Salt and oil and vinegar, oh my! Monday, Oct 3 2011 

Paris Grocery News
October 3rd, 2011
The days are getting cooler, the holidays are coming, and our palates are about to be overwhelmed by a season of cake, pie, cookies, and other sweets. We love them of course, but sometimes it seems like the entire world of salty, sour, smoky, and tangy flavors gets overlooked this time of year. This week, we want to talk to you about our amazing variety of salts, oils, and vinegars. The difference in even a simple meal between using basic salts, oils, and vinegars and high quality products is substantial. Quality oils, exotic salts, and special vinegars make beautiful hostess gifts as well. We’re going to start doing oil tastings here at the shop soon, so you can come in a taste the difference!
Les Moulins Mahjoub organic extra virgin olive oil from Tunisia

The secret of Les Moulins Mahjoub olive oil lies in the choice of methods of grinding and pressing the fresh, organic fruit, designed to preserve the full flavor of the olive: crushing time, grinding under cold conditions, use of scourtins (round pressing mats) in natural fibers, selection of oil according to pressing, decantation using a hand skimming process, storage and maturation. The oil is not separated by centrifugation, but by natural decantation. As the oil is lighter, it floats to the top, above the vegetable water, enabling it to be skimmed off. Before bottling, the oil is left to settle and mature for some time until its flavor, odor and acidity are perfect. 37 cl, $10.99 or 1 L $21.99.

Castelas extra virgin olive oil. A.O.C. Vallée des Beaux de Provence

These people really, *really* love olive oil. Expounding upon the terroir of their patch of Provence, the family-owned Castelas suggests tasting this oil as you would a fine wine. It smells of, freshly cut grass and the olives’ green fruitiness, typical of an oil extracted from freshly harvested fruit. On the palate, intense olive flavors develop into exquisite notes of raw artichoke and sweet almonds. On the finish, delicate sensations heightened by peppery aromas and an enlivening hint of freshness. Try a comparison between their signature oil and their ‘black fruit’ oil as well. The darker fruit is more earthy and stronger flavored, as it takes more of these olives to produce a bottle of oil. 500 ml $25.00, or 750 for $35.00.

Banyuls vinegar

Banyuls vinegar is like sherry wine vinegar’s more refined and delicate French cousin. Like Port and sherry wine, Banyuls is a fortified sweet wine. Made from grenache grown in and around Banyuls-sur-mer, Banyuls vinegar develops a walnut, coffee, licorice, and vanilla, flavor and aroma of fresh plums after being aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of five years. Like sherry wine vinegar, it makes a great vinaigrette, and mixes well with nut oils. Its natural sweetness also makes it an good choice for deglazing rich dishes like sautéed duck or foie gras. It can be difficult to find, but we have two kinds! a five year old, 500 ml bottle ($16.99) and a six year old, 750 ml bottle ($26.99).

Fusion Verjus

This vinegar alternative is made from vinifera grapes harvested and crushed in mid-summer when acid levels are high and sugar levels are low. This “must” remains unfermented and is delicately tart, refreshing, and versitile in cooking. Fusion vejus enjoys a natural affinity to wine. It has a milder, more wine-friendly acidity compared to vinegars, which actually helps to integrate the food and wine. Where you might be tempted to stick to fuller-bodied wines when cooking with vinegar, verjus allows a more delicate wine to retain its integrity when paired with a strongly flavored food. 750 ml bottle of Red- $13.99 or White- $15.99.

saltsaltsaltsaltsaltysaltysalt

This week we got in some brand new salts and replenished our old favorites. I couldn’t quite fit them all on the plate, but I think you get the picture; fine regional, smoked, and flavored salts aren’t just tasty, they make visually stunning additions to your kitchen and table. Put them on display with an adorable salt pig like the one shown here($13.99), or in any suitable salt cellar. We pack them out ourselves for you, and prices range from $3.00-$7.00 for 2-4 ounces, varying by salt type.

In this picture:

Smoked Cherrywood sea salt

Raspberry Chipotle

Culinary grade Dead Sea Salt

French Harvest Blend Sea Salt

Saffron Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Wakame Sea Weed Sea Salt

French Lavender

additionally, we carry:

truffle sea salt

porcini sea salt

fleur du sel

french grey salt

lemon sea salt

smoked gralic sea salt

garlic and onion sea salt

smoked alderwood sea salt

Wine

2003 Clos de Brusquieres $22.99

I know, I know, I keep talking to you about Chaeauneuf-du-pape. Call me obsessed, but we just got in the best deal I’ve seen through our doors yet, so I’ve got to gush.

To quote Robert Parker (who gives it 90 points), “The superb 2003 Chateauneuf-du-pape is a deep ruby color with a big, sweet, flamboyant nose of damp earth, ground pepper, kirsch liqueur, licorice, and spice box. It is dense, full-bodied with relatively elevated levels of glycerin, moderate tannin, and some noticeable alcohol in the heady, long finish”. This wine offers a rustic, burly palate, and is not for lovers of more polished, reserved wines!

Veuve Devienne rosé sec sparkling wine and Veuve Devienne brut sparkling wine $9.99

These sparklers are just plain fun. The white is light and refreshing with floral notes that stay away from being too sweet or gaudy. The rosé is juicier, with rhubarb and raspberry overtones. At this price, these are great sparklers to start off an evening out with friends or to bring to a larger gathering.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!Ellen
and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
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About Us

A wine and cheese shop with a french mood1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.0679Monday-Saturday
10 to 6
Sunday
11 to 5

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Paris Grocery News 11/30 Wednesday, Dec 1 2010 

Warm-You-Up Reds.

Wine @ PG

Some warm-you-up reds, now in stock!

2007 La Bastide Saint Dominique Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($35.00)

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, and 5%Cinsault. Possesses a dark ruby/purple-tinged color, a seductive perfume of kirsch liqueur, sandalwood, soy, seaweed, and blacker fruits, ripe tannin, good freshness, and a plump style. 90 points Robert Parker

2009 Château de Ségriès Côtes du Rhône ($13.99)

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan. A transparent ruby red in the glass. Reveals dusty soil notes mixed with kirsch, garrigue, pepper, and spice. Fresh and fruity with ripe tannins. A great choice for a cold night in with a warm meal.

2008 Gouleyant Cahors ($11.99)

100% Malbec, this Cahors is leaner than Argentine malbecs. Elegant and smooth, with a lengthy finish. Delicious and fruity, with notes of toast and black cherry. This wine will keep you warm all winter!

2008 Puyvedal “Chevalier” Syrah Coteaux de Peyriac ($9.99)

85% Syrah and 15% Grenache. From clay and limestone terroir, this offers ripe flavors of dark berries and chocolate, with a smooth, almost dusty finish. A versatile and full-bodied red from a smaller region to the northwest of Carcassonne.

 

Cheese @ PG

Petit Sapin.

It’s the time of the year for cheeses that are delicious, pretty, and festive. Here are my top party cheeses!

Petit Sapin

From affineur Jean Perrin comes this lovely cow’s milk cheese from France-Comté. Matures in its wooden box and wrapped with a piece of pine bark. Creamy, earthy, and slightly floral, you can eat this cheese with a spoon! $20.99/each

Époisses

Brillat-Savarin dubbed this “the King of All Cheeses.” And the man knew his cheeses! This famously pungent, washed-rind cheese from Burgundy has a distinctly earthy flavor all its own and an irresistibly gooey texture. Just may convert you into a stinky cheese lover! $20.99/each

Cabécou Feuille

Underneath the chestnut leaf wrapper lies a tangy, creamy goat cheese. It’s first dipped in plum brandy and then sprinkled with peppercorns. Piquant, sweet, and quite festive. $2.99/each

Palet de Noël

A lemony, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese, adorned with paprika. The mildness of the cheese is balanced by the slight kick of the garnish. Spread on a turkey sandwich, or try with crackers and a zesty white wine. $10.99/each

Barbichette Sauvage

A pasteurized goat’s milk cheese with a delightfully creamy texture, almost like a whey cheese. The flavor is sweet, fresh, and lemony. A dense coating of herbs adds earthiness and texture. $8.99/each

 

Craves @ PG

Chestnut Spreads.

During the holidays, nothing warms the chilly Parisian streets as much as the steel drums of roasting chestnuts. They’re yummy, smell divine, and truly make it feel like Christmas. While no one has hit on this small business idea here in Seattle (hint hint, someone!), we here at PG know that our customers love all things chestnut. We have Clément Faugier whole chestnuts, unsweetened chestnut puree, and chesnut spread with vanilla. From Les Confitures à l’Ancienne (a brand we love for being made with cane sugar in small batches), we have chestnut spread with pieces  and “Noël” jam,  made with chestnuts, clementines, and cinnamon—delicious!

 

Gifted @ PG

Oil, Vinegar, Salt.

We love food gifts. Why buy someone a sweater that might not fit, or a dvd they may already have? It’s a fantastic idea for the food-lover and home chef on your list. My go-to recommendations are fancy salts, oils, and vinegars—everyone uses them, and most of them come in pretty packages that already look like a gift. My top three:  Le Saunier de Camargue Fleur de Sel, Moulins de la Brague Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Abbe Rous Banyuls Vinegar. Also: I’m armed with attractive bags, ribbon, and paper, ready to make a food gift “set.”

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/30 Friday, Jul 30 2010 

Burgundian Vineyards

Revisiting the classics

What makes a classic? What give certain films, books, wine, and ingredients the ability to endure, to create a legacy of greatness? Quality is one part of the equation. But the key is in versatility, the ability to evolve. A great wine is open to interpretation; its complexity lets you find new elements each time you taste it, over the course of a meal or a decade. A great ingredient is versatile in its uses but also complements and enhances all kinds of other flavors and ingredients. So this week we’re taking a look at a couple of wine regions and staple ingredients that have been making cooks smile for centuries.

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

We often talk about uncovering little-known wines and unusual grapes. But our penchant for the peculiar is in no way a dismissal of the classics. The “Great Wines of France” — Burgundy, Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape — haven’t earned their reputations for nothing. There are times when nothing can beat one of these grand, elegant wines. We have a few new Burgundies and Châteauneufs that we are drooling over, so we highly recommend that you indulge in one of these wines from the eastern half of France.

The many faces of Burgundy.

2009 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Burgundy Rosé ($24.99)
Fresh, utterly elegant, and addictive, this is the Audrey Hepburn of wine. It’s not overly common to find a rosé from Burgundy, but if you do, count yourself as very lucky. Pinot Noir makes rosés that are crisp like their Provençal cousins but with a layer of gravity. This wine is beautiful and refreshing, but hardly forgettable. Quite aromatic, the strawberry and cranberry notes are carried along with a lot of minerally verve. The finish is lengthy and has just the right amount of tartness.

2007 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St-Georges ($65.00)
We dreamt of this wine for months after tasting it. Robert Chevillon is known as the elder statesman of Nuits-St-Georges, a sub-region of Burgundy that produces some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the world. He produces earthy, concentrated, yet silky Pinots that honestly proclaim their terroir. As Stephen Tanzer reports, “Raspberry, smoked meat and a hint of spun sugar on the very ripe nose. Supple, sweet and easygoing; in a distinctly tender style.” We loved the woodsy notes of truffle, spice, and cranberry. The incredible, long-lasting finish made us covet this wine, and now we’ve brought it into the shop for you to enjoy, as well.

2007 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne
($35.00)
This wine haunted Sharon for months (in the best possible sense). An incredibly delicate Pinot Noir, almost dusky rose in color. Despite the subdued color and texture, the wine explodes on the palate. Expressive nose of raspberry and cherry, with a subtle earthiness and a satiny, mouth-coating length. An astounding, evolving complexity.

The wines of new popes.

2008 Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf-de-Pape ($40.00)
“A very strong effort with surprising length, depth, and attractiveness, it possesses a dark plum color along with a big, sweet nose of soy, black currants, black cherries, and garrigue. This is a richly fruity, long, well-endowed 2008 to drink during its first 7-8 years of life. Ever since I began following this small domaine (22 acres) fifteen years ago, the quality of their wines has increased with every top vintage. The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussy is responsible for the wine.” 88-90 points Robert Parker

2008 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($65/750mL or $30/375mL)
“Deep red. Fresh red berries, flowers and spicecake on the nose, with a hint of white pepper adding energy. Juicy, finely etched strawberry and raspberry flavors show a pinot-like character and are framed by silky tannins. The lively finish features a lingering note of candied flowers. This graceful, understated wine should be delicious on release.” 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Domaine de la Côte de l’Ange Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($35.00)
Though it had the classic dark, brooding textures and aromas of the appellation, the Côte-de-l’Ange also had a fruity freshness about it that makes it our pick for those of you who want to enjoy a 2008 Châteauneuf-de-Pape sooner rather than later! Try it against the 2005 Ferraton Châteauneuf for an edifying (and delicious) look at two different vintages.


Food @ PG

Oils & Vinegars

We gave our oil and vinegar shelving a facelift this week, making them more accessible and orderly. It’s salad season, and if you’re bored of the same old balsamic vinaigrette, try some of these:

Verjus is unfermented grape juice, a staple in French country kitchens. Tart and acidity, but never harsh, it makes a great substitute for lemon juice or vinegar in marinades and dressings. Here’s a simple Verjus and Walnut Oil vinaigrette for salads:

2 tbsp verjus
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt and pepper to taste

A drizzle of Truffle Oil over anything from a charcuterie plate to a pasta salad to a flatbread pizza adds a savory depth to your everyday meals.

A l’Olivier spreadable flavored olive oils are delicious on toasted pieces of leftover baguette as a side to your salad or chilled soup. They also work well as a rub for seafood or in savory baking.

Your grilled veggies will steal the show if they are marinated in Blood Orange Vinegar, a sweet and sour vinegar.

Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines come in three kinds: sundried tomato, chili, or extra virgin olive oil. Use them in an arugula salad or in pastas.

Craves @ PG

Emmi Swiss Yogurt

Luscious, ubercreamy yogurts hit the spot for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Cooking with Verjuice

Maggie Beer is an advocate for regional products and traditional practices. Her book will open your eyes to the many uses of verjus, drawing from the traditions of French provincial cooking. Buy the book along with a 720mL bottle of verjus and we’ll knock off 10%!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery