Friday, Dec 12 2014 

Paris Grocery seattle

December 11, 2014

Bonjour Mes Amis!

Pike Place Market is always a bit magical, but this is my favorite time of the year to work here. Speaking of magic, I managed to get chowder without waiting in a huge line…

People are bringing their out of town visitors in to see us & we’ve been helping folks plan their réveillon menus. Love it!

Here’s to hoping you are making the most of the season & feel free to share your holiday traditions with us.

A Bientot,
Catherine Reynolds

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Domaine de la Mordoree ‘Reine de Bois’ 2010, Chateauneuf de Pape $110 3 bottles available
This is the ultimate holiday gift for Chateauneuf lovers. Christophe Delorme says this is their best vintage ever. The Delorme brothers are based in Tavel & their vines are over 100 years old, situated in the rocky plateau of La Crau, Chateauneuf’s greatest cru. The ‘Queen of the Woods’ exudes their trademark concentration & extremely fine tannins.
97 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Reine des Bois is exquisite. It is hard to say that it’s better than some of its predecessors, because there have been so many magnificent wines to emerge from Domaine de la Mordoree since the mid-1990s, but this inky purple wine has an extraordinary nose of gun flint, wood smoke and blackberry jam intermixed with spring flowers, kirsch, and blueberries. Stunningly rich, this full-bodied wine is built like a skyscraper, with decent acidity, fabulous delineation to its component parts, and a whopping 45-second finish. The wood is gorgeously integrated, as it usually is, the tannins still noticeable, but not astringent, and the wine majestic. Give it 2-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25+ years.   (10/ 2012)

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Dr Seuss In French $12.95 each
What every French kid needs for Christmas
Green Eggs & Ham
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Horton Hears a Who
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Happy Birthday to You
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Mimolette Demi-Vieille $21.99
It’s a Christmas miracle folks! I was able to get Mimolette, the real deal, this week. So what’s the big deal with Mimolette? The FDA had it on the no-fly list because of the unique process that goes into making it. Cheese mites burrow through the cheese devouring the rind, creating air flow & enhanced flavor as the cheese ages. The mites are gone before the cheese is sold, and what’s left is a unique cheese that tastes like salted caramel. French cheese lovers rejoice!
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Foie Gras Butter adapted from Fat by Jennifer McLagan

Forget about giving your friends a jar of jam for Christmas, give them this in a Duralex  ramekin wrapped with a bow… And maybe with a bottle of Monbazillac.

  • 2 ounces foie gras trimmings
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated cinnamon
  • Place foie gras trimmings in bowl and leave at room temperature to soften. Mash with fork, removing any veins or touch connective tissue. Place mashed foie gras on piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly, twisting ends of plastic wrap to enclose foie gras, and refrigerate until firm.
  • Bring saucepan of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to bare simmer. Drop in foie gras roll. Poach until the foie gras is very soft and the fat is beginning to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove foie gras and place in bowl filled with ice water to chill.
Remove plastic wrap and place foie gras in bowl of food processor. Add salt, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, about 1 minute. Transfer to container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for several months.

Seigneurs de Monbazillac 2007 $11.99
North of Gascony, east of Sauternes lies the village of Monbazillac, famed for their sweet wines… Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon & Muscadet make for a honeyed, noble rot wine that is heaven with foie.

Les Pins, Monbazillac 2012 $19.99
Importer Eric Solomon has done us all a huge favor. He convinced Chateau Tirecul La Graviere to declassify & lower their price to get a foothold in the market. Score! Reviewers call it “massively lush” yet with enough fresh acidity to balance it out. If you’re not a foie lover, think blue cheese for a heavenly combo.
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URBANCHEESECRAFT CHEESE MAKING KITS!

These kits are lovingly made in Portland. Buy goat or cow milk (not ultra-pasteurized) & you’re set to become a cheesemaker. The Pike Place Creamery has lots of fantastic local milks to choose from, including raw milk. Deluxe kit is pictured…

Urban Cheesecraft DIY Cheese Kits:
Ricotta & Mozzarella $27 10 batches
Feta, Greek Yogurt, Yogurt $30 8 batches
Chevre $30 10 batches
Deluxe $55 30 batches

(Makes Mozzarella, Ricotta, Crumbly Goat, Creamy Chevre, Paneer, Queso Blanco)
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Kusmi Tsarevna Limited Edition Tea $38 8.8 oz
Kusmi’s special holiday edition comes in a glittery container that makes it perfect for gifting or for serving your guests after a holiday meal. Named after the daughters of the Tsars who celebrated Christmas in their Winter Palace. A Russian blend of black tea, spices, licorice, orange peels, scents of orange, vanilla and almond.
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Duvernay Cairanne Millesime 2011, Cotes du Rhone $14.99
Cairanne is an over-achieving district of the Cotes du Rhone which may someday be awarded cru status. This is full of smoky blackberries & violet, bookmarked with a licorice spine. Priced for every day enjoyment–pair with Daube de Boeuf, or crack open by the fireplace.

Jean Francois Merieau ‘L’arpent des Vaudons’ 2012, Touraine $16.99
What drinks like a Sancerre at a gentler tarif? This fashionable Sauv Blanc from Touraine. Touraine is where I look for bargains in French Sauvignon Blanc (case in point, Oisly & Thesee.) Jean Francois is one of the new stars of the Loire–he traveled the world before returning to his family’s property. This is 100% organic hand-harvested Sauvignon Blanc from a 60-year-old parcel. Minerals & acid reminiscent of Sancerre, with warmer, more expressive fruit. Give this worthy white a go.

Domaine Charvin 2011, Chateauneuf du Pape $65
Food & Wine just wrote an article recommending rustic Grenache & Charvin, as the perfect pairing wine for rich braised meats.
Domaine Charvin is a small estate with cooler north-facing slopes in Chateauneuf de Pape, known for their 80 year-old Grenache vines. And here’s why you should buy this delicious bottle of wine:
“The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their 1999, which was a very successful vintage for Charvin. Abundant strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit intermixed with hints of loamy soil and Provencal herbs are found in this medium to full-bodied wine. It is a lush, well-developed, precocious Chateauneuf du Pape to drink over the next decade. (91-93pts) ” Robert Parker—The Wine Advocate

March 15 Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Paris Grocery News
March 15th, 2012

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

 

Chateau Haut-Mongeat Graves de Vayres Blanc 2010

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

Chateau D’Arlay NV Macvin du Jura Rouge

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

Tirecul la Graviere Monbazillac 2007 Les Pins

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

2009 La Granacha Vielles Vignes

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

2010 Andezon Cotes du Rhone

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

2010 Domaine de Fees

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

$14.99

Cheeses

 

Brillat Savarin

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

Montealva

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

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fleur de Sel

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

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

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

 

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

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

Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 8/6 Saturday, Aug 6 2011 

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

Thanks for being such fun customers, and bon appétit,

Rachel

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

Duralex “Picardie” Salad Bowl

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

Trust me, these are delicious.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

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

André Neveu “Le Grand Fricambault” Sancerre Rosé 2010

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

Alpha Loire Domaines “Sables Blonds” Touraine Rouge 2009

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

Domaine Pierre Sparr Marquis de Perlade

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

Lovely boxes, amazing teas.

Kusmi Tea

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

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

Tarragon, Walnut, and Piment d'Espelette.

Mustards!

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden

Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 5/21 Saturday, May 21 2011 

A six-pack of our favorite rosés. (My sneakers not included.)

Wine @ PG

We’ve been buying up 2010 rosés like crazy, and right now we’re offering a grab-and-go six-pack of our new favorites. The price is $55 (or $110, if you’d like a full case of two bottles of each selection). The half-case discount of 10 percent and sales tax are both included in the price, and we’re throwing in the chic Paris Grocery black-and-white wine carrier, too. A glass of the pink stuff is like summer in a glass!

Our six favorite pink swillers.

Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé 2010

Top Rhône producer Jean-Luc Colombo created this intoxicating rosé at his childhood home of Cape Bleue. Made with 40 percent Syrah, 40 percent Mourvèdre, and 20 percent Counoise, it’s perfumed and fresh, with notes of peach, rose petal, and white pepper.

Château Bas “L’Alvernègue” Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 2010

Château Bas goes back centuries; near the vineyard are Roman temple ruins. This wine presents a fantastic value for a Provençal rosé. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, it offers a nice balance between freshness and fruitiness.

Domaine de Couron Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche 2010

This producer never fails to make excellently drinkable, classic southern style wines. This 100 percent Grenache wine has a dry finish, with delicate notes of strawberry  and cherry.

Domaine le Clos des Lumières Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2010

A fun, medium-bodied Rhône rosé, made from 45 percent Cinsault, 30 percent Grenache, 15 percent Mourvedre, and 10 percent Syrah. With ripe strawberry and floral notes, the wine shows nice persistence and a hint of spice at the end.

In Fine Ventoux Rosé 2010

A ripe, full flavor rose from the valley of Mt. Ventoux in the south, which allows for a slow ripening. Lots of stony minerality and elegant fruit. 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Cinsault.

Elicio Vin de Pays de Méditerranée 2010

This hot pink rose displays a richer, creamier style. Made with 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Cinsault, it’s fruit forward, with flavors of raspberry. It stands up well to spicier fare.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 3/12 Saturday, Mar 12 2011 

Do goat cheeses taste better when topped with a cute label? Answer: No (but it doesn't hurt).

Cheese @ PG

A goat cheese with a bit of age and a few washed rind cheeses with a bit of funk.

Crottin Frais du Périgord

These tiny drums of barely aged goat’s milk cheese come from Périgord, a region of Bordeaux known for its goat cheese delicacies. A soft and creamy texture, with a nutty flavor. Fantastic when heated and placed on salads or toasts. $1.99/each or 2/$3

Oh, you monks.

Le Poteaupré

This oozy washed rind cow’s milk cheese was created by the Trappist monks of the Chimay Abbey in Belgium. Intensly earthy, with flavors of wild mushroom, toasted hazelnuts, and a finish that resembles buttered popcorn. Pair with a Chimay or a fruity red. $15.99/lb

Les Frères

Don’t you love it when siblings play nicely? Semi-soft washed rind cheese created by the Crave Brothers in Waterloo, Wisconson. This mild American cow’s milk cheese is earthy and pleasant with flavors of sea salt and bitter herbs.  Pair with white wine or sparkling. $15.99/lb

Trois Laits

Another stunning cheese from affineur Pascal Beillevaire. This Pyrenees washed rind cheese has the creaminess of cow’s milk, the nuttiness of sheep’s milk, and the subtle herbaceous tang of goat’s milk. Rich, complex, and beefy, with notes of Alpine grasses, marjoram, and sage. $32.99/lb

Wine @ PG

It's still cold; we still prefer warmth.

So, we may have gotten ahead of ourselves with talk of rosé season and patios. Here’s a few more delightful reds to keep you warm for this last bit (please?) of drizzly winter.

Domaine Astruc  Vin de Pays de L’Hérault Vielles Vignes Carignan 2008

Smoky aromas. Round on the mid-palate, with supple and balanced tannins. Minerals and spice, with a note of bitter chocolate on the finish. ($9.99)

Chateau Jouanin Bordeaux 2009

Explosive and full-bodied, this 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc is aged for 15 months in new and used oak. Flavors of menthol, eucalyptus, and juicy red and black fruits. ($12.99)

Domaine de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007

Delicious, with loads of minerals and plenty of length. 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. 92 points: Stephen Tanzer, Wine Advocate. ($43)

Craves @ PG

Just think of all the Manhattans you could make.

Les Parisiennes griottines

A customer favorite. These delicious Morello cherries have been pitted and prepared in a Kirsch liqueur. Griottines are famous throughout the world for their freshness and refined taste. And the grand, Belle Epoque packaging is simply too much. Add to desserts, aperitifs, and cocktails. ($24.99/18.5oz jar)

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Called "the poet of the appetites" by John Updike.

We’ve brought in a range of titles from the luminous American gourmand, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (thankfully known as M.F.K. Fisher).  Corny, but: she’s a personal hero of mine. Consider this quote from “The Gastronomical Me” (emphasis mine):

“People ask me: Why do you write about food, and eating and drinking? Why don’t you write about the struggle for power and security, and about love, the way others do. They ask it accusingly, as if I were somehow gross, unfaithful to the honor of my craft. The easiest answer is to say that, like most humans, I am hungry. But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it.”

In stock (all are necessary):

Consider the Oyster

The Gastronomical Me

An Alphabet For Gourmets

How to Cook A Wolf

As They Were

Two Towns in Provence

Long Ago In France: The Years in Dijon

Sister Age

 

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 1/15 Tuesday, Jan 18 2011 

The cassoulet the boss made for our holiday party. Yum!

Wine @ PG

New to the Shop Reds.

Domaine de Andézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2009 ($13.99)

From the importer: “One of the first custom cuvées created by Eric Solomon. Based around the idea that extremely old-vine Syrah in this zone could produce a spicy, full-bodied red wine of incredible value for the U.S. market, Eric worked with the winemaker to fashion a bottling that exceeded everyone’s expectations.” From Robert Parker:  “It offers explosive notes of smoky bacon fat, cassis, and blackberries, a deep, rich, chewy style, and an exuberant, flashy personality. 91 points.” From us: “Yum!”

La Pépie Cabernet Franc 2009 ($14.99)

Just a delightful bistro red. A transparent violet in the glass, this Cabernet Franc is light and flavorful, yet earthy and persistent, with a delightful minerality that makes it a stupendous everyday wine. We think it would go just as well with salmon or pizza as it would with red meat or roasted vegetables.

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières “Les Moures” Gigondas 2007 ($17.99)

This wine absolutely flies off the shelf. We have very smart customers; nothing warms you up with such lovely Rhône intensity as a well-made Gigondas. “An outstanding effort. This deep ruby/purple-tinged Gigondas offers notes of spice box, incense, crushed rocks, red and black fruits, and no evidence of wood. It exhibits good sweetness on the attack, a medium to full-bodied mid-palate, an endearing texture, and a long, pure, convincing finish.” —Wine Advocate, 90 Points.

Meat @ PG

As evidenced by the recent blustery wind and somewhat-crystallized rain (and may I just say, as someone from Spokane: CHILL OUT, it’s not that bad), it’s clear that winter is nowhere near over. George, our resident cheese nerd, insisted that I insist that you make a cassoulet. One of lovely wine reps supplied her Robuchon-inspired recipe, and we’ve (of course), got all the fixings; I’ve bolded the items we carry in the shop.

Cassoulet – inspired by the recipe in The Complete Robuchon, by Joel Robuchon

2 lbs dry white beans, soaked overnight

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

4 onions, peeled, 2 stuck with 1 whole clove each and 2 sliced into rounds 1/8 inch thick

10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½ pound fresh pork rind

1 bouquet garni

1 garlic sausage, about ¾ pound

1 pound uncooked pork sausage (typically Toulouse-style)

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ to ¾  pound lean pork belly

3 to 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

3 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (you could use canned San Marzano tomatoes)

1 ½ pounds goose or duck confit

1 ¼ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, minced

1. Cook the beans. Put them in a large pot with the carrot, the 2 onions stuck with cloves, 6 cloves garlic, the pork rind, and bouquet garni. Cover generously with cold water and put the pot over high heat. Lower the heat before the pot starts to bubble, add salt to taste and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour. Add the garlic sausage and uncooked pork sausage, and simmer 15 minutes more or until the beans feel almost tender. Remove the pot from the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the meat. Put the pork belly in a large pot, cover it with cold water, bring to a boil and cook at a bubble for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and put it in a colander. Rinse under cold water and leave to drain.

3. In another pot, melt 4 tablespoons fat from the confit. When the fat is hot, brow the lamb chunks all over for about 3 minutes over high heat; if necessary, work in batches so the chunks are not crowded and so that all end up beautifully golden.  Remove them to a plate. Cook the sliced onions in the same pot for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring with a wooden spatula. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 4 cloves garlic, and 10 tablespoons bean cooking liquid.  Let the pot bubble for 10 minutes over low heat.

4. Fish the bouquet garni, onions, pork rind, and sausages from the bean-cooking pot.  Discard the bouquet garni and leave everything else on a plate.  Drain the beans over a bowl so that you keep their cooking liquid. Add the drained beans to the pot of onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, with a rather gentle touch.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice the garlic sausage into rounds ½ inch thick.  Line a large terrine with the pork rind. Fill the terrine with alternating layers of lamb, pork belly, small sausages, sliced garlic sausage, and the bean-onion-tomato mixture.  Finish with a layer of the beans and top them with 2 tablespoons confit fat spread evenly over their surface. The liquid in the terrine should reach the top layer of beans and just barely cover them; if it does not, add some bean-cooking liquid.

6. Bake for 3 hours. If necessary, add bean-cooking liquid to the cassoulet as it bakes to maintain a high level of liquid.

7. After the cassoulet has baked for 3 hours, push the duck or goose confit into the pot.  Mix the bread crumbs with the minced parsley and sprinkle the cassoulet with this mixture. Put the terrine back in the oven for 1 hour to brown.

Craves @ PG

Pave du Nord

Check out these adorable samples of one of our favorite cheeses, Pave du Nord. It’s a vividly orange cheese from the north of France with a deeply nutty flavor, making it eminently snackable and fantastic when melted in pasta or on a tartine. We’re always willing to offer a sample of any of our cheeses; we suggest that you resolve (hardy har) to come in and find a new favorite.

Gifted @ PG

More like FUNdue.

I’ve decided to keep the “Gifted” section of the newsletter going, seeing as there’s one more holiday on the horizon with which I feel we could be particularly helpful. Yup, the granddaddy of all the winter holidays, the most awful or most wonderful (depending on your perspective): Valentine’s Day. I’ll be featuring a great gift for your sweetheart from now until then, and then I promise, we’ll all go back to normal. This week: Fondue. I know, I know, but: FONDUE. You’re welcome.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 12/28 Tuesday, Jan 18 2011 

Break Out the Bubbly!

Wine @ PG

Champagne Henriot NV Brut “Souverin” ($40)

We loved this classic style, with its buttery brioche and yeast notes and dry, almost flinty finish. A lovely, insistent mousse and a hint of green apple flavors. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. 94 points Wine Enthusiast

Champagne Lallier NV Brut “Grand Réserve” ($40)

This Champagne exhibits intense fruit flavors of apricot, with a persistent and creamy mouthfeel. Structured, yet buttery and delicious! 65% Pinot Noir 35% Chardonnay 92 points Wine Enthusiast

Champagne Bollinger NV Brut “Special Cuvée” ($64)

Bollinger is the one Champagne from a big house that we brought in this year; if it’s good enough for the British royal family, well, it’s good enough for us. “A rich, smoky Champagne, with hints of marzipan and fennel seed accenting honeyed malt, bread dough, baked apple, and gingersnap flavors. It’s all focused by intense acidity and refined texture, with a lingering finish.” 94 points Wine Spectator

White, Pink.

Champagne Moutard NV Brut “Grand Cuvée” ($35)

This flavorful 100% Pinot Noir Champagne offers toasty notes of dried pear. It’s crisp and elegant, without losing any of its intense “yum” factor. A fabulous value for a special New Year’s Eve bubbly. 90 points Wine Spectator

Champagne Moutard NV Brut “Rosé de Cuvaison” ($40)

The only pink Champagne we carry, and it’s a doozy. This 100% Pinot Noir sparkler presents an explosive start, with excellent bubbles, followed by a rich, lengthy finish. Mouth-watering notes of strawberry. 91 points Wine Advocate

Cheese @ PG

A crowd-pleasing brie.

We have lots of ideas for excellent cheeses to bring to a New Year’s Party, even if it’s just a party for one or two people. Herbed goat cheeses, intense blues, earthy sheep milk cheeses: We’ve got it all. One of our favorites is Brie D’Affinois and other double- and triple-cream cheeses. They’re creamy, buttery, and luscious, which is perfect for an indulgent, celebratory night.

Craves @ PG

Fois Gras.

You can start your resolution to eat better after the new year begins, for now: have a little fois gras. From Rougié brand (based out of Québec) comes this uber-scrumptious delicacy. We have three options: The two slices with armagnac ($30.99), the two slices with truffles ($49.99), and the mousse with port wine ($48). Choose your desired flavor of heaven!

Gifted @ PG

It's jazz, daddy-o.

Jefe, aka Steve Winston, our fearless leader, is a known jazz lover. And he’ll continue to stock our shop with often hard-to-find jazz cds until you all come around to his way of thinking. And actually, he’s not wrong: jazz found quite a home in Paris, and it continues to be popular there to this day. We think a jazz cd might be just the thing to buy for yourself as the holiday season comes to a close. Helpful hint: Jazz music pairs particularly well with a bottle of Champagne and an existential, figuring-your-life-out mood.

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 11/21 Sunday, Nov 21 2010 

(Serving Suggestion.)

Wine @ PG

Here’s a recommended lineup of wines for the Thanksgiving meal, from bubbly to white to red. And there are so many more amazing options here at the shop: cremants, rosés, Burgundy, Bordeaux, dessert wines, and more.

Stephane Coquillette “Carte d’Or” Brut Champagne ($47)

This delicious Champagne is comprised of 60 % Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grapes, which are culled from the Grand Crus and Premier Crus of the harvest. Exhibits amazing complexity with notes of melon, berries, toast, and buttered brioche. A persistent finish and fine bubbles: a divine way to start off your feast!

2009 Frédéric Gueguen Petite Chablis ($16.99)

What a delicious wine! Very characteristic of what a Chablis should be: crisp, clean, and elegant. Aromas of tart green apples, toasted almonds, grass and a touch of minerality. This wine pairs well with a wide range of foods, making it our choice for an outstanding Thanksgiving white wine.

2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon ($24.99)

Marcel Lapierre was a renowned producer of Beaujolais wines, and his death this year marks a sad end to a vivacious man and a tireless advocate for biodynamic production and non-interventionist winemaking. His beloved Gamay grape gets its full expression in this vintage: Exuberant strawberry and red raspberry threaded with lilac, striking notes of blood orange rind, nutmeg, toasted pecan, blond tobacco, and subtle hints of game and forest floor. Silken in texture, sappy and pungent, this finishes with an exhilaratingly animated exchange of fruit, flower, and mineral elements and a sense of levity rare for its vintage.” 93 points Robert Parker

Meat @ PG

 

Pâté de Campagne

Pâté Provençal

Coarse yet spreadable, this pork pâté has bits of green olives and red pepper throughout. Flavorful, with plenty of herbs and spices. $14.99/lb

Pâté de Campagne

This country-style pork spread is coarsely textured and generously seasoned with black pepper. We like seeing who gets the carrot slice on top! $15.99/lb

Mousse Basquaise

Inspired by Basque flavors. Made with duck liver, roasted red bell peppers, and port wine. A bit of spice breaks up the creaminess of the mousse. $16.99/lb

Truffle Mousse

A delectable combination of chicken liver, truffles, and sherry. Savor with baguette and either a light Beaujolais or a sweet Sauternes. $18.99/lb

Duck Mousse with Port Wine

A savory, spreadable mousse made with duck liver, port wine, and spices. No artificial ingredients. Delicious! $20.99/lb

Goose Mousse Supreme

Made with goose and duck liver, and Sauternes. Set in aspic with oranges. One of our most popular mousses, this one is truly indulgent. $25.99/lb

And this just in: Fois Gras Mousse from D’Artagnan!

Craves @ PG

Syrups.

It’s the season of syrups. The distillation of fruit, flowers, or nuts into sugary liquid form, making everything sweeter and therefore better. We’ve got some fantastic options for adding flavor to your hot drinks, cocktails, whipped cream, and sweet treats. We have a wide range of Monin syrups, including grenadine, almond, caramel, and peppermint. Try maple spice or pumpkin spice to make a flavored whipped cream for pies and tarts. We also love L’Épicerie de Provence syrups. Cassis works for making celebratory Kir Royale cocktails, and we recommend Violet, Lavender or Chocolate Hazelnut in baked goods and candies.

Gifted @ PG

Le Souk Ceramique.

These brightly colored ceramics from Tunisia are all made and painted by hand. 100 percent food safe, and appropriate for use in the dishwasher and microwave. Above is the “Sauvage” pattern; we have over 6 patterns available in bowls, plates, mugs, teapots, and more. A beautiful tradition of craft making continues!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 9/3 Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

A most delicious bivalve

September. Please note the last letter. Yes, it’s an r. Get your shuckers ready because it’s oyster season! A group promoting the wines of the Loire Valley has ingeniously paired up with local restaurants and oyster farms to bring us Muscadet Seattle. This event spotlights the fantastic natural affinity between the crisp, mineral-driven Muscadet wines and the sublime sea flavor of oysters. Both are also incredible adventures in texture. Eric Asimov of the New York Times recently revisited Muscadet, and he suggests that it’s actually a quite versatile wine that could also pair well with other seafood dishes, poultry and pasta. We say: when it comes to Muscadet and food, we’re fine with trying out every combination possible (in the name of culinary exploration, of course).

Wine @ PG

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, 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 one of my favorite whites in the 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 years of bottle age.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Bonnet-Huteau “Les Dabinières” Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $14.99

Run by Rémi Bonnet (president of the region’s Maîtres Vignerons cooperative cellar) and his brother Jean-Jacques, the estate is based around the ruins of a château dating to the Middle Ages and has 48 hectares under vines, with some 42 ha planted with Muscadet. This particular cuvée has loads of finesse and a bright texture on the palate.

“Demurely scented with under-ripe honeydew melon, white peach, fresh lemon, clover, and a hint of chalk dust. Soft in feel and expansive on the palate for its genre, yet tingling in its bright citricity, it offers generous refreshment. The strong personality of this cuvee comes in its terrifically long, animating finish, with saliva-inducing salinity and citric juiciness.” 91 points Robert Parker

2008 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $12.99

Bernard Chéreau owns three separate estates within the house of Chéreau Carré, which occupies one of the most privileged positions in Nantes. Chateau de la Chesnaie represents a 25-year old parcel in the heart of Sèvre-et-Maine. Chéreau uses only indigenous yeasts and ages his wines on the lees for four months, putting him at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of Muscadet production. We found the 2008 vintage to have a wonderful freshness, with notes of seashell and lime. Mineral-laden and with a dry finish, this wine would be excellent with any delicate preparation of shellfish or oysters.

Craves @ PG

Casali Choco-Bananas

These little chocolate-covered banana candies are enormously popular. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cheap (they are), or because of their must-look-and-touch packaging (reptile brain), or because they’re delicious (yep, that too). Try them frozen! You will thank me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

About Alice by Calvin Trillin

This book is not about food or wine, although it is written by the illustrious Calvin Trillin, who has often taken food as his subject. This slim little hardcover book is, obviously, about his wife, Alice, written five years after her death. It’s just a divine little book. He creates a glowing portrait of a hilarious, complicated, engaged, and uniformly charming woman with whom he made a long, lovely life. The picture above is taken from the back cover, and I think it’s worth the $6.99 price alone to be able to take the book down from time to time and get some ideas about how to live with grace, and maybe to complain about how people don’t dress like that anymore.

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