices isa delicious spread made from duck meat that’s been simmered in spices, juices, and fat, so the meat can soak up as much flavor as possible. Serve with cornichons,  mustard, and
crackers. We like the convenient 7-ounce containers, so that you get just enough to share or save what’s left for yourself.

Escargots In-Shell with Garlic Butter from White Toque is the easiest fancy frozen food we’ve ever seen. Authentic wild Helix snails are prepped and in shells with a divine garlic butter with parsley and red pepper. Just pop the tray in the oven and in 10 minutes, you’re a gourmand.

Mediterranean Fillo Quiches, also from White Toque, make a great appetizer with their summery flavors. Each package comes with 4 each of the following flavors: Artichoke and Sundried Tomatoes; Pepper, Olives, and Feta; and Spinach and Cheese. If you want to make your own fillings, we also carry White Toque’sMediterranean Fillo Quiches, which includes 15 fully baked mini shells, in which you can make your own snacks or desserts.

Cucina Fresca is a local company that makes all natural, small-batch fresh pastas. This week we brought in two of their awesome flavors: Four Cheese Tortellini and Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli. Grab a can of San Marzano tomatoes or a Shepherds Chevre goat cheese log for an easy sauce and you’re set for a late summer meal.

Craves @ PG

Pink Peppercorns! Packed out in 8-ounce containers.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

One Pot French by Jean-Pierre Chalet

A collection of classic recipes with great coverage of the basics. With this cookbook, it is easy to master authentic French recipes.

Paris Grocery News 7/15 Thursday, Jul 15 2010 

We understand, Betty Draper. We don't feel like cooking either.

Recipes from two cookbooks on our shelves
Items available in the shop are in bold.

This week we went to our bookshelves to find some inspiration for cooking in this hot weather. We were thinking of the fresh and savory flavors of seafood and shellfish in simple salads and sandwiches that can be made to share or made to take along for a picnic. Here are two that we found that also happen to involve many of our favorite pantry items (go figure).

Recipe from Rice Pasta Couscous: The Heart of the Mediterranean Kitchen By Jeff Koehler

 Rice Pasta Couscous

Camargue Red Rice Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 cup Camargue red rice
1 cup long-grain white rice
4 plum tomatoes, stemmed and chopped
2 cucumbers , peeled and chopped
36 green olives
3/4 extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
Pepper and dijon mustard, to taste
24 to 36 cooked jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise

In a large pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add 2 pinches of salt and the red rice and boil until al dente, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, in another pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the white rice and boil until al dente, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

In a large bowl, combine the two rices with the tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, add the oil and vinegar and whisk until cloudy. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and whisk again until blended. Whisk in just enough of the mustard to taste.

When ready to serve, toss half of the vinaigrette with the rice. Divide the rice equally among six bowls, mounding the rice, and then place the shrimp and egg quarters over rice. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top.

Serves 6.

Recipe from Nirmala’s Edible Diary by Nirmala Narine

Sardines Stuffed in French Baguettes

Nirmala's Edible Diary

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 small red jalapeño or cayenne chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 16-ounce can sardines
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
1 12-inch baguette (available Fridays and Saturdays!), halved crosswise and sliced open horizontally
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Slices of tomato (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sardines (along with whatever sauce they may be packed in), oregano, parsley, and lime juice. Stir well, mashing up sardines, and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make sandwiches by spreading the sardine mixture on the bottom of the bread, adding the lettuce and tomatoes (if desired) and replacing the top. Slice into smaller sandwiches, if you like. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

2008 Domaine de Laballe Cotes de Gascogne ($9.99)

This Cotes de Gascogne is pure and bright, a reminder of the freshness of spring. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and French Colombard, it has the signature grassy, herbal aromas rounded out by soft grapefruit and lime. It is refreshing and pleasant, ideal as an aperitif but also a versatile table wine. Try it with shellfish, or with the mild heat of Vietnamese dishes.

2009 Domaine Le Clos des Lumières Cotes du Rhône Rosé ($9.99)

A fun, medium-bodied Rhône rosé, made from Cinsault (45%), Grenache(45%), Mourvedre (15%), and Syrah (10%). With ripe strawberry and floral notes, the wine shows nice persistence and a hint of spice at the end. You’ll want to drink it all summer, and long into the fall.

2007 Domaine Sainte Eugenie “Le Clos” Millesime ($8.99)

An unforgettable blend of Merlot (45%), Carignan (20%), Grenache Noir (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon. From an estate in Corbières, this wine exemplifies the traditional, sun-drenched countryside wines of Southwestern France. Fairly full bodied but with an incredible suppleness, it finishes with freshness. Red fruit flavors are countered by aromatic spices, and a light presence of oak. Tobacco and cedar are integrated into the structure with elegance. Excellent with summer fare such as barbecued beef, flavorful sausages, and terrines.

Le Clos and Les Raisins Gaulois

2009 Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Gamay ($12.99)

Marcel Lapierre is one of the “Gang of Four” rebel winemakers in Beaujolais, a group of vitners dedicated to making natural, delicious wines and bucking convention and appellation when necessary. Despite his disregard for the system, he is one of the most respected producers in France, highly regarded by wine critics, importers, and fellow winemakers. His Raisins Gaulois Gamay is made from the young vines in his Morgon Cru Villages vineyard. Absolutely charming, it is grapey and fresh, with spicy back cherry notes a little dustiness. Though not an “official” Beaujolais, it shows how great these light-hearted wines can be. It is the perfect summer red.

2006 R. Dubois et Fils Cote-de-Nuits-Villages
($14.99)

An estate Pinot Noir from one of the top subregions in Burgundy. A lovely perfume of rose and cherry greets you as you open the bottle, and the bright cherry shows up again on the palate. The fresh fruit is supported by a bit of spice and earthiness, which linger pleasantly on the palate. Another great choice for the warmer days, it pairs well with charcuterie, smoked salmon, and washed rind cheeses.

Craves @ PG

Ketchup, with a twist!

The Dulcet line of ketchups comes in three flavors: Peppery Moroccan, Sweet Orange Chili, and Mild Indian Curry. They’re an easy way to spice up your hamburger and frites!

Powerhouse Pantry @ PG

Connetable Sardines

These multi-tasking sardines can be used in pastas, salads, hors-d’oevres, and the sandwich recipe at left. They are available in Olive Oil, Lemon, and Mustard.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/8 Sunday, Jul 11 2010 

"Prise de la Bastille" by Henri Paul Perrault (1928) Perrault's Prise de la Bastille. Happy Bastille Day!

It’s hot!

There’s not much else to say, is there? Let’s jump right in, because we’ve got a ton of ideas for the perfect hot weather wines and treats. If you can take these ideas and somehow add a hammock, a beach, or even a stretch of concrete in the city made for resting, all the better.

Also: Bastille Day is next Wednesday, July 14. There’s a big celebration at Seattle Center this Sunday, July 11, featuring music, art, wine, and the World Cup final on a giant screen. Festivities begin at 10:30 am and last until 6:00 pm. For more info, go to seattle-bastille.org

We’re also big fans of Le Pichet’s annual bash with live music, a fantastic “street food” menu, and usually a rousing sing-along of Le Marseillaise. Held on the actual holiday, Wednesday, July 14, starting at 6:00 pm and lasting until the wee hours.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!
The Reign of the Rosés

I’ve already waxed poetic about rosé wines in a previous newsletter. I don’t think it is any secret that we all adore this delicately hued wine. We drink them year-round, but there’s something that is just so right about drinking rosé while the sun bathes your skin in a warm glow of belated summer. With a whole crop of 2009s in, I thought it was a good time to introduce you to some of the new members of our rosé garden.

2009 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($39.99)
The AOC of Bandol owes its distinction to Domaine Tempier. Lucien and Lulu Peyraud inherited the estate from Lulu’s father in the 1930s, and their passion for this plot of land along the Mediterranean inspired their neighbors and brought the likes of Kermit Lynch, Paula Wolfert, and Alice Waters to their doorstep. Today, Bandol’s Mourvedre-based Rosés are among the most sought after rosés in the world for their ability to age, their complexity, and their incredible texture. Domaine Tempier continues to be the leader among its peers, with its rosés regularly scoring over 90 points.

“Very rich and complex, featuring flavors of dried cherry, plum, raspberry, with hints of melon. Chocolate and spice linger on the ripe finish, with a hint of meatiness. Drink now through 2013.” 90 points Wine Spectator

2009 Le Galatin Bandol Rosé ($21.99)
A classic Provençal rosé from an organic estate. The grapes are hand harvested and pressed with the utmost care. With 50% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, and 25% Mourvedre, the wine is pale, with incredibly fresh raspberry and strawberry on the nose. Light, minerally, and crisp, it shows why rosé is so popular along the Côte d’Azur. Absolutely killer with a tomato and goat cheese tarte.

2009 Domaine Lafond Roc-Épine Tavel ($16.99)
Tavel is an AOC that produces only rosé, and is purported to have been Honoré de Balzac’s favorite wine. Located across the river from Chateauneuf-de-Pape, Tavel benefits from having three kinds of soils, one dominated by limestone and slate, another by sand and rock, and the third by the galets roulés. The variety of soils, combined with the complexity of the Tavel blends, make their wines one of the few ageable rosés. This one is a sublime blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, with a touch of Clairette and Grenache blanc, plus a few other Rhone varietals. It is full-bodied, fleshy, with sweet strawberry, raspberry, and licorice notes and a touch of florality.

2009 Chateau de Manissy “Cuvée de Lys” Tavel ($18.99)
In the style of Tavel, this is a muscular rosé with heady fruit on the nose and the palate. What is a little unusual is that is almost equal parts red (Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan) and white (Clairette, Piquepoul, Bourboulenc) grapes. The gifted young vitner, Florian Andre, convinced the religious order who owned Chateau de Manissy to let him work their 40-85 year old vineyards. I doubt they have regretted that decision, as this Tavel is pure, focused, and elegant. A lingering minerality balances the plush fruit. It stands up to a variety of dishes.

2009 Pascal et Nicholas Reverdy “Terre de Maimbray” Sancerre Rosé ($24.99)
Unlike Bandol and Tavel, 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.


Cheese @ PG

Snack Attack!

If you’re a true Seattleite, you’re probably already complaining about the heat. And you may be experiencing a sad reduction in appetite after all these cold months where bulking up was a biological necessity. This week we’re featuring our favorite cheeses for a simple snack, where the only accompaniment need be a few slices of charcuterie, some olives, and a glass of rosé. Most of these cheeses do double duty, working just as well when melted in a number of summer recipes. Enjoy the heat, and for the delicate among you, take heart: it’ll only last a couple of weeks.

Valée d’Aspe
This wonderfully earthy raw sheep’s milk cheese is crafted by Basque artisans in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Firm, but not flaky, this cheese evinces its mountainous terroir with savory notes of nuts and olives, a vibrant tanginess, and a classic grassy finish. Wonderful with charcuterie and olives.
$5.99/quarter lb

Bleu du Bocage
This goat’s milk blue from Vendée in western France has become an instant staff favorite. Enticing meaty aromas and a nutty yet clean finish, with a more delicate bite than some other blues. Melt-in-the-mouth texture. Melt it on lamb burgers!
$9.49/quarter lb

Tome Jacquin

A deliciously fudge-like texture and a mildly grassy goat tang make this a cheese to swoon over! The layer next to the distinctive rind on this chèvre from the Loire Valley adds a buttery, more aged flavor. An unctuous finish on the palate.
$5.79/quarter lb

Rouge et Noir Camembert

Yellow Buck Camembert has a soft and buttery texture, with a nutty tanginess. It was reintroduced by the Rouge et Noir label to commemorate 100 years of making Camembert , which have always been made with authentic Old World cultures.
$8.49/wheel

Shepherds Chèvre Logs
This domestic fresh goat cheese won us over with its perfectly semi-soft and spreadable texture. Made in small batches with Grade A hormone-free milk. Try it in pasta, salads, savory tarts, or alongside fresh fruit. Five flavors: plain, peppercorn, garlic herb, tomato basil, and herb spice.
$3.99/each

Seafood and Meat @ PG
Get your protein.

New this week, and perfect for picnics and simple snack plates:

Coeur de la Mer Boquerones
These marinated white anchovies are sustainably harvested in Oregon. They are ready to enjoy; serve them up as a tapa or add them to salads or pasta. Try all three flavors: traditional, chili, or garlic and spices. $10.49 for a 7-ounce pouch.

Creminelli Sausages

We love charcuterie from the renowned artisans at Creminelli. We’ve brought in two new flavors at a terrific price point. Salami Piccante is the real pepperoni deal, a spicy pork salami made with paprika and hot peppers. Pizza night is calling. Salami Casalingo, or “household” salami, features the merest amount of salt, pepper, and spices to let the pork flavor shine through. A fantastic addition to a antipasto plate. $9.99 for a 5.5-ounce link.

Craves @ PG

Picholine Olives

We pack out several types of olives from bulk, so that you can get the freshest flavor. We love Picholines for their juicy, fruity snap- perfect as a snack with an aperitif.

Feed you Mind @ PG

The Provencal Cookbook

Guy Gebba, a chef and teacher at Chateau de Berne in the Var region of Provence, guides you through the basics of Provencal cooking and living. Beautiful photos and surprisingly simple recipes, perfect for the home chef who is feeling the heat.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/2 Saturday, Jul 3 2010 

How to Taste Your Way Through the Tour de France

France is more than ready to forget about the World Cup, even though it is barely halfway done. Luckily, we’re on the eve of another great sporting event for Europhiles: Le Tour de France! Inspired by the cyclists’ route, we’ve organized a tour of our wines and cheeses. You’ll be able to follow the bikers as they travel through the peaks and plains of France. Winning teams will come and go, but France’s culinary delights will always be there.

Recapturing national honor off the soccer field.

Like the fearless riders, we begin our tour in France’s northerly neighbor, Belgium, with Lindeman’s Faro Lambic ($5.99). Lambic is a classic Flemish ale with a wheaty flavor profile. Created by spontaneous fermentation, the Faro Lambic is sweetened by Belgian candi sugar, following a traditional recipe from the bars in Brussels. Fruit and caramel aroma, balanced by subtle complexity and refreshing acidity. The flavor starts sweet, with suggestions of brown sugar or orange marmalade, and finishes with crisp tartness. Like a cross between a beer and a cider.

From there we drop down to Reims, one of the famous villages of Champagne. One of our favorite Champagnes is from this village: Henri-Abelé Brut Champagne ($42.00). Over 90% of the grapes for this Champagne comes from Cru villages. The wine is aged for four years in the bottle before being released, and the quality of the grapes allows the bright aromas of green apple and citrus to linger on among the notes of brioche and almond. We were lucky enough to get a few bottles of this Champagne, as only a limited number are sold to the U.S. each year! 90 points Wine Spectator

Next, we move to Montgardis in the Loire Valley, home of the Cone du Port Aubry ($9.25/quarter lb). This superlative raw goat’s milk cheese from affineur Herve Mons has a flavor that starts buttery and mushroomy, then fades into a pronounced acidity and nuttiness. Slightly pliable and crumbly texture. This will pair conveniently well with the Henri-Abelé Champagne!

The route then takes us to Burgundy. (Oh darn!) Seeing the rolling hills and pristine vineyards will quickly get you in the mood for the 2007 Domaine Arlaud “Roncevie” Burgundy ($24.99). Father, sons, and sister run this natural estate by the village of Gevrey-Chambertin. The Roncevie is 100% Pinot Noir, a pure and persistent bottling from a graceful vintage. It is a steal, outclassing wines from the villages-level appellation.

Alpine heights are the next obstacle for our fearless riders, and they will surely be craving a refreshing drink, like the 2009 Domaine L’Idylle “Cruet” Vin de Savoie ($10.99). 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. Exudes 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).

Being so close to Switzerland, you may as well indulge in the Scharfe Maxx ($6.75/quarter lb), a slightly smoky, deeply beefy, and immensely tangy Swiss cheese. Aged for 6 months, this thermalized cow’s milk cheese is washed with brine and herbs, giving it a powerful and sharp (scharfe) flavor and a dense, creamy texture. A fantastic melting cheese!

There will be a stop in Chambéry, the birthplace of Dolin Vermouth ($13.99). 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.

Looping up to Valence, the cyclists will speed through Montelimar before heading to the Pyrenées. Montelimar is known for its delicious Nougat. This Provençal treat made from almonds and pistachios are great with the Château de Pena Muscat de Rivesaltes ($12.99/375mL). A late harvest Muscat is a beautiful way to start or end a meal. Full bodied with a balanced sweetness, it exudes light floral notes, exotic fruit aromas, and orange rind. Try it and you’ll see why this wine is prized in the Pyrenées and beyond.

The finish line will be in sight when the tour arrives in Pau. Raise a glass to a race well ridden with the 2005 Chateau Montus Madiran ($37.99). Quite possibly the best wine from Madiran, this blend of Tannat (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) is made by Alain Brumont. It is a lusty wine, its inky color suggesting the richness on the palate and the nose. Aromas of toasty blackberries, leather, and oak make a complex and deep bouquet. The wine is firm, with well-integrated flavors of blackberry, raspberry, smoke, and clove. The finish is superb, lengthy and flavorful. This wine will cellar for several more years.

The last stop before Paris will be Pauillac, near Bordeaux. Not that you ever need an excuse to buy some Tome d’Aquitaine ($8.25/quarter lb), one of our all-time favorite cheeses. The beautiful snow-white interior of this washed-rind goat’s milk cheese will catch your eye. Washed in Sauternes by the respected affineur Jean d’Alos, it displays delicately balanced fruit and floral notes, and has a delicate nuttiness on the finish.

Craves @ PG

Muscat de Rivesaltes

Feed your Mind @ PG

Pampille's Table

An indispensable guide to the culinary regions of France. This cookbook was originally published in 1919, and the newly translated and updated edition makes it accessible for the modern kitchen.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News, 6/17 Saturday, Jun 19 2010 

Things Your Dad Likes

Lambic and Orval Goblets, so dad can drink like a (Belgian) king!

Maybe your dad has been glued to the TV at odd hours this past week, watching the World Cup. Or maybe he’s been rushing to the golf course as soon as the sun peeps out from under the June cloud cover. Or maybe he’s been working his way through a new favorite cookbook. Whatever he’s been up to lately, we can assure you he does NOT want to be forgotten this Sunday. So show him love, get him something he pretends he doesn’t want, but will be so happy when he gets it.

Shameless Promotion Alert: Our friend Mike Force, a talented jack-of-all-arts in Brooklyn, created this hilarious site. Check out this field guide to the rare species of American Dad!

Blockbuster Wines

Summer is the time to let your dad indulge in the “bigger is better” mantra. Let him have (or think he has) the biggest grill with the biggest rack of ribs on the block, and give him a blockbuster wine to go with it!

2007 Domaine de la Charbonnière Vacqueyras ($29.99)
The 2007 vintage was seminal in the Rhône, with a warm, dry summer marked by strong winds that preserved that crucial acidity in the grapes. The fruit was ripe, concentrated, and balanced, and resulted in exceptional rich, layered wines, like this Vacqueyras. The estate’s 4ha are lovingly tended by Michel Maret and his two daughters, who harvest by hand. The wine is Syrah (60%) and Grenache (40%), aged in large oak casks for 6-8 months. The father-daughter team triumphed in this vintage, with a smoky, full-bodied wine with flavors of blackberry, mineral, and licorice fusing into a finish that is pure velvet.

“Vivid red. Powerfully scented nose displays fresh raspberry, flowers and minerals. Light in body and refined, with sweet red fruit and candied floral flavors and a silky texture. Fine-grained tannins arrive on the long, sappy finish. This elegant wine is balanced to age but you could drink it now for its sexy fruit and floral qualities.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer


2005 Ferraton et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Le Parvis”
($34.00)
Before 2007, there were the 2005s. This vintage was lauded for producing extremely well-structured wines suitable for aging, and luckily, it is now time to test out those promises. Father and son Ferraton give the Marets a run for their barrels with this elegant Grenache. The wine is blended with small percentages of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and aged for 12-18 month in oak casks. Their biodynamic farming practices reflect their passion for the terroir and uncompromising standards.

“Nice garrigue-driven style, with tobacco, loam, mesquite and plum sauce flavors pushed by a ripe, tarry, mouthfilling finish. Drink now through 2016.” 90 points Wine Spectator

2007 Domaine des Soulanes VdP Côtes Catalanes “Cuvée Jean Pull” ($19.99)
This is another estate that has been handed down from father to son, until Jean Pull sold it to his friends and co-vitners Daniel Laffite and Laffite’s stepfather. Today, young Daniel Laffite and his wife, Cathy, run the estate located near the border of Spain. Carignan thrives in the arid, rocky soil of “Les Fenouillèdes”. This blend of Grenache and Carignan is a plucky charmer, with ripe fruit balances by spicy tannins. Delicious with grilled and barbecued meats, sheep’s cheese, and peppery saucisson and paté.

“Intense kirsch, red plum and raspberry flavors give this southern French red real character and power. The finish is spicy, with plenty of finesse to the black licorice notes. Grenache and Carignane. Drink now through 2012.” 89 point Wine Spectator

2005 Chateau Preuillac Médoc
($19.99)
In Bordeaux, 2005 was also kind to winemakers. This 75-acre estate extends over the excellent gravelly soil of the Médoc appellation in Bordeaux. The Mau family acquired the 200-year old estate a little over a decade ago, driven by the desire to bring the well-placed vineyard up to its full potential. Their hard work and investment is apparent in this under-priced wine, which is one of the best the estate has ever made. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (54%) with Merlot (44%) and Cabernet Franc (4%).

“A classic, balanced wine, with a twist of richness. The black currant flavors are almost jelly-like in their sweetness, although these flavors are well balanced with acidity and a firm layer of dry tannins.”
90 points Wine Enthusiast

Other 90+ notables in stock and previously reviewed: 2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99), 2007 Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sabliers Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($14.99), 2008 Terres Dorées Beaujolais “L’Ancien” ($16.99), 2005 Château Bibian Listrac-Médoc ($24.99), 2007 Domaine des Domaine des Ouleb Thaleb Syrocco ($17.99), 2005 Vieux Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($32.00), 2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV ($16.99).

Cheese @ PG
We Want The Funk

Everyone knows and loves the blockbuster cheeses, such as Brie, Roquefort, or Comté. But there’s a great big world out there (of cheese), and lately I’ve been wanting to talk about some less well-known or understood categories of cheese. Since we’re talking about Father’s Day this week (um, call your dad/stepdad/grandfather/mentor who’s like a dad to you, please), I thought I’d discuss washed rind cheeses. These are the dudes of cheese: they pack a powerful punch, they’re funky, and yes, they’re often stinky. Yet the aromatic exterior often belies a creamy, mild interior: really, they’re teddy bears. Aww.

Washed rind cheeses can be made from any type of milk; most of the famous ones are made with cow milk , but we have some amazing goat milk options, too. The rinds are washed throughout the aging process in any combination of brine, herbs, wine, or spirits, giving the cheese a pungent aroma. Washed rind cheeses present a wide range of textures, from dense to spongy to creamy to pure ooze. I love these cheeses because they offer a complex mix of flavors; they’re fruity, meaty, and tangy, yet tempered with earthy and nutty notes.

Here are some of our favorite funky cheeses, along with some beer pairing ideas. Beer and cheese go naturally together; both have their origins in grains and grasses. You can match complexity with complexity, or mix-and-match for some flavor juxtapositions. Also, the carbonation in beer refreshes the palate.

Munster d’Alsace
A dense, washed rind cow’s milk cheese with a creamy texture and a fried-egg aroma. The flavor is sharp, beefy, and nutty.
$6.25/quarter lb
Try it with: Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic

Pont l’Evêque

A creamy, washed rind cow’s milk cheese made in Normandy. The flavor is buttery, milky, and savory with a long finish of tangy and fruity undercurrents.
$5.49/quarter lb
Try it with: Lindeman’s Faro Lambic

Abbaye Ste-Mère
This traditional monastery cheese from Normandy has a creamy yet firm texture. Made with raw milk and washed in brine, it has a fruity, mild, and slightly sweet flavor. A sure crowd-pleaser.
$3.99/quarter lb
Try it with: Chimay Red

Morbier
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a famous line of ash in the center, historically to separate the morning and evening milkings. This washed rind cheese has aromas of freshly mown grass and appealing flavors of fruits and nuts. An intensely earthy and meaty cheese– a classic.
$4.49/quarter lb
Try it with: St Landelin La Divine (bière de garde farmhouse ale)

Bethmale
Louis VI’s favorite cheese. This luscious cow’s and goat’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees has been in production since the 12th century. Smooth and buttery, with flavors of grass and mushroom with a mild washed rind tang. Try it with a snack plate of ham, olives, and rustic bread.
$6.99/quarter lb
Try it with: Orval Trappist Ale

Tête de Moine

A washed rind cow’s milk cheese with a milky, beefy, and nutty flavor. Invented over 800 years ago by the monks of the Jura region in Switzerland, this dense yet creamy cheese has an excellent melting capacity.
$7.25/quarter lb
Try it with: Brasserie Lebbe L’Amalthée (Belgian wheat beer)

Feed your Mind @ PG

Pork & Sons by Stephane Reynaud

A third generation butcher and pork-lover delves into his family’s and village’s history to bring you the recipes and lore of France’s love affair with porcine creatures.

Craves @ PG

Fee Brothers Bitters

Don’t make your dad drink a Manhattan or Martini without Fee Bros. Bitters!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 6/4 Sunday, Jun 6 2010 

Tome de Bordeaux, a cheese "centerfold" from Culture magazine! Photo by Gregory Cherin.

Recently we got our hands on Culture Magazine’s summer edition, and it fell open immediately to its ogle-worthy centerfold, Tome de Bordeaux. It’s stunning, and we just had to have it. We already know and love Tome d’Acquitaine, an aged goat cheese bathed in Sauternes, which also comes from the Jean d’Alos caves. Like the Aquitaine, the Tome de Bordeaux is made with goat milk and has the same beautiful snow white interior and fresh, floral aromas. But this cheese has another layer (a thing which Seattleites can always appreciate). This tome wears an amazing Technicolor coat of dried green herbs, including fennel, rosemary, thyme, savory, and oregano. On top of that is a starburst pattern of paprika, juniper berries, white peppercorns, and bird’s-eye peppers. It’s seriously attractive. The cheese is soft yet compact, with an enticing aroma and a clean, sweet, and earthy flavor. Get a little bit of the rind for some texture and powerful herbal flavor. This cheese calls out to be enjoyed by itself, with a little fruit confit (we’ve got suggestions) and a glass of white wine, or even a full-bodied rosé like the 2007 Marsannay Pinot Noir Rosé. We’re offering the Tome de Bordeaux for $8.25 for a quarter pound.

We also have some other fantastic new arrivals in the cheese case, which you can read about in the Cheese section below!

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

The Val de Loire is a wine “safety zone” for me. With whites and reds that are extremely food and wallet friendly, they’re always a pleasure to recommend to the lost souls who wander into the shop looking for something that will quench their thirst, and maybe satisfy a deeper need, at dinner time.

2008 Les Haut Vingot Anjou $8.99
A perennial favorite, this 100% Chenin Blanc is a great wine for cheeses ranging soft and creamy to sharp and nutty. Aromatic, with pear and tropical fruit notes, it is a fresh, young drinking white. Grown on the white limestone soil of Anjou, it is round on the palate, with a zippy finish!

2005 Chateau de Bellevue “Le Croix Picot” Savennières $18.99
In this Savennières, Chenin Blanc unveils its full sophistication and suavité. It grows on the esteemed vineyard of “Le Croix Picot”, known for its “crimson soil”, a mix of sandstone and shale. The wine is fermented in barrels with natural yeast. Elegant, with beeswax, quince, bread dough, and lime flowers on the nose. Plump, yet with a clean, crisp finish. Wonderfully balanced, it is a superlative pairing for the whole gamme of cheeses.

2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV $16.99
While there may not be a more natural pairing than Muscadet and oysters, straying from the beaten paths will bring delightful surprises. The high acidity and low alcohol brighten flavors and refresh the palate, enhancing and marrying the flavors of seafood, herbs, and seasonings. This one comes from an old vine planting, and the wine is aged on the lees for 18-24 months. With the exquisite minerality that is typical of Muscadet in this appellation, the wine exudes fresh notes of limestone and sea breeze. The slight salinity is off-set by a touch of creaminess on the palate. It is by far, my new favorite white in our shop!

“Bright straw. A piercing, energetic array of citrus and floral scents, complicated by strong minerality and a note of white pepper. Bitter lime pith and quinine flavors gain flesh and weight with air, taking a turn to sweeter tangerine and quince. Strikingly balanced and precise, with a long, spicy, mineral-dominated finish. This should be even better with a couple year of bottle age.92 points Stephen Tanzer

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. Limestone, chalk, crushed rocks, and a heady, enticing florality that is nevertheless retrained. Excellent texture. Philippe Raimbault, a ninth-generation producer, puts enormous care into his small family of wines, even hand-harvesting, which is rare for this region. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect example of Sancerre!

2009 Chateau de la Bonnelière Touraine Rosé $13.99
Medium salmon, this northerly rosé comes from a biodynamic estate where the soil is dominated by flinty clay. Restricted yields lead to a medium weight with raspberry, minerality, a slight herbaceous tint and silky finish. Delicious and distinctive, made from 100% Cabernet Franc, this is a great wine for rosé-lovers who want to get their pink-wary friends hooked on rosé!

Cheese @ PG

George attacks our super-sized Cantal Doux.

It’s a blessing and a curse to be both a cheesemonger and obsessively detail-oriented. It’s been one of those crazy mornings with a large shipment of cheeses: cutting and wrapping the new arrivals, finding them a home in the case, and, of course, sampling them merrily. Along with the Tome de Bordeaux, here are some of our first impressions of the new cheeses on the block:

Bethmale Tradition Chèvre ($7.99/quarter lb): We already love our mixed-milk Bethmale and the glowering face of Jean Faup on its label. This version is made exclusively with goat’s milk. It has a semi-firm texture with tiny little eyes (holes) throughout, offering an airy, delicate feel on the palate. Not goaty at all, this cheese is sweet, nutty, and mild.

Bethmale Tradition Chevre, with Jean Faup looking sternly over his caves.

La Ramier Roux ($5.75/quarter lb): From the southwestern region of Tarn, near Toulouse, an area replete with medieval ruins. This washed-rind cow’s milk cheese is fruity and sweet, with a creamy, unctuous texture. We’ve declared it our new go-to “snack attack” fix. Try it with our best-selling 2007 Trois Bastides Côtes du Tarn.

La Cadenelle de Hyelzas ($8.25/quarter lb): What the Causses! This somewhat desolate area of limestone plateaus churns out some of my favorite cheeses because of their rustic, clean flavors. La Cadenelle is a sheep’s milk cheese with crushed juniper berries added to the curd during production. We love the slightly textured feel in the mouth and the hint of spice and earthiness from the juniper berries, which balanced the sweetness of the cheese.

Cheese meets classic martini in the Juniper berry infused La Cadenelle.

Cantal Doux ($4.49/quarter lb): This cheese is often referred to as “the cheddar of France.” We like it because it’s cut for us from a huge, beautiful wheel. When we tasted it this morning, it was particularly “cheddar-y”: mild and nutty, with a touch of sharpness on the finish. Try a Cantal and Apple Grilled Cheese sandwich: it’ll rock your lunchbox.


Charcuteire @ PG

It rhymes!

Two completely different kinds of salami, which we love for different reasons.

Duck Salami
: Uber-rich, this dry salami is cured with sea salt and garlic. Balanced flavors and a silky texture- exquisite!

Sweet Salami
: From Freybe comes this Hungarian-style salami with a creamy, finely ground texture. With a mild, vinegary flavor and a touch of garlic, this salami makes a stellar sandwich or pizza topper. Kids will love it, and so will you!

Feed Your Mind @ PG

French Feasts

Boasting 299 classic French recipes, the collection’s real treasure lies in its quirky notes and cartoons on French culture, local artisans (a sexy baker!), and kitchen wisdom. A great gift for the cook who is comfortable in the kitchen and has a sense of humor.

Just for Fun @ PG

Mini-Tagines for your table salt!

These are so cute they should be outlawed ($8.99/ea).

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and

Steve Winston & Sharon Baden, Owners

Paris Grocery News 5/27 Saturday, May 29 2010 

Our weekend plans!

Like all of Seattle, we have our fingers crossed for a sunny Memorial Day weekend. But we’re not about to let a few drops of rain put a damper on our fun, not with all the delicious red wines, sausages, cheese, and fun condiments we have on hand! There are innumerable possibilities, but I think I know what I’ll be having: Fabrique Delices’ Basque Sausage with Piment d’Espelette, served with a dollop of L’Epicurian’s Sweet Onion Confit. And I may have to make another batch of “Basque Fries” (hand-cut potatoes fried in Duck Fat, sprinkled with Fleur de Sel and Piment d’Espelette. They are insanely good.). For last minute inspiration and additions to your holiday menu, come on over and explore the possibilities; we’ll be open on Memorial Day from 11am-5pm.

Wine @ PG

Everyone knows that red meat goes with red wine, but with so many unique and delightful reds on our shelves, I decided to do some of the thinking for you. Here’s a six-pack of hearty reds that will complement your Memorial Day grilling!

2007 La Bastide Blanche Bandol ($25.99)

Think outside the Cabernet-and-Steak box: Mourvèdre is where it’s at! In Bandol, an AOC deep in Provence, the Mourvèdre grape achieves the perfect balance of robust elegance, becoming the sublime partner for juicy grilled meats. This unfiltered wine shows rich, dark plum, fig, and blackberry meld into a finish hinting of bittersweet chocolate. Notes of tobacco and very firm tannins support the ripe fruit, and a taut acidity holds it all together. A focused, pure wine showing great balance. La Bastide Blanche farms and vinifies biodynamically and keeps the vine yields low to ensure their uncompromising character.

2007 Domaine de Nidolères “La Pierroune” Côtes-du-Roussillon ($16.99)

The vineyards of this domaine have been cultivated by the same family for eight generations, and their winemaking upholds the traditions of the region between Pérpignan and the Spanish border. The blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Carignan is hand-harvested and sees no oak. This is a rich, smooth wine with persistent tannins. Notes of kirsch and plum leading into a flinty, elegant finish. Delicious with D’Artagnan’s Venison and Pork Sausage with Cherries.

2007 Chateau de Vaugelas “Le Prieuré” Corbières ($11.99)

This 400-year old estate is located in the hills of Lagrasse, known as the best growing zone in the Corbières appellation. Winemaking is headed by George Pauli, who also makes wine for a classified growth Chateau in St. Julien. Neither terroir nor talent is lacking! A blend of Grenache, Syrah, old-vine Carignan, and a touch of Mourvèdre, the wine is quite elegant and well-structured, while maintaining the rustic appeal of the region. It spends one year maturing in oak barrels (30% new), and it is full-bodied and velvety on the palate. Black fruit, licorice, and spice create a nice depth with the fleshy tannins and the kiss of smoke. The finish is long and pleasurable.

2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99)

“A brilliant blockbuster … Composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, all from a vineyard planted in 1961, this amazing wine possesses an inky/ruby/purple color in addition to a sweet perfume of black and blue fruits, kirsch, lavender, licorice, spice box, and earth. Transcending its appellation and price point, this is a superb wine that should drink beautifully for 10-15+ years.” 93 points Wine Spectator

2006 Domaine Lapalu “La Patache” Médoc ($14.99)

La Patache is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) based blend harvested from a selection of the Lapalu family’s estate vineyards. By carefully choosing and blending fruit from different parcels of land, the Lapalu team created a lively, juicy Bordeaux that is approachable in its youth while maintaining its ability to develop. It is deep ruby, aromatic with strong notes of cassis and plum supported by dusty tannins and softer notes of vanilla. Delicious!

2002 Domaine Moureou Chapelle L’Enclos Madiran ($19.99)

Madiran is a tiny appellation in Southwest France, where Tannat is the primary grape grown. Winemaker Patrick Ducourneau pioneered the micro-oxygenation technique, a winemaking process that tames Tannat’s pugnacious tannins. The L’Enclos spends one year in 400L oak barrels, followed by another year in vats. A strident red wine with rich, balanced fruit and structured tannins. An unbeatable companion to lamb.

And because I can’t resist mentioning a rosé, I have to tell you about the 2009 Abel Clement Grenache Rosé. This medium bodied, fruit forward rosé is incredibly fresh, with wild strawberries, lovely floral hints and slightest pepper on the finish. Under screwcap, it’s perfect for patios and picnics. We’ve crowned this our Summer Swiller. And we scored a great deal on it, so we can give it to you for $7.99!

Fun @ PG

These are a few of our favorite things!

Give some love with a rub.

Even if you’re a brats-and-burgers kind of griller, your ketchup and mustard doesn’t have to be boring! Dulcet makes Peppery Moroccan (try it on lamb burgers), Mild Indian Curry, and Sweet Orange Chili Ketchup ($4.99/14oz). It’s hard to pick just one mustard from our plethora of Dijons, but we do love the spicy kick of Pommery Fireman’s Mustard ($19.99/8.8oz) with grilled sausages or steak frites, and the Fallot Blackcurrant Dijon Mustard ($4.99/7.2oz) in marinades for pork.

The secret to grilled meats is the salt; rubbing and finishing with right touch of seasoning makes all the difference. The classic Sel du Boucher ($18.49/17.6oz) is a fantastic all-purpose coarse sea salt rub with thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sage. Esprit du Sel’s Fennel and Garlic Grey Sea Salt ($11.99/6.3oz) is wonderful for fish, and Dulcet Creole Spice Rub ($6.49/2.5oz) works well on fish, poultry, and meats.

Cheese @ PG

When it comes to outdoor grilling, the meat, wine, and sides are the most popular guests at the party. Cheese may not even be invited. Most cheese is  so sensitive and picky, always complaining about the heat and hogging all the space under the umbrella, as if it’s simply going to melt in the sun. But there are some more easygoing cheeses, who not only don’t mind the heat, they’d actually really nothing more than to join the meat and veggies on the grill. Here are some ideas for your Memorial Day grill-fests (and beyond) so that you can still fulfill your cheese quota (what, you don’t have one of those?).

For your classic hamburgers:

Blue cheese means business. Bleu d’Auverge has a sharp, clean taste with hints of melted butter and a bright touch of spiciness. It’s creamy yet crumbly, making it perfect for topping your beef patties. If you like the sharp flavor of cheddar on your burgers, but want to try something different, I’d suggest Mimolette Vielle. This orange cheese packs a wallop of savory nuttiness. It’s quite dense, so leave it out for a bit before you slice it. You could also go with the tried-and-true Comté, which melts beautifully and would be amazing with some caramelized onions from the grill.

For the true cheese lover, who can’t let all the summer fruit and vegetables have all the fun, try this gem of a recipe suggested by one of our regulars. Our Le Pommier Camembert is the perfect consistency for grilling, and some consider it the best pasteurized Camembert on the U.S. market.

Camembert Au “B.B.Q”

Ingredients: One hot grill

One wheel of Camembert cheese

Remove paper wrapping from cheese; transfer cheese back into wooden box. Make a well into the center of the warm charcoals; arrange boxed cheese into the center of the well and cover the box with warm charcoals. Watch carefully, so it doesn’t get overly melted. It is ready when cheese just pushes up the top of the box, after approximately 10 minutes. Remove the top of the box, remove cheese crust with the tip of a knife and enjoy, dipping in bits of baguette.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Bistro Laurent Tourondel

For fair-weather fun in foul times, we love the Bistro Laurent Tourondel cookbook. With impeccable technique and classic sauces, this book will help you create the hearty, convivial atmosphere and deep, homey taste of outdoor grilling in the warmth of your kitchen. With recipes like Tapenade-Stuffed Leg of Lamb and Braised Short Ribs with Garlic-Thyme Brown Butter, you won’t even miss the sunshine!

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Abi & Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden, Owners

French women probably would get fat Wednesday, May 12 2010 

If they ate this like this all the time, despite the recipe author’s claim to fame.

Actually, while not low in fat, the recipe is not as rich as it sounds. And the hazelnut oil drizzled over the asparagus is quite perfect with the yogurt dressing.

« Previous Page