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

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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

September 23rd Sunday, Sep 25 2011 

Paris Grocery News
September 23, 2011
September 25th is our two year anniversary, can you believe it? To those of you who have been with us from the start, a special thank you! It’s also an exciting week because we just received our copy of Food and Wine Magazine for October 2011, and the Paris Grocery is featured on a national list of best places to buy French wine. Check us out on page 106. To celebrate both occasions, we’re transitioning from our summer rosé six pack special to a fall red six pack. Take a tour through France with this grab-and-go six pack, and keep our Paris grocery reusable wine tote bag as a souvenir! Six tasty reds include wines from Bordeaux, Rhone, Cahors, and the Loire Valley, with a selection of different varietals. It’s a great way to jump-start the fall season and try some new wines! $58.00 includes sales tax.

 

Also this week we were nearly overwhelmed with two huge shipments, mainly of the glorious meaty and cheesy variety.

 

Take a long look at the brilliant, decadent little amuse-bouches above. Sweet, dark prunes soaked in armagnac (a distinctive brandy from gascony) and stuffed with foie gras. They’re called french kisses, and are a total knock-out. With such intense sultry flavor, these are the perfect size to get a mouthful that lingers on the palate. $15.49 for a set of six or $2.99 each.

Uncured Smoked Duck Bacon.

Yes, it’s back! a fresh batch of duck bacon. Made from moulard duck breast, this unique bacon can be enjoyed on its own for breakfast, or can be used to enhance other dishes. Try it on a salad, in a pasta, with haricot vert, or any other place you would normally use bacon to bring a richer flavor to the table. Or for a muskier, wilder flavor, try our wild boar bacon! duck bacon-$16.49, wild boar bacon- $9.49.

Foie Gras Mousse

Buttery texture, sumptuous flavor, this foie gras is perfectly fatty and perfectly fresh. light and creamy with a hint of good Sauternes wine added to the baked terrine to enhance the luxurious taste of the foie gras .Whether you want to spread it on baguette or, as many chefs are doing these days, try pan frying it, you’re in for a real treat.

But we’ll save some meats to talk about next week. In the meantime, we have two amazing cheese specials. We accidently ordered too much of two great soft cheeses, so we’re pricing them to move quickly. Our mistake is your windfall!

Purple Haze Cyprus Grove Chevre (left)

This is a beautiful soft goat’s cheese from California. The unexpected marriage of lavender and wild fennel pollen distinguishes Purple Haze and makes it utterly addictive. Delicate and sophisticated, this cheese is the winner of Best of Show, California State Fair Cheese Competition, 2009 and Best of Class, U.S. Cheese Championship 2011. I’ve eaten two of them already. You won’t find a price like this anywhere else. $1.99
Smoked Mozzarella (right)

The smoky outer layers of this cheese peel back to a sweet, soft center. This is a great little cheese for snacking on, and is perfect for kids or others who don’t appreciate your pungent gooey bleus or camembert. Melt it over mushrooms or asparagus for a perfect pairing of earthy and smoky flavors. Again, a steal at just $1.99!

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

Ellen

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 4/22 Saturday, Apr 23 2011 

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

Wine @ PG

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

Pink and/or bubbly.

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own). Peppery and fun.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

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

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

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

Food @ PG

Last-minute brunch necessities.

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

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

Comté de Fruitière ($4.25/quarter lb.)

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

D’Artagnan Duck Bacon ($9.99/8-oz.)

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

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

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/3 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 2/20 Sunday, Feb 20 2011 

 

Good fonts on the outside, good chai on the inside.

Hot Drinks @ PG

This past Saturday, we were joined by Jillu Zaveri, founder of Seattle-based company Jaipur Avenue, for a chai tea tasting. Thanks to Jillu and her husband for spending time with us, and thanks to our customers for coming by. Lots of chai went out the door, and we’re looking forward to your feedback. Jaipur Avenue makes all-natural, just-add-water chai tea mixes; we sampled Original Masala (a perfect balance of spices), Saffron (exotically sweet), and Cardamon (earthy and fully spicy). These flavors, as well as Ginger and Vanilla, are now available at the shop. The packaging is particularly pretty, and fortunately the product inside lives up to the outside appearance. You may be asking yourself, why chai? Well, why not? It’s delicious, it’s local, we’re cold, it’s warm. Also, George insists that chai tea is all the rage in Paris (note: George has not been to Paris). While he may be making that up, it wouldn’t surprise me. Parisians, for all their sometimes stodgy (yet charming) reverence for their own culture, are a truly metropolitan and increasingly global bunch. And this will continue to be our explanation for the funny things we like to buy for the shop that aren’t strictly French, including Linghams Malaysian hot sauce, Les Moulins Mahjoubs Tunisian olive oil, Finnska Finnish licorice, and now Jaipur Avenue Indian-by-way-of-Seattle chai tea.

Wine @ PG

 

Cheap, cheap, not-as-cheap.

Two closeout deals on full-bodied, easy-drinking rosés, and Sharon’s new favorite red.

Abel Clement Rhone Rosé 2009 ($8.99)

Fresh and light on the palate, with notes of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The perfect wine to enjoy during the ever-increasing daylight hours.

Mas Carlot Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2009 ($8.99)

A more fruit-forward style, with a good amount of body and a clean finish. Stands up to dishes with plenty of flavor and spice; try it with ratatouille or Mexican food. 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.

Domaine Charvet Moulin-à-Vent “La Réserve d’Amélie” 2009 ($18.99)

Sharon tasted this by the glass at nearby Lecosho, and came back raving about it. It’s her new favorite wine (this week, at least). This is the only wine we carry from this up-and-coming cru of Beaujolais that produces very fine and full-bodied iterations of the Gamay grape. Juicy, dark fruits and a hint of earth.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 2/12 Saturday, Feb 12 2011 

 

Heart-shaped cheese. You know you love it.

Cheese @ PG

Oh yes, we brought in Valentine’s Day cheeses. What do you think, we’re made of stone? Pictured is the delightful Coeur du Berry ($10.99/each), an ash-rind fresh goat cheese with a dense texture and tart notes of lemon. We like the heart shape, but we suggest chopping it in half if you’re feeling rebellious to the saccharine mood. We also have customer favorite Grès Champenois ($7.99/each), a triple cream from Champagne, packaged with a red heart sticker at this time of year. It’s silky, oozy, nutty, rich, and tart—pair it with fizzy for an indulgent evening. L’Explorateur ($9.99/each) is another classic triple cream. Made in Ile-de-France, this cheese has buttery, mushroomy notes and a supremely creamy texture. No hearts on this one, just a rocket ship that celebrates the first U.S. satellite.

Wine @ PG

Heading south for terrific values and big, bright flavors.

Pretend You're in the South of France.

Les Fontanelles Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d’Oc 2009 ($7.99)

With grapes selected from the vineyards of the small village of Puicheric in Southern France, this white is light, dry, and brimming with citrus notes. It offers a great mouthfeel and a clean finish. We are looking forward to white wines and couldn’t resist bringing in this unbelievably priced refresher!

Chateau du Seuil Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rose 2009 ($10.99)

A textbook Provencal pink wine: fruit and minerals in harmony. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. We brought this is last summer, and it’s holding up remarkably well, so we brought some more in. We’re able to offer it at this reduced price (was $14.99).

Domaine la Bastide “Les Genets” Syrah 2008 ($11.99)

Flavors of dark ripe fruit, coffee, and black tea, this 100% Syrah is essentially Corbières without being able to call itself that. This producer is known for exceptional wines, and we couldn’t resist the terrific value on this cuvée.

Craves @ PG

Blood orange: You heard it here first!

We’re more than a little excited about the latest Vosges chocolate offering—a 70% dark chocolate bar infused with blood orange caramel, hibiscus flowers, and Campari. It’s what we imagine a Tuscan afternoon tastes like. While we’re at it, we’d like to officially note that blood orange seems to be the new “it” flavor (we should have been more careful when we called “pie is the new cupcake” and “mostarda is the new chutney”: we didn’t get any credit for those.) Grab one of these attractive and unique chocolate bars for the attractive and unique one in your life.

Gifted @ PG

Nine ways to spice things up.

We love to buy spices and herbs in bulk; it avoids the price of expensive packaging and gives us a chance to offer a great value. We’ve put together these fantastic boxes of nine herbs and spices; they’re sort of a starter set for French and Moroccan cooking necessities. Just the right amount to experiment and find your new favorite seasoning! Each box includes the following:

  • Tarragon: French tarragon has a mint-anise taste that is particularly suited to vinegar and fish. It also goes well with poultry, vegetables, and fruits. Use it in the classic sauces remoulade and béarnaise.
  • Sel Gris de Guerande: This fine French sea salt with traces of mineral-rich grey crystals has been hand-harvested in Brittany. Its high moisture content gives it resilience on red meat, vegetables, cheeses, and chocolates.
  • Juniper Berries: A bittersweet, piney aroma. Crush juniper berries before using them in marinades for game, beef, or pork.
  • Lavender: A soft, floral aroma and taste pairs nicely with dishes both sweet and savory. Use in baking or roasts.
  • White Peppercorns: White pepper has a slightly musky aroma and flavor which goes especially well with meats such as pork. Gentle heat and invisible color make them a great alternative to standard black peppercorns.
  • Herbes de Provence: A mixture of thyme, marjoram, savory, and other herbs, but it’s the dried lavender that gives this blend its unique flavor profile. Pairs well with poultry, soups, and sauces.
  • Green Anise: Very sweet and aromatic, with a licorice-like flavor. Used as often in savory dishes with seafood or poultry as in sweet pastries and desserts. An essential herb for many French and Moroccan dishes.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds: The most commonly used mustard seed. Used in pickling, sausage-making, and boiled vegetable dishes such as cabbage.
  • Berbere Pepper: A melange of spices made with chile pepper, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, and garlic. Sort of a cross between a spicy paprika and a curry, it’s commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine.

 
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

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