Paris Grocery News 8/5 Friday, Aug 6 2010 

Don't let this happen to you. We've got all your mustard needs covered.

News @ PG
A nice “spread” about the shop in Seattle Met
We’re thrilled to be included in Seattle Met’s “Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle” issue. They took a cool shot of some of our mustards, which is fitting because this Saturday, August 7, is National Mustard Day (I know, you already had it marked on your calendars). Here’s a quick list of the many, many flavors of mustard we have available:
Dijon
Whole Grain
Green Peppercorn
Walnut
Honey & Balsamic
Basil
Tarragon
Provence Herbs
Blackcurrant
Grape Must
Truffle
Fig
Cognac
“Pompiers” aka Hot Pepper

We’re still on the hunt for pastis mustard. But this ought to keep your charcuterie plates and sandwiches busy for awhile!

Wine @ PG

Last week we talked about the wines everybody hypes, wines with caché. It only seemed fair that this week we let the spotlight turn to the best wines you’ve never heard of. Since it seems that everybody is having a birthday this month, this is a great way to give a gift that stands out from all the other presents. Not that gift giving is a competition (ok, sometimes a little bit). No, but seriously, who doesn’t love the thrill of surprise? Here’s your chance to give someone the wine they never knew they always wanted.

2008 Domaine Castera Jurançon Sec ($16.99)
This dry and lively white from Southwestern France is made from two native Basque varieties- Gros Manseng (95%) and Petit Manseng (5%)- and aged on the lees. This grape has a storied past in France: it is rumored that the lips of King Henry the IV were rubbed with Jurançon, and Colette claimed, ” I was a girl when I met this prince; aroused, imperious, treacherous, as all great seducers are.” We certainly have been seduced by its aromatic, refreshing qualities and lovely body. Bright and tangy, with green apple, tropical fruit and limestone notes; try with scallops in a light cream sauce!

2009 Domaine Schoffit Alsace Veilles Vignes Chasselas ($21.99)
Chasselas is the grape of 100 names. The obscure Swiss varietal is grown in only a handful of countries, and each country has its own name (or names) for it. In Alsace, it is often blended with the better known Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Blanc. But under Schoffit’s guidance and his 80-year old vines, this white grape shines on its own. Racy, but with soft floral and honeyed notes; incredibly bright and refreshing despite the concentrated flavors and slight richness on the palate. We oohed and aahed as we tasted it and immediately placed an order.

2007 Tissot “Singulier” Arbois Trousseau ($34.99)
Nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland lies the Jura, France’s most exciting wine region. To say that it’s exciting because it is up-and-coming would be inaccurate. It is one of the oldest regions of wine-making, and there’s no sign of traditions being abandoned. The wines produced here, from vaguely sherry-like vin jaune to light bodied reds, are made from grapes unheard of. They remain some of the world’s most distinctive wines literally unlike any other in the world. They are described as “geeky” and “unique”. But we love them because they are incredible food wines. Being situated along the Jura mountains, the climate is cool, much like in Alsace, even though the soil is much like Burgundy’s. The elevation and climate is excellent for preserving the grapes’s natural acidity, and the resulting wines are agile, savory, with an impeccable array of flavors. We brought in a 100% Trousseau, from Arbois, one of the sub-apellations in the region which produces mostly reds and rosés. The wine is quite light-colored, but the low yields ensured a concentrated, complex bouquet of aromas. Earthy forest notes, red fruit, and blueberries with pepper notes. Amazing with steak and sautéed mushrooms.

For more information about this wine region, click here or here for articles.

2005 Chateau Montus Madiran ($37.99)
Madiran is a tiny appellation in Southwest France, where the deeply colored, tannic grape Tannat is grown. It yields strident wines that are perfect with grilled and gamey meats. The Chateau Montus is one of the best wine from Madiran. The blend of Tannat (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) is made by Alain Brumont. It is a lusty wine, its inky color suggesting the richness on the palate and the nose. Aromas of toasty blackberries, leather, and oak make a complex and deep bouquet. The wine is firm, with well-integrated flavors of blackberry, raspberry, smoke, and clove. The finish is superb, lengthy and flavorful. It is powerful without being harsh or unduly tannic. This wine will cellar for several more years. Lovers of Bandol and Cabernet Sauvignon should definitely try it!

Meat @ PG
Not even a little bit “boar”ing.
In the oak forests (“la dehesa”) of Western Spain, Iberian pigs roam and sleep and feast on acorns. The black-hoofed descendants of an indigenous breed of wild boar, these pigs are specially cared for and catered to before their sacrifice (as the Spaniards have it): they are destined to become the superlative Ibérico de Bellota.

Yeah, they pretty much have better lives than we do.

This has only been available in the States for a number of years, and it’s definitely rare and pricey- but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring it to you. This richly marbled pork loin is infused with the flavor of acorns, their favorite food, and it has an inimitable rich and nutty flavor and a tender texture to die for. This is jamón heaven.
Lomo Ibérico de Bellota
Sliced to order. $91.99/lb – $22.99/quarter lb

Craves @ PG

Ficoco

Ficoco. Say it out loud- it’s fun. It’s also delicious- a fat-free spread from Croatia made with figs, pure cane sugar, and cocoa. From the famous Dalmatia brand of fig jams. Ficoco.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Down and Out in Paris and London

I was assigned to read this book while a student in Paris, and it gave me something to relate to (I also know how to nurse the same cup of café for hours without attracting ire) but also some much needed perspective. It’s a bleakly humorous and soulful portrait of poverty, told through the adventures of a young writer who has found himself truly “down and out.” A somewhat lesser-known gem from Orwell.

Paris Grocery News 7/2 Saturday, Jul 3 2010 

How to Taste Your Way Through the Tour de France

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

Recapturing national honor off the soccer field.

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

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

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

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

Alpine heights are the next obstacle for our fearless riders, and they will surely be craving a refreshing drink, like the 2009 Domaine L’Idylle “Cruet” Vin de Savoie ($10.99). Savoy is a region better known for its landscapes and cheeses than its wines, and that’s a crying shame. Just west of Burgundy, in a cool climate with steep terrain, grow a range of rare grapes, aromatic and bright. Domaine de l’Idylle has been making wines in the village of Cruet since 1840. This one is 100% Jacquère, a native variety that is vivacious and fragrant. Exudes pear, citrus, and floral notes, with bursts of green apple and minerality. The short period of sur lie aging gives a nice complexity and sleek body. A perfect foil to the richness of fondue and raclette, it also makes a wonderful choice for Kir (white wine with crème de cassis).

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

There will be a stop in Chambéry, the birthplace of Dolin Vermouth ($13.99). The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation, Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. Excellent both as a mixer and as an apéritif.

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

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

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

Craves @ PG

Muscat de Rivesaltes

Feed your Mind @ PG

Pampille's Table

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

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery