Paris Grocery News 5/14 Saturday, May 14 2011 

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

Cheese @ PG

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

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

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

Goat’s milk, aged:

Tome de Bordeaux

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

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

Goat’s milk, young, ash rind:

Pavé de Jadis

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

Sheep’s milk, blue:

Roquefort Coulet

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

Sheep’s milk, semi-hard:

Brique Agour

This award-winning Basque sheep’s milk cheese is renowned for striking an ideal balance between sweet and salty flavors. Slightly firm in texture, with a nutty, complex undertone and notes of Parm. Try it with a black cherry spread and a medium-bodied red. $24.99/lb

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

Cow’s milk, triple cream:

Crémeux de Bourgogne

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

Cow’s milk, soft, washed rind:

Langres

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

Cow’s milk, washed rind:

Le Maréchal

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

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/3 Sunday, Apr 3 2011 

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

Wine @ PG

“April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.”

From “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot

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

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

Chateau L’Ermitage Costières de Nimes Rosé 2010

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

Domaine Sorin “Terra Amata” Côtes de Provence Rosé 2010

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

Triennes Rosé 2010

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

Château du Rouët Côtes de Provence Rosé 2010

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

Cheese & Butter @ PG

Le Wavreumont. (Say that five times fast.)

Back in stock!

Le Wavreumont

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

Perfectly round, perfectly yummy.

Soumaintrain

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

Beurre d’Isigny

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

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 3/12 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 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 10/9 Sunday, Oct 10 2010 

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

Wine @ PG

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

Sables Blonds Touraine Rouge 2009 ($9.99)

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

Saumur Rouge “Les Epinats” 2009 ($9.99)

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

Bourgueil  Rouge “Beauregard” 2009 ($10.99)

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

Cheese @ PG

Rogue River Blue

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

$38.99/lb

$9.75/quarter lb

Fleur d’Aunis

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

$15.99/lb

$3.99/quarter lb

Folie Bergere

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

$32.99/lb

$8.25/quarter lb

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

Craves @ PG

Candied Orange Peel Strips

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

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

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

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 8/26 Tuesday, Aug 31 2010 

If you’re in the downtown area this weekend, particularly near the Convention Center, you may notice that the conventioneers are just a little bit different than usual. Not to cast aspersions on the techie, giftie, and anime crowds, but these folks are just a bit more steathily chic, a tad more rumpledly intriguing. For they are Cheese Nerds. Yes, the American Cheese Society is hosting its annual Cheese-A-Topia here in our own illustrious Gotham-Lite. Whether or not you’re joining in the festivities, we hope you’ll come see us at Paris Grocery for all your (French) cheese needs.

*Update: Since press time, the list of winners has been announced. We often carry products from multiple winners Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery and Rouge et Noir!

Cheese @ PG

This week we’ve decided to share with you our staff favorites. It was quite illuminating to force all my compatriots from next door at the Spanish Table to come down to Paris Grocery and reassess their favorite French cheeses. While we’re all cheese lovers, I don’t know if we could all be said to be cheese nerds; most often, the cheeses selected as new favorites were tried-and-true “yum factor” cheeses that have been made the same way for ages and remain perfectly delicious, thank you very much. I can promise you that selecting a staff favorite- or selecting several for a cheese plate, for that matter- will not disappoint.

Roll call, staff favorites:

Steve, aka El Jefe: Abbaye Ste-Mère

For the boss, only a true “dude” cheese will do- wash this one down with a Belgian ale. 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.

$18.99/lb

$4.75/quarter lb

Sharon, aka the Wine Nerd: Tomme Corse de Chèvre

Sharon has been in love with this cheese since we opened! This rustic tomme from Corsica shows off the flavor of the rough mountain diet of the goats. It has a semi-smooth, textured paste, a fiercely herbaceous flavor, and a wonderful chèvre tang on the finish.

$31.99/lb

$7.99/quarter lb

Isaac, aka El Jefeito: Le Berger Basque

Isaac is so loyal, he couldn’t stray too far from the Spanish border to select his favorite. This rustic Pyrenees cheese is made from raw sheep’s milk in the Basque region. Nutty, earthy, and herbaceous with a wonderfully tangy finish. Pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir.

$30.99/lb

$7.75/quarter lb

George, aka Jorge: Scharfe Maxx

A true cheese nerd, George loves the aromatic cheeses that announce themselves from a few feet away. This is a sweet, barnyardy, and immensely tangy cheese from Switzerland. 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. When you need to up the ante on your ham and cheese, give this one a try.

$26.99/lb

$6.75/quarter lb

Priscilla, aka the Thrilla Killa: Bucherondin

Priscilla is a known snacker, and this one flakes every time you cut it, leaving her no choice but to sample it yet again. This tangy and slightly savory cheese from the Loire Valley is like two cheeses in one: next to the rind it’s buttery and smooth, while in the center it’s light and creamy. Amazing with Loire whites and delicious as is or melted.

$15.99/lb

$3.99/quarter lb

Jeff, aka Muscles: Delice de Bourgogne

Jeff may prefer the silence and solitude of the warehouse, but he’s actually a total softie. This delicious triple cream cow’s milk cheese has a lively, piquant flavor that nicely balances the buttery mouthfeel. Try this cheese at the end of the meal with fruit for a truly decadent dessert.

$16.99/lb

$4.25/quarter lb

Abigail, aka the Scholar: Tomme de Hyelzas

This is one you have to think about, with beautifully complex flavors: which describes our recently- left-for-grad-school friend perfectly. This is a stunning raw sheep’s milk cheese from a cooperative that works with eleven producers and shepherds. The rich milk offers flavors of the Causses plateaus: wild thyme,  blue grass, juniper, and lavender. A dense, smooth texture and a super clean finish: absolute heaven!

$29.99/lb

$7.49/quarter lb

Rachel, aka Barbra : Bleu des Basques

I swear, this cheese really sings with a dollop of citrus marmalade- a blue to eat all year. It’s one of our most requested blue cheeses. This sheep’s milk cheese comes from a cooperative in the Pyrenees, has fine indigo veining, and a clean brebis taste. Creamy & crumbly with a faint nutty sweetness. Extremely well-balanced & less salty than most blues.

$26.99/lb

$6.75/quarter lb

Wine @ PG

Louis Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut ($12.99)

A dreamy sparkling wine from Burgundy, made of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Bourgogne Aligoté. It is produced in the tradition method, like a Champagne. Bottle-aged for nine months with the lees, the wine has toasty, nut-laden aromas and a creamy mousse. Fresh apple on the palate and a pleasing length. It is ideal as an aperitif, complementing shellfish, cheese plates, nuts, and fruits.

2008 Dom. Raymond Dupont-Fahn “Chaumes des Perrières” Bourgogne Blanc ($32.00)

This Chardonnay is a steal if we’ve ever seen one! The incredibly talented winemaker uses grapes from 40-year old vines in the parcel of land adjoining his Mersault vineyard. The soil in the vineyard was deemed just a hair too shallow to be classified “Mersault”; had the decision gone the other way, this bottle would easily be twice the price. Barrel-fermented, it has a lovely weight, an opulent mouthfeel that is tempered by an elegant chalkiness. Peach, apricot, and spice on the finish.

2009 Château de Ségriès Côtes-du-Rhône ($13.99)

This bistro-style Côtes-du-Rhône is irresistible! Half Grenache and blended with Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault, it’s a young, fruit-forward red with peppery notes and a rich finish. Father and daughter work together in the vineyard and in the cellar to make this food-friendly wine.

2007 Domaine de Font-Sane Gigondas ($22.99)

This luscious Gigondas has been racking up high scores in all the wine publications. The Grenache-based blend comes from 50 year-old vines, and is aged in large oak tanks before bottling. A limited number of cases were imported, and we were able to get  a few bottles at this amazing price!

” Very ripe and fleshy, featuring lush blueberry, fig and boysenberry fruit layered with dark cocoa and black tea flavors, with a lingering pastis note. Long and rounded, with nicely buried grip holding the finish together. Drink now through 2015. 174 cases imported.” 92 points Wine Spectator.

Craves @ PG

Laguiole Cheese Knife Set

A real cheese nerd wouldn’t just hack away at their delicacies with any old knife. Those in the know use Laguiole, immensely attractive knives crafted from high grade stainless steel. We have two 3-piece cheese knife sets: the one pictured ($30.00), as well as a 100 percent biodegradable set from the Natura line ($55.00).

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins

George, our resident Cheese Nerd at The Spanish Table, has taken this mildly weighty tome along with him everywhere in the world. He wielded it as a defensive weapon on troublesome New York City subway rides. He slept on it as a pillow on early morning Seattle bus rides. And he used it as a wedge to stop the ancient cannonball from crushing him while searching for a historically relevant cheese. He always gets out alive when he’s got this classic cheese nerd bible.

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 5/13 Friday, May 14 2010 

Ready, set, fromage!

I’ve been hungry all morning. Rachel has been unwrapping, cutting, rearranging cheeses all day, forcing samples into my not-so-unwilling hand every so often. There is a cacophony of aromas billowing behind the cheese counter: piquant bleu notes; musty, earthy, straw-laced pitches; and diva-like, nutty sopranos. As we taste through some of our special orders in honor of the Seattle Cheese Festival, we marvel at how interesting and delicious these cheese are, even though we’ve had hundred of cheeses, hundreds of times. We are lucky to be omnivores, says Rachel, and I couldn’t agree more. What would life be without the astounding complexity of the Tête de Moine, herb-and-nut of the Tomme de Hyelzas at its peak, or the unadulterated creaminess against the spicy-salty bleu of the Roquefort Coulet? We’re glad we don’t have to know. We hope you enjoy the buzz of the Seattle Cheese Festival, and when you’re ready for a break from the crowds and other kinds of cacophony, come down to Western Avenue and see us. We’re here 360 days a year, happy to let you taste anything and to talk about the good things in life.

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

A French Six-Pack!

At Paris Grocery, we always offer a discount on six or more bottles of wine. Since you might get thirsty tasting cheeses galore this weekend, I’ve put together a cheese-friendly six pack of wine for you!

2008 J. Lourat Collection Blanc VdP Loire ($12.99)
A beautiful blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. With vibrant white fruit aromas, a silky mouth feel, and a crisp, mineral-accented finish, this wine is perfect with just about any cheese.

2008 Lucien Albrecht “Cuvée Balthazar” Alsace ($13.99)
This unoaked Pinot Blanc comes from a family owned winery in Alsace. The excellence of their vineyards is immediately apparent. Rich, harmonious fruit and ripe apple notes, with a lively finesse. Well-suited for washed-rind, creamy cheeses such as Munster or Tomme du Berger.

2005 Chateau Saint-Sauveur Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise ($26.99)
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is an AOC used exclusively for sweet, fortified Muscat wine, a wine that has been praised since the time of Pliny the Elder! Unctuous, with fig, almond, candied citrus, and a stylish balance. Particularly good with bleu cheese. 90 points Wine Spectator

2008 Antech “Émotion” Cremant de Limoux Rosé ($14.99)
Made in the traditional method from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, and a touch of Pinot Noir, this rosé sparkler is aged for 15 months before release. Incredibly elegant, with a delicate pink hue and a fine, firm mousse. Rose petals, white flowers, and strawberry on the nose, followed by cherry and a subtle nuttiness on the palate. The finish is fresh and utterly delightful. Excellent with triple-creams, bries, and other rich cheeses.

2006 Albert Bichot Savigny-les-Beaune ($29.99)
With warm aromas of pie cherry, this Burgundy Pinot Noir has heft on the palate. Black cherry flavors accented with pepper fill the mid-palate. An elegant and dry Pinot Noir, it is a great wine for semi-firm to firm cheeses, such as Comté and Tomme d’Aquitaine.

2007 Yannick Pelletier “L’Oiselet” St. Chinian ($15.99)
From a small appellation in the Languedoc, this is an unoakedblend of Cinsault and Grenache Noir, with little bit of Syrah and Carignan. The producer works biodynamically and ages the l’Oiselet for 10 months in vats before bottling, allowing all the flavors to come together. Fruit-forward, juicy, and smoky, it’s a full-bodied wine for full-bodied cheese. Try it with Abondance, Tomme Corse, or Cantal.

Cheese @ PG

The most difficult question for a cheesemonger is, “what’s your favorite?” It’s impossible to answer, and my usual response is just to open the cheese case and start cutting samples, trying to find your new favorite. After a marathon cheese case stock-and-spruce-up this morning, I am even more excited for the Cheese Festival this weekend so I can share all my new favorites.

Tomme de Hyelzas

Olivier brings us stunning cheeses from all over France, but the cheeses from Corsica and from southwestern France thrill me with their herbaceous vivacity, clean acidity, and rustic textures. Just back in stock is Tomme Corse de Chèvre, a goat’s milk tomme with a dreamy snow-white interior and a herbal, goaty tang. Saveur de Maquis is a classic Corsican sheep’s milk cheese; it’s covered in a wild smattering of herbs and has a creamy, ricotta-like texture. New to the store is a young Tomme de Hyelzas from the Causses: raw sheep’s milk, full of flavors from the limestone plateaus of juniper, lavender, and blue grass. Tomme Haut Barry, a sheep’s milk cheese from Larzac, is at a great stage– the bright flavors and floral aromas have had some time to age and get super earthy. Olivier chooses his cheeses and has relationships with the cooperatives, so I always know I’m getting a great wheel.

Cone du Port Aubry

Olivier’s cheeses have a special place in my heart (and belly), but we also have many great cheeses from other sources that have reached go-to status. If you love raw goat’s milk flavor, you have to try Cone du Port Aubry, a Herve Mons cheese from the Loire Valley– I’ll tell you the story of how it got its name if you can’t figure it out from its distinctive shape. Fleur Verte is a fresh chèvre dressed in fresh tarragon and pink peppercorns. The texture is unbelievable; I’d recommend this beautiful cheese for a wedding cake. Tête de Moine is from Switzerland- not French, we know- but this dense, nutty cow’s milk cheese has to be tried for your next fondue. Lately, my suggestion for a great “snack” cheese has been Bethmale, a cow’s and goat’s milk washed-rind cheese that is delicious with a plate of olives and charcuterie. Finally, we can’t forget our blues, which may sound too intense for the approaching spring. But Bleu des Basques, a sheep’s milk blue with a nutty sweetness and a clean finish, really sings with a dollop of orange marmalade: I swear, you’ve got to try this!

I could go on and on about our cheeses. Come taste, savor, and learn this weekend at Paris Grocery!

Paris Grocery News 4/29 Saturday, May 1 2010 

Party like it’s 1200!

The life of a monk in the Middle Ages may sound more ascetic than indulgent, but we’ve got these cloistered men to thank for the vineyards of Burgundy and for creating some of the most complex beers and cheeses we have today. Washed-rind cheeses were developed in monasteries, where a staple to replace meats was required for the frequent fasts. Bathing the wheels in a brine, sometimes with a liquor, kept the cheeses moist and creamy, preventing the rind from cracking and encouraging the development of beneficial and aromatic bacteria. (Yummy bacteria? Sounds crazy, but yes.)

Along with the cheeses, many monasteries brewed their own beers, as an inexpensive means of feeding the peasantry. Most famous were the Cistercians in La Trappe, France. Their strong, nutty ales, more smooth than bitter or hoppy and capable of aging, became known as Trappist ales. Though there are many Trappist-style ales in production today, only the beers produced in the seven remaining monastic breweries are allowed to have the Trappist label. They are amazing with washed-rind cheeses, refreshing and flavorful enough to stand up to the pungent creaminess of monastery-style cheeses. While wine and cheese is a classic combination, we’re excited to bring some of these awesome beers to our next cheese party!

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

We’ve gotten about a dozen new wines in the past week, from the Rhone (including a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise), Languedoc, Burgundy, and Savoie. Mix and match a half case to get 10% off!

Abbey Ales

Chimay Premier Trappist Ale ($4.99) — Slightly sweet, nutty, with notes of pepper. A dark brown ale that pairs well with Epoisse and Soumatrain. Bottle-conditioned.

Orval Trappist Ale ($5.99) — Coppery brown, hints of earthy, and brimming with citrus zest and a frothy white head. Bottle-conditioned and fermented with a local yeast that creates its distinctive flavor profile. Quite refreshing.

Grimbergen Dubble ($12.99/6 bottles) — Undergoing a second fermentation, this beer is reddish-brown and bittersweet and full-bodied.

Cheese @ PG

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. Marvelous with Trappist-style beers or a fruity Gamay.

Abbaye Ste-Mère

This traditional monastery cheesefrom 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!

Charcuterie @ PG

It rhymes!

Petit Jesu Salami (32.99/lb) — This coarsely ground, juicy salami is flavored with red wine and sweet and savory spices. From the famous Salumiera Biellese, its a favorite for baguette sandwiches!

Mother’s Day, May 9th

Our next issue will be full of Mother’s Day gift ideas. We have beautiful cermics, dishtowels, hand lotions, fiction and non-fiction writing, special wines and goodies that are sure to make her smile! Stay tuned.