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

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Paris Grocery News 5/27 Saturday, May 29 2010 

Our weekend plans!

Like all of Seattle, we have our fingers crossed for a sunny Memorial Day weekend. But we’re not about to let a few drops of rain put a damper on our fun, not with all the delicious red wines, sausages, cheese, and fun condiments we have on hand! There are innumerable possibilities, but I think I know what I’ll be having: Fabrique Delices’ Basque Sausage with Piment d’Espelette, served with a dollop of L’Epicurian’s Sweet Onion Confit. And I may have to make another batch of “Basque Fries” (hand-cut potatoes fried in Duck Fat, sprinkled with Fleur de Sel and Piment d’Espelette. They are insanely good.). For last minute inspiration and additions to your holiday menu, come on over and explore the possibilities; we’ll be open on Memorial Day from 11am-5pm.

Wine @ PG

Everyone knows that red meat goes with red wine, but with so many unique and delightful reds on our shelves, I decided to do some of the thinking for you. Here’s a six-pack of hearty reds that will complement your Memorial Day grilling!

2007 La Bastide Blanche Bandol ($25.99)

Think outside the Cabernet-and-Steak box: Mourvèdre is where it’s at! In Bandol, an AOC deep in Provence, the Mourvèdre grape achieves the perfect balance of robust elegance, becoming the sublime partner for juicy grilled meats. This unfiltered wine shows rich, dark plum, fig, and blackberry meld into a finish hinting of bittersweet chocolate. Notes of tobacco and very firm tannins support the ripe fruit, and a taut acidity holds it all together. A focused, pure wine showing great balance. La Bastide Blanche farms and vinifies biodynamically and keeps the vine yields low to ensure their uncompromising character.

2007 Domaine de Nidolères “La Pierroune” Côtes-du-Roussillon ($16.99)

The vineyards of this domaine have been cultivated by the same family for eight generations, and their winemaking upholds the traditions of the region between Pérpignan and the Spanish border. The blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Carignan is hand-harvested and sees no oak. This is a rich, smooth wine with persistent tannins. Notes of kirsch and plum leading into a flinty, elegant finish. Delicious with D’Artagnan’s Venison and Pork Sausage with Cherries.

2007 Chateau de Vaugelas “Le Prieuré” Corbières ($11.99)

This 400-year old estate is located in the hills of Lagrasse, known as the best growing zone in the Corbières appellation. Winemaking is headed by George Pauli, who also makes wine for a classified growth Chateau in St. Julien. Neither terroir nor talent is lacking! A blend of Grenache, Syrah, old-vine Carignan, and a touch of Mourvèdre, the wine is quite elegant and well-structured, while maintaining the rustic appeal of the region. It spends one year maturing in oak barrels (30% new), and it is full-bodied and velvety on the palate. Black fruit, licorice, and spice create a nice depth with the fleshy tannins and the kiss of smoke. The finish is long and pleasurable.

2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99)

“A brilliant blockbuster … Composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, all from a vineyard planted in 1961, this amazing wine possesses an inky/ruby/purple color in addition to a sweet perfume of black and blue fruits, kirsch, lavender, licorice, spice box, and earth. Transcending its appellation and price point, this is a superb wine that should drink beautifully for 10-15+ years.” 93 points Wine Spectator

2006 Domaine Lapalu “La Patache” Médoc ($14.99)

La Patache is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) based blend harvested from a selection of the Lapalu family’s estate vineyards. By carefully choosing and blending fruit from different parcels of land, the Lapalu team created a lively, juicy Bordeaux that is approachable in its youth while maintaining its ability to develop. It is deep ruby, aromatic with strong notes of cassis and plum supported by dusty tannins and softer notes of vanilla. Delicious!

2002 Domaine Moureou Chapelle L’Enclos Madiran ($19.99)

Madiran is a tiny appellation in Southwest France, where Tannat is the primary grape grown. Winemaker Patrick Ducourneau pioneered the micro-oxygenation technique, a winemaking process that tames Tannat’s pugnacious tannins. The L’Enclos spends one year in 400L oak barrels, followed by another year in vats. A strident red wine with rich, balanced fruit and structured tannins. An unbeatable companion to lamb.

And because I can’t resist mentioning a rosé, I have to tell you about the 2009 Abel Clement Grenache Rosé. This medium bodied, fruit forward rosé is incredibly fresh, with wild strawberries, lovely floral hints and slightest pepper on the finish. Under screwcap, it’s perfect for patios and picnics. We’ve crowned this our Summer Swiller. And we scored a great deal on it, so we can give it to you for $7.99!

Fun @ PG

These are a few of our favorite things!

Give some love with a rub.

Even if you’re a brats-and-burgers kind of griller, your ketchup and mustard doesn’t have to be boring! Dulcet makes Peppery Moroccan (try it on lamb burgers), Mild Indian Curry, and Sweet Orange Chili Ketchup ($4.99/14oz). It’s hard to pick just one mustard from our plethora of Dijons, but we do love the spicy kick of Pommery Fireman’s Mustard ($19.99/8.8oz) with grilled sausages or steak frites, and the Fallot Blackcurrant Dijon Mustard ($4.99/7.2oz) in marinades for pork.

The secret to grilled meats is the salt; rubbing and finishing with right touch of seasoning makes all the difference. The classic Sel du Boucher ($18.49/17.6oz) is a fantastic all-purpose coarse sea salt rub with thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sage. Esprit du Sel’s Fennel and Garlic Grey Sea Salt ($11.99/6.3oz) is wonderful for fish, and Dulcet Creole Spice Rub ($6.49/2.5oz) works well on fish, poultry, and meats.

Cheese @ PG

When it comes to outdoor grilling, the meat, wine, and sides are the most popular guests at the party. Cheese may not even be invited. Most cheese is  so sensitive and picky, always complaining about the heat and hogging all the space under the umbrella, as if it’s simply going to melt in the sun. But there are some more easygoing cheeses, who not only don’t mind the heat, they’d actually really nothing more than to join the meat and veggies on the grill. Here are some ideas for your Memorial Day grill-fests (and beyond) so that you can still fulfill your cheese quota (what, you don’t have one of those?).

For your classic hamburgers:

Blue cheese means business. Bleu d’Auverge has a sharp, clean taste with hints of melted butter and a bright touch of spiciness. It’s creamy yet crumbly, making it perfect for topping your beef patties. If you like the sharp flavor of cheddar on your burgers, but want to try something different, I’d suggest Mimolette Vielle. This orange cheese packs a wallop of savory nuttiness. It’s quite dense, so leave it out for a bit before you slice it. You could also go with the tried-and-true Comté, which melts beautifully and would be amazing with some caramelized onions from the grill.

For the true cheese lover, who can’t let all the summer fruit and vegetables have all the fun, try this gem of a recipe suggested by one of our regulars. Our Le Pommier Camembert is the perfect consistency for grilling, and some consider it the best pasteurized Camembert on the U.S. market.

Camembert Au “B.B.Q”

Ingredients: One hot grill

One wheel of Camembert cheese

Remove paper wrapping from cheese; transfer cheese back into wooden box. Make a well into the center of the warm charcoals; arrange boxed cheese into the center of the well and cover the box with warm charcoals. Watch carefully, so it doesn’t get overly melted. It is ready when cheese just pushes up the top of the box, after approximately 10 minutes. Remove the top of the box, remove cheese crust with the tip of a knife and enjoy, dipping in bits of baguette.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Bistro Laurent Tourondel

For fair-weather fun in foul times, we love the Bistro Laurent Tourondel cookbook. With impeccable technique and classic sauces, this book will help you create the hearty, convivial atmosphere and deep, homey taste of outdoor grilling in the warmth of your kitchen. With recipes like Tapenade-Stuffed Leg of Lamb and Braised Short Ribs with Garlic-Thyme Brown Butter, you won’t even miss the sunshine!

Thanks for reading! See you soon.

Abi & Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden, Owners